Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1

    Default Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    Have you noticed that the TV stations have put themselves up as (so-called) experts at maori placenames pronunciation? But the people who live in these towns don't pronounce it like that.

    A recent story on TV1 about Matamata is a case in point. The TV people pronounced it Muttumuttu whereas the locals pronounced it Matamata - the "a" pronounced the same as in cat or hat. Surely the correct pronunciation of a town's name is the way that the locals pronounce it?

    Besides, I would have thought that the people who first wrote down the maori placenames would have written them down as they heard them so if that is the case why did they not write muttumuttu? That must have been because the moaris they heard speaking pronounced it Matamata. And where on earth do you get an F sound from Wh? If the maoris pronounced it that way surely they would have written Ph or F?

    It seems that the correct way to pronounce maori placenames is as it is written, not the way that the TV stations pronounce them.
    It is better to wear out than to rust out.
    - Richard Chamberlain, Tour of the Hebrides

    Us husbands are a sorry lot.

    Visit the Radio Reading Service: www.radioreading.org.nz

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,641

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Roscoe View Post
    ..... Surely the correct pronunciation of a town's name is the way that the locals pronounce it?
    .
    We dont pronounce other countries city & country names correctly either, we totally bastardize them & even change the city/country name from what it actually is
    I dont see anyone jumping up and down about that, nor do we hear the actual correct Foreign City name being used by those same Maori language zelots
    A bit of a double standard, cant have it both ways .


    place name pronunciation evolves over time , as does the language itself. If 99% of the locals pronounce a certain way, when does the pronunciation actually stop being
    incorrect & when does it reflect actual usage by that 99% .
    Do we also stop the NZ accent corrupting pronunciation of the Queens English ? feesh and cheeeeeps

  3. #3
    In a 1920s time warp Terry Porritt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Upper Hutt
    Posts
    5,149

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    It doesn't pay to get too worked up about pronunciations, just take it as funny

    Perhaps someone can explain how David Lange, a German name came to be Longee ? Perhaps some corruption from Maori ?

    In the same way many names of Germanic origin in America were corrupted, classic examples would be Goldstein becoming Goldsteen, and Anthony Wiener, who they pronounce 'Weener' rather than 'Veener'.

    Back in the day before coming to NZ I read 'Old New Zealand' by F E Maning who lived with northern Maori for some years from when he arrived in the 1830s.

    At the back of the Whitcomb and Tombs hard cover edition was a glossary and explanation of Maori pronunciation and words.
    He said the spelling was based on the Spanish/Italian pronunciations, not how English would write it, so the 'e' was pronounced 'ay', and 'a' as 'ar', and 'i' as 'ee', for example. (Just think of the zillion different English accents, think how Maori would look if written in Yorkshire or Devon )

    He also said that each vowel was pronounced separately so that the place name 'NaeNae' was 'Nar_ayNar_ay'

    Using his instructions I can remember trying to get my tongue around 'Kaiwharawhara' a train stop on the way into Wellington. ...and Kar_ee_to_kay....Kaitoke

    In reality it seems even Maori have changed pronunciation radically since those days, though I have heard NaeNae pronounced like above by a Maori.

    Anyway 'feesh and cheeps' is Aussie talk
    Remembering Rich Conaty, 1954 - 2016....."and don't you never forget, rhythm saved the world, Aloha"

  4. #4
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,618

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    I gave up years ago, the vowel sounds I was taught in school seem to bear only a vague resemblance to what is used on TV now and every time I thought I had it sorted it seemed to change.
    Many seem to ignore the fact that there are regional and tribal variations as well, there is no single "correct" way. The way radio stations round here say Matamata sounds more like "Muttamutta" to me but the sound I was taught was a short "ah" (as you say like cat) which is much closer to how most of us say it.

    As to having written what they heard - no, not even close. Written Maori is not English, and should not be confused with it. Linguists attempted to analyse consonant and vowel sounds and assigned them to a letter of the alphabet based not on the nearest English sound was but on instead tried to construct a new language using the English alphabet- something that makes no sense to me as a non linguist. Anyway you don't see written French or German and assume the words sound the way they would in English just because they use the same alphabet, you shouldn't do it for Maori either.
    i7 6700K, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 SSD, Gigabyte GTX980

  5. #5
    In a 1920s time warp Terry Porritt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Upper Hutt
    Posts
    5,149

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    An apparent F sound comes from the aspirated 'h' in 'wh'. Since it isn't a sound usually occurring in English English the 'f' sound is the nearest sound an Englishman (or New Zealander) can produce

    The fun part is the Wanganui Maori don't actually sound the 'wh', that is why it was written Wanganui by the English. But they agitated to have the 'h' put in as they said the name was meaningless without it.

    Then of course radio/TV news presenters who have to use more or less 'standard' radio Maori pronunciation are saying Whanganui, and variations from Fonganui to Honganui
    Remembering Rich Conaty, 1954 - 2016....."and don't you never forget, rhythm saved the world, Aloha"

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,641

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Porritt View Post
    .. and Anthony Wiener, who they pronounce 'Weener' rather than 'Veener'.
    I'd rather be a Veener than a weener
    just looking at his wiki , perhaps he spend too much time on the weener

  7. #7
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Surrounded by Turkeys
    Posts
    13,422

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    We have it here in Nelson, those brought up around Tipahi street call it Ti-pa-hi, those who have moved down from Auckland insist its called Ti-pah-he street.

  8. #8
    In a 1920s time warp Terry Porritt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Upper Hutt
    Posts
    5,149

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    The Anglo-Saxons and the English and their descendants have never been able to pronounce foreign names comfortably or easily being somewhat self conscious about it, it being much easier to Anglicise

    It goes way back. Go to Leicester in England and you will hear 'Beaver' Street, and not far away, 'Beaver' Castle, actually spelt Belvoir.

    "The castle's name means beautiful view. The name Belvoir is, in fact, a Norman import by the French-speaking invaders, but the native Anglo-Saxon population was unable to pronounce such a foreign word, preferring to call it "Beaver Castle" - a usage which persists today." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belvoir_Castle

    Members of the Kaumatua Tramping Club refer to themselves as 'Karma-tuas'

    "Foreign words and phrases, whether naturalized or not, are always given an anglicized pronunciation. The anglicized pronunciation represents the normal pronunciation used by native speakers of standard English (who may not be speakers of other languages) when using the word in an English context."

    Funny, eh ?
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/ke...ion-languages/
    Remembering Rich Conaty, 1954 - 2016....."and don't you never forget, rhythm saved the world, Aloha"

  9. #9
    ember BBCmicro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    Pre-European Maori did not have a written language so European experts wrote down what they heard in official syllables. They wrote down "Ma-ta-ma-ta".

    Our next step is to find out how Ma-ta-ma-ta is to be pronounced. The experts tell us "Mah-tah-mah-tah" - which is closer to Mutta-mutta than to Metta-metta.

    Many NZers have never learned to pronounce syllables correctly so they invent their own pronunciation. They spread it in the local pub and footy field and that's what becomes normal in their local community, for both Maori and Pakeha. Some of them will even "correct" the experts who dare to pronounce things correctly...

    But the more sensible thing is to learn the correct pronunciation yourself. For instance, Maori 'o' is supposed to be pronounced as in 'not' rather than in 'phone'. And "i" is officially pronounced "ee". "au" is supposed to be pronounced 'a' followed by 'u', which is "ah" followed by "oo". If you say that quickly you get the "oh" sound in "phone"

    Take the word "pasta". The official pronunciation (European, UK, South America) is pah-stah. However, some countries have their own weird pronunciation (US, Australia and NZ) and say something like "pest-a". We should not pretend that our local version is "correct"

    It's better to follow the experts rather than our own uninformed opinions
    i7-6700k @ 4.4GHz, Crucial 250GB M.2 SSD, Corsair Vengeance 2 x 8GB @ 2.4GHz
    GA-z170n-wifi, Noctua NH-D9L low profile, Silverstone SG08, EVGA GTX970

  10. #10
    In a 1920s time warp Terry Porritt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Upper Hutt
    Posts
    5,149

    Default Re: Maori Placenames Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by BBCmicro View Post
    ...................snip....................

    Take the word "pasta". The official pronunciation (European, UK, South America) is pah-stah. However, some countries have their own weird pronunciation (US, Australia and NZ) and say something like "pest-a". We should not pretend that our local version is "correct"..................snip................... ..........
    That example of pronunciation will only make sense if you speak English English, because if you speak New Zild English then pesta would be pronounced pista to English ears, in the same way as pen becomes pin, yes becomes yis and so on...............
    Remembering Rich Conaty, 1954 - 2016....."and don't you never forget, rhythm saved the world, Aloha"

Similar Threads

  1. Maori TV and CTV
    By Snorkbox in forum PC World Chat
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 19-05-2011, 04:03 PM
  2. Am I a Maori?
    By Cicero in forum PC World Chat
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-08-2010, 10:47 PM
  3. Te Reo Maori - how much do you know
    By Myth in forum PC World Chat
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 28-07-2008, 05:11 PM
  4. correct pronunciation
    By Lizard in forum PressF1
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-05-2004, 12:41 PM
  5. OT - Computer related word Pronunciation
    By fergie in forum PressF1
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 15-02-2003, 04:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •