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Ta Rē Moriori Language App Launched

Press Release – Hokotehi Moriori Trust

Hokotehi is proud to release our free Ta R Moriori Language App. The app provides an introduction to basic Moriori language and contains guides to basic pronunciation, mihi, karakii (chants/prayer) and rongo (songs). Eventually the app will include …

Hokotehi is proud to release our free Ta Rē Moriori Language App.

The app provides an introduction to basic Moriori language and contains guides to basic pronunciation, mihi, karakii (chants/prayer) and rongo (songs). Eventually the app will include links to a Moriori dictionary and phrase-book.

The app is aimed at anyone wanting to learn more about Moriori language and to provide helpful starting points for Hokotehi members wishing to become more proficient in their own language. We believe that language and identity are inextricable and therefore our distinct identity as Moriori is strongly embedded in reviving and speaking our own language.

Despite being a distinct language (and not simply a dialect of te reo Māori) ta rē Moriori is not yet recognised as one of New Zealand’s official languages. Hokotehi aspires to achieve recognition of the distinctiveness of Moriori and make it available to anyone interested in learning it and being part of its revival.

Ta rē Moriori is a proto-Oceanic language that has a similar grammatical structure to most Polynesian languages and especially to languages spoken in Tahiti, Austral Islands and the Marquesan group but has many differences compared with te reo Māori in terms of words (tukupa), pronunciation and consonant sounds, such as the dropped or clipped final consonant and ‘tch’ sound.

Hokotehi has developed a language strategy and plan (Homouri Ta Rē Moriori) with significant support from Te Mātāwai. The strategy contains a 10 year plan for development of further teaching and learning resources. There are no fluent speakers of Rē Moriori any longer and no archival sound recordings of the ways that it was spoken and pronounced. However, we do have archival texts of word lists, chants and karakii compiled in the late 1800s as a foundation on which to revive our unique language.

Congratulations to our rē revitalisation team lead by Susan Thorpe, for their passion and mahi on this project. The app was designed and developed by one of our members, John Solomon of Devign App Development, with recording by Tawera Productions and voices from Māui Solomon, James Webster, Ajay Peni, Tamarau Solomon and John Solomon.

The app is available worldwide for a free download for Android from Google Playstore. Use the search term ‘ta re Moriori’. I-phone friendly version will available soon through the Appstore. A demo of how to use the app can be found on our youtube channel here.

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