the language is yours, cherish it

This week’s number one, slaying Justine Timberlake and Adele, is a song in te reo Māori. What a fantastic end to the 40th Maori Language Week in New Zealand.

Here’s the karaoke version of Maimoatia/Cherish it by the team at Pūkana (a bilingual TV show) & Whānau (their extended family/community). I defy you not to feel better after singing along.

The words reminded me of the Welsh national anthem (O bydded yr hen iaith barhau/O long may the old language continue); it gives you hope for the future:

E ora ai te reo kōrerohia
E ora ai te reo waiatahia
E noho tahi ai tātou
I raro i ngā wawata mo te reo Māori e

E hāere tahi ana tātou i te ara o te reo
He tūāoma kē tōu, he tūāoma kē tōkū

CHORUS
Nōu te reo
Nōkū te reo
Te hononga ki o tātou tīpuna
Maimoatia e te iwi e

Ahakoa te hē, te tika,
Ngā piki, ngā heke,
Kaua e wehi, e whakamā
Tukuna kia rere
E hāere tahi ana tātou i te ara o te reo
He tūāoma kē tōu, he tūāoma kē tōkū

CHORUS

E te reo e
Nāu ahau i Māori ai
Mākū koe e ora ai

CHORUS

MAIMOATIA – ENGLISH

For the languages survival, speak it
For the languages survival, sing it
And so we are united in our aspirations
For the Māori language

We are all travelling the pathway
of the language
You are at your stage of the journey
I am at mine

(ALL)
The language is yours
The language is mine
It is what links us to our ancestors
Cherish it one and all

Whether you make mistakes or are correct
Whether there be ups and downs
Have no fear, don’t be shy
Let the language fly

We are all travelling the pathway
of the language
You are at your stage of the journey
I am at mine

(ALL)
The language is yours
The language is mine
It is what links us to our ancestors
Cherish it one and all

To the language (personified)
You define me as Māori
And I will keep you alive

(ALL)
The language is yours
The language is mine
It is what links us to our ancestors
Cherish it one and all.

You can cherish the language from afar by buying the song from the YouTube link above. Or keep learning and using a new phrase every week. This week’s is: Irā! Look at that!

AndresAmadorNZbeachArtJune2016

This work was created last month by Andres Amador, “tatooing the beach” in Aotearoa with local artists as part of his Capturing impermanence project.

 

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Posted in international, language, music, translation, words

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