March 23, 2014
Loan words give Maori flavour to reo English
A new book ranks te reo Maori in the top 20 languages that contribute words to the English language.
Borrowed Words author Philip Durkin says 280 Maori words are considered loanwords in the Oxford English Dictionary, placing te reo at 14th in terms of languages English has borrowed from.
Latin and French are the leading lenders to ahead of Greek, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.
Dr Durkin expects more Maori words could cross over English because of greater prominence of Maori in political discussions and positive attitudes towards the language and culture.
The Dictionary of New Zealand English includes 746 words of Maori origin.
Two thirds are names of flora and fauna, 18 per cent are connected with social culture and 13 per cent material culture
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