Kia ora e hoa mā! You probably know that Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori/Māori Language Week is next week – but some of you may not realise that all of September is Mahuru Māori. So we’re kicking things off right now!
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori have put out some amazing resources together this year and in the past, from cheers to yell at sports games to requests to memorise when ordering coffee. But it occurred to us at The Sapling that there was one wee gap that we could help fill – book-related phrases! So as our resident on-the-ground bookseller (and Māori language learner), I took up my self-appointed challenge.
Without further ado, here’s a range of phrases to commit to memory and recognise for all you booksellers, librarians, teachers and just general book lovers. Some will be ones you’ll need to say, others may be ones to recognise others saying. And please, if you spot any errors, let me (Briar) know – I’m an enthusiastic learner, but a learner nonetheless. Kia kaha, ā, e kī ana te whakatuakī, ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria.
Of course, next week will be chockablock full of amazing Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori content from our special guest editor – this can just whet your appetite!
Welcoming people in and looking for sections:
Nau mai ki tō tātou whare pukapuka!
Welcome to our library!
Nau mai ki tō tātou toa pukapuka!
Welcome to our bookshop!
Kei hea ngā pukapuka mā ngā tamariki?
Where are the children’s books?
Kei korā te wāhanga tamariki.
The kids section is over there.
He pukapuka reo Māori āu?
Do you have Māori language books?
He pukapuka pikitia reorua?
Are there bilingual picture books?
He pukapuka mā ngā ākonga o te reo?
Are there books for language learners?
Māku koe e ārahi ki ngā pukapuka i te reo Māori.
I will guide you to where our Māori language books are.
Kei hea ngā pukapuka nā ngā kaituhi nō Aotearoa?
Where are the books by New Zealand authors?
Ko tēnei te wāhanga: ‘Aotearoa’.
This is the New Zealand section.
Specific title discussions:
Tēnā, kimihia tētahi pukapuka māku?
Can you look up a book for me?
Kua pau ngā kape o taua pukapuka.
We’re out of stock of that book.
Ka kimihia e au ki tāku rorohiko.
I’ll look it up on my computer.
Ka whiwhi mātou i taua pukapuka ā tērā wiki.
We’ll receive that book next week.
Ka waea atu ina tae mai te pukapuka.
I’ll call you when the book arrives.
Kua pānuitia e koe te pukapuka: He Raiona i roto i ngā Otaota?
Have you read The Lion In The Meadow?
Kātahi anō ia ka pānui i te pukapuka Ko Petipeti Ahau.
He/She/They has/have just read the book I Am Jellyfish.
Ko Te Pohū te ingoa o te pukapuka.
The book’s name is The Bomb.
I wareware i a au te ingoa o te pukapuka.
I’ve forgotten the name of the book.
I wareware i a au te ingoa o te pukapuka, engari he kōwhai te uhi!
I’ve forgotten the name of the book but the cover’s yellow!
I rongo kōrero au mō tētahi pukapuka i te reo irirangi i te ata nei. Ko Joy Cowley te kaituhi… i wareware i a au te ingoa o te pukapuka.
I heard about a book on the radio this morning. Joy Cowley is the author… I’ve forgotten the book’s name.
I pānui au mō tētahi pukapuka i The Sapling inapō. Ko Art-Tastic te ingoa o te pukapuka… i wareware i a au i te ingoa o te kaituhi.
I read about a book on The Sapling last night. The book is called Art-Tastic... I’ve forgotten the name of the author.
E hia te utu mō tēnei pukapuka?
What is the price of this book?
E rua tekau mā waru tāra te utu.
The price is $28.
He kāri piri tāu?
Do you have a loyalty card?
Kāore i a au tāku kāri whare pukapuka.
I don’t have my library card.
Mā tāku tamāhine e utu tana whaine.
My daughter will pay her fine.
Discussions that have nothing to do with books but everything to do with being a publicly accessible place:
Kei hea te wharepaku?
Where’s the bathroom?
Anei te kī mō te wharepaku.
Here is the key for the bathroom.
Generally useful phrases:
Kāore au e kōrero ki te reo Māori.
I don’t speak Māori.
Me kōrero koe ki tōku hoa mahi. He kōrero Māori ia.
You should speak to my workmate. She is a Māori speaker.
Kōrero mai anō?
Say that again?
Kia pai te rā!
Have a good day!
Kia pai tāu pānui!
Goodbye! (to the person leaving)
E noho rā!
Goodbye! (to the person staying behind)
Gratifying phrases to listen out for:
Mei kore ake koe, hei whakamōhio mai mō tēnei kaituhi!
If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have discovered this author!
Te harakoa hoki o tāku moko, i muri iho i tana pānui i taua pukapuka!
My grandson was so happy after he read that book!
Ngā mihi i tō marohi! He mīharo katoa taua pukapuka!
Thanks for your recommendation! That book was amazing!
Briar Lawry is an English teacher and writer from Tāmaki Makaurau. She worked in bookshops for years, most notably Little Unity, and judged the NZCYA Awards in 2020. She was also one of the editors of The Sapling between 2019 and 2023.