3 Jul 2013

English-only speakers find learning Te Reo difficult

6:41 am on 3 July 2013

A linguistics researcher at the Auckland University of Technology says English-only speakers struggle the most to learn Te Reo Maori.

This year's Maori Language Week is focussed on Maori names and place names, and the importance of their correct pronunciation.

Chris Krageloh studies the sounds of the English and Maori languages.

He said the English language is difficult to learn because it has a range of sounds that change in different groupings, which is a contrast to Te Reo Maori, where the sounds stay the same.

Mr Krageloh said English-only speakers sound Maori words out by comparing how they look to English words, which is why they can struggle with pronunciation.

He said if the speaker knew another language, they would be more likely to pick up Te Reo Maori easier and pronounce the words correctly.