12 Sep 2017

Earliest te reo recording goes digital

8:36 pm on 12 September 2017

A 1938 recording is being released online in a digital exhibition by Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision and the Māori Language Commission.

(L-R) Pou Arahi Honiana, Lawrence Wharerau and Gareth Seymour.

(L-R) Pou Arahi Honiana, Lawrence Wharerau and Gareth Seymour. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

The recording is of the opening of Tūrongo House at Turangawaewae Marae and includes speeches by the fifth Māori king, Kingi Korokī, Princess Te Puea Herangi and Sir Āpirana Ngata.

The exhibition is the first of four in partnership between Ngā Taonga and the commission.

Senior Māori Curator Lawrence Wharerau said the recordings were a great asset for learning.

"It's about making these recordings more widely available, they are a huge resource for students of te reo and not only students also nga matanga o te reo (language experts)."

"Their reo is very easy to follow unlike in the modern context where we are reviving a particular type of reo."

He said the speakers understood they were talking to a wider audience and not only themselves so they made the reo more accessible by not getting too technical.

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