July 06, 2016
Reo journey life changing
One of the ambassadors for Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori says learning to speak the language has been life-changing and humbling.
Netballer turned broadcaster Jenny-May Clarkson has vowed to bring up her new twin boys speaking Maori.
She says learning as an adult was one of the hardest things she has ever done, but finally understanding what was said was immensely rewarding.
"I no longer have to walk with my head down on a marae. I no longer have to go to a hui and try to avoid people and when somebody speaks to me, if I don’t understand what they are saying I can say to them in Maori ‘kare au i te mohio ki te korero ki a au, I don’t understand what you are saying to me.’ At least I have those skills now whereas before I would put my head down and somebody would say something and I would smile at them and walk off," says Mrs Clarkson.
People shouldn’t feel ashamed of not being able to speak fluently, but it’s worth having a go.
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