Te Reo With Mnemonics: School and Study Words

to study, to learn – ako

A student is learning how to do arc welding. With a welding helmet on, he shoots electric arcs all over the place. “Ah, cool!” he says.

to teach – whakaako

A student learning arc welding is shooting arcs all over the place instead of aiming them at the metal to be welded. His teacher comes over and says “Fuck arcs!” and then teaches the student how to be more accurate and precise.

Subject – akoranga

An old dignitary on a campus tour approaches a young man who is standing at a sink coring apples. The dignitary asks: “What subject are you studying? Cooking?” The youth looks back and replies: “Ah, Coring.”

Book – pukapuka

A small boy sits reading a picture book about two adventurous pigs. The book is titled ‘Porker Porker‘.

Student – tauira

A number of half-men, half-monkeys sit at desks in a classroom. Absent a teacher, they are occupied with cleaning the wax out of their ears with their own toes. Every student here is a toe-earer.

Teacher – kaiako

A man kayaks down a river. The river runs through a classroom, so he kayaks up the shore, gets out, and starts teaching his class. The teacher is a kayaker.

Professor/teacher of high standing – ahorangi

An old dignitary on a campus tour approaches a woman who is clearly dressed to solicit men for prostitution. The dignitary asks: “You’re a professor? What subject are you a professor of?” The woman looks back and replies: “Ah, Whoring.”

Classroom – akomanga

In a primary school classroom, all the kids line up to hang a comb on a bow turned upside-down for the purpose. At the front of the class room is a comb hanger.

to know, to understand, to realise – mōhio

A woman is teaching a young girl to tapdance. The girl shows what she can do and the woman says “More heel. More heel.” The girl says “Okay, I get it.”

Awareness/Intelligence/Perception – mōhiotanga

A woman walks onto a stage before an audience, blindfolds herself, and says “This dance is called the more heel tango.” She launches into a dance which is mix of tapdancing with heavy emphasis on heel strikes, and the tango. She comes very close to the edge but does not fall off, despite being blindfolded, thanks to a kind of extra-sensory awareness or perception.

Knowledge/Wisdom/Understanding – mātauranga

A bikini-clad beach bunny walks along the boardwalk reading a book called “The Book of Knowledge and Wisdom.” Her toe ring falls off and rolls away, and she calls out “My toe ring!”

University degree – tohu mātauranga

At a graduation ceremony, a barefoot young woman walks on stage to receive her degree. The man gives her the degree and says “Don’t forget to give your toe ring to the dean.” The girl says “Give to who my toe ring?”

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This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Recreational Drugs Words

Cannabis – tarukino

The Queen sits on a throne smoking some cannabis. A truck backs up to her and dumps a pile of tar in front of her. The cannabis is being smoked by the Tar Queen.

Beer – pia

A man walks along a pier while skulling a bottle of beer.

Tobacco – tupeka

A pouch of tobacco lies on the ground while two chickens peck at it. The tobacco is under attack by two peckers.

Wine – wāina

A family sits at a table in a restaurant. The young boy of the family is sipping from a glass of wine and screwing up his face. He says “But Mum, I don’t like shiraz!” His mother says “Drink up and don’t be such a whiner.”

to smoke – auahi

A man sits at a table, smoking one cigarettes after another out of a pack. A woman comes up to him and says “Where did you cigarettes go?” The man replies: “I smoked them all away.”

to drink – inu

A man sitting at a bar skulls a bottle of hard liquor and then falls on the ground unconscious. Another man asks the barmaid if the man knew he was drinking hard liquor and not lemonade. The women shrugs and says “He knew.”

Spirits/Hard Liquor/Alcohol – waipiro

A man sits in a car drinking hard liquor from a paper bag. It’s raining, and although the car is parked the window wipers are going full tilt.

Methamphetamine – tioata whakaihi

Two men are sitting at a table, smoking meth out of lightbulbs and chewing on rocks in their mania. One of the men says “Chewing all these rocks is making me hungry.” The other man fixes him with a baleful stare and says “Chew harder! Fuck eating!”

Cigarette – hikareti

If you know anyone named Eddie, imagine them hiking along a trail. Then they stop and pull out a cigarette, light it and smoke it. The cigarette is being smoked by Hiker Eddie.

Rolling papers – pepa hikareti

If you know anyone named Eddie, imagine then hiking along a roadside. He comes to a tree that has cigarette rolling papers instead of leaves. A strong wind blows, and it blows the papers off the tree and into Eddie’s face. The rolling papers pepper Hiker Eddie.

to be drunk – haurangi

Two drunks are sitting around in a flat, drinking. The phone rings, and one of them tries to answer it but ends up knocking the phone out of the wall and then falling on his face. The other drunk looks up and slurs: “Who rang?”

to be stoned/high – māngina

Two stoners are sitting around smoking from bongs. One of them says: “I think this weed has got us more stoned than the last stuff.” The other one looks back, shrugs and says “It’s marginal.”

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This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Media Words

Report – pūrongo

A TV presenter speaks to the camera and says “The Government claims that this network is fake news. This report shows why this idea is purely wrong.”

Reporter – rīpoata

A journalist is standing at ringside for a women’s Mixed Martial Arts event and, when they are fighting, he screams “Rip her heart out!”

according to – hei tā

A new reporter walks up to a woman, points to a man and says “According to that guy, you’re a hater.” The woman protests “According to who? I’m no hater!”

Television – pouaka whakaata

On television, there is a show where Dan Carter is sitting at a table at a restaurant. He makes an order to a waiter, and the waiter calls out “A porker for Carter!”

Message/Messenger – karere

A uniformed man walks briskly, carrying an envelope. A woman approaches and asks him “Are you the messenger?” The man replies “I’m a courier.”

Radio – reo irirangi

A radio plays to an empty kitchen. The music stops and then the radio broadcasts a strange and haunting ringing tone. It is a real eerie ringing.

Newspaper – nūpepa

A man is reading a newspaper, and looks closely at an advertisement for some “New Pepper“.

Magazine – maheni

A supermarket shopper looks at a magazine for poultry enthusiasts. The front cover has an image of a woman holding a pet hen, and the title is “My Henny“.

Website – pae tukutuku

A young girl looks at a website on a laptop computer. It’s a website about a service that delivers pies by tuk-tuk, called Pie Tuk-tuk.

Social media – pae pāpori

A flamboyantly-dressed man speaks to a camera, flanked by two assistants. All three are part way through wrapping up a pie in paper. The central man says “The most important thing about pie papering is getting it on social media! Put your pie papering videos on FaceBook, Twitter and others!”

Electronic magazine, ezine, zine – mahenihiko

An inventor shows a clockwork magazine to a friend. It walks across the table. The friend says “That looks like an electronic magazine.” The inventor says “No, it’s mechanical.”

Media – hunga pāpāho

A prostitute made out of paper is about to be executed by hanging. The media is all gathered around the watch the spectacle. They are about to hang a paper whore.

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This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Protest and Politics Words

Protest – porotēhi

A bunch of protesters are sitting by a fence. A young man walks up to them, points at a teddy bear they have, and says “I don’t want to disturb your protest, but can I borrow your teddy?”

Solidarity – kotahitanga

A number of workers form a line of solidarity where their arms are linked inside a giant coathanger.

Clash/Battle/Conflict – pakanga

Two cars clash over a parking spot. Their occupants get out and start fighting, and then bystanders join in, until it’s a big battle.

Validity/Legality/Authority – whaimana

A Police officer goes in to make an arrest, but a fireman stops him and says “Sorry, only firemen have any authority here.”

to elect/appoint/place – whakatū (-hia,-ngia,-ria,-tia)

A elderly minister appoints a man as his official sheep shagger. He says “This job requires you to fuck one sheep every day.” The man says “Hell, if you appoint me, I’ll fuck two.”

to have a stake/claim, to possess a right/interest – whaipānga

A giant pie sits on a table, and a number of vipers bite into it to stake their claim for a piece of it.

Stakeholders – hunga whaipānga

In a corporate boardroom, a row of men are lined up holding stakes. In front of them, a man uses a stake to hang a dead viper on the wall. He turns to the others and says “If you want to be a stakeholder, you first have to hang a viper.”

Strike, to go on strike – porotū

A woman dressed as a nurse knocks on a man’s door and says “We’re going on strike tomorrow, so I want to borrow a placard.” The man says “Sure,” and shows her his collection of placards. She then says “Actually, can I borrow two?”

to answer/reply/respond – whakautu

A man gazes out a window through a pair of binoculars. “Can you see a far truck or a far train over there?” a woman asks, but he does not respond. “Hey, answer me!” she says. The man replies: “I can see a far car or two.”

Trouble/Dispute/Problem – raruraru

A woman is sitting in her car talking to a mechanic. He asks “What is the problem?” She tries to start the motor and, instead of starting, it just goes raruraruraruraru…

to arrange/organise/put in order – whakarite

A pornographic film director is speaking to one of his actors about the filming schedule. He motions to a naked woman and explains “Now, I’ve arranged for you to fuck Rita…”

Organiser – kaiwhakarite

The organiser of a karate festival, an effusively homosexual man, explains that the festival slogan challenges people to go “Gay for karate.”

to make good/better, to commend/praise/approve of – whakapai

On television, a man holds up a pie and says “They’ve improved these pies so much that I no longer go to the bakery to eat a pie – now I go there to fuck a pie!”

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This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Time Words

Beginning – tīmatanga

A rugby coach is showing his new assistant the ropes. The assistant has a massive, hound dog’s tongue hanging out. The coach points to his team and says “To start with, I’d like you to give my team a tounging.”

End/cease – mutu

A man is auditioning for a stage role, and is demonstrating a wide range of barnyard noises: chicken clucks, pig oinks, sheep baas etc. The man running the audition says “Ok, enough, stop, end, cease! Can you moo too?”

in the future – ā tōna wā

A man looks into the future, and sees himself running. The future man suddenly pulls up lame and says “Ah’ve torn a – Waaah!.”

the Future/the time to come – ā mua

A father and son stands looking at a mooing cow in a storefront window. “One day in the future, in the time to come,” the father says, “that will be our mooer.”

right now/presently/currently – i nāia nei

An iron sculpture in the shape of the letter A is being appraised by a crowd. A woman says “Right now, this is an iron A, but with the right magic we can make it a silver or even a golden one.”

Past – pāhi

A woman meets a slim man and exclaims “Trevor! You used to be so fat!” The man replies “Yes, in the past I ate a pie every day.”

Time – tāima

Two terrorists are sitting on a park bench. One of them asks “What’s the time?” The other one opens up a suitcase containing a bomb to get a look at the timer.

before – i mua atu/nō mua atu

Two art patrons go to an art gallery, only to find that the walls are all blank and empty. One of them looks to the other “There used to be a lot more art before.”

during – ai

A cyclops is talking to a friend on a telephone. He says “Yes, it was during my eye surgery that I realised…”

after – i muri iho

A Maori man says “I yell into the hills, and after that I hear a Maori echo.” He faces the hills and yells “Ka mate!” and the hills echo back “Ka ora!”

since – mai rānō

An old man sitting on a tame rhinoceros tells a daring story about how he broke it out of captivity. He concludes with “ever since then, he’s been my rhino.”

long time ago – noa atu

A man is sitting on a bench when another man comes up to him, being closely followed by the R2D2 robot from Star Wars. The second man gestures to R2D2 and asks “Have you met?” The seated man replies “I’ve known R2 since a long time ago.”

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This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Law and Justice Words

Law – ture

As if from two suns, two rays of light shine from the heavens onto a book of law.

Court, to judge – kōti

Inside a courtroom, a judge watches two peacocks courting.

Prison – whare herehere

A ferry crosses the Cook Strait. There is a prison built on top of it, full of hairy prisoners. It is the ferry hairy hairy.

Prisoner – herehere

Looking at a prison yard, it can be seen that the prisoners are covered in both facial and body hair. To be a prisoner is to be hairy-hairy.

to arrest – mauhere

A naked, hairy man is mowing the strip outside his house. He is the mow hairy. The Police come and arrest him for public nudity.

Police – pirihimana

From a boat on the Amazon, people can see in the water of the river tiny policecars swimming like pirahnas.

The Māori word for ‘Police’ – pirihimana – shares a ‘pi-r-h-na’ construction with the English word ‘pirahna’

Crime, Criminal, break the law – hara

A man points and says “Hey, that guy’s breaking the law!” His anarchist friend cries out “Hurrah!”

fair – matatika

A man wipes his feet on a mat and it rises up and attacks him. He cries out “Be fair! Be fair!” as he suffers the mat attack.

Justice – manatika

A woman goes into her attic and sees a bunch of men she did not expect. It is now a man attic. She comes down crying “Justice!”

Punishment – whiunga

The judge says “Your punishment is a $100 fee.” The guilty man walks despondently up to the clerk to pay, and his niece is there. She says “Fee, Uncle?”

Right – mōtika

A woman steals a moustache off a man’s face. When he complains, she says “It is my right – I am the mo taker.”

unfair – makihuhunu

A man walks up to a table and takes a key from it. Another man already sitting there says “That’s unfair! That’s ma key!” “Huh? Who knew?” the first man sneers as he walks away, unfairly.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Parts of Language Words

Word – kupu

An old woman walks up to a box and says “Eh, you words shouldn’t be cooped up in that box.” She opens the box and hundreds of words come out.

Sentence, Saying – rerenga kōrero

A woman reads from a piece of paper: “Rare anger, core ear? This sentence doesn’t make any sense!” The man next to her, who has apple cores for ears, gets angry. It’s a rare anger, core-ear.

Paragraph – kōwae

A boy is writing on a piece of paper, and a second boy reads the paper, and says “Paragraph, paragraph, paragraph.” The first boy says “Go away”.

Consonant – orokati

Two canoes are racing. One is covered in consonants and the other is covered in vowels. One of the rowers in the consonant canoe is a cat, and his partner says “Oh, row, catty!”

Vowel – oropuare

Two canoes are racing. One is covered in consonants and the other is covered in vowels. One of the rowers in the vowel canoe is a very wealthy-looking man, and he says to his partner “Oh, row, Poorer!”

Language – reo

A man says to a cat “Hey, do you speak human language?” The cat replies “Rrreoo!”

The Maori word for ‘lower-case’ – pūriki – shares a p-r-k construction with the English word ‘pork’

to spell – tātaki kupu

On a tarry road covered in tacks, there is a chicken coop. It is the tar-tacky coop. In it, the chickens are busy spelling out words.

to define, Definition – tautuhi

A schoolteacher asks a boy “Can you define the word for the class?” The boy says “Totally!”

Letter (lower case) – pūriki

A lower-case letter is being filmed doing a cooking show. It adds some meat into a frypan and say “This is the case of pork.”

Letter (upper case) – pūmatua

A bunch of upper-case letters are spectating a boxing photo shoot. The bout is between an Argentinan rugby player (a Puma) and David Tua. In upper-case letters above the shoot spell out: “P U M A – T U A

Alphabet – arapū

A man says “Hey I composed a rap. It’s about the alphabet.” The man raps off A-B-C.

Phrase – rerenga kupu

Two men watch a chicken coop in which the chickens are angry and fighting. One says “That’s a rare anger coop.” The other says “You know the phrase: it’s a cold winter when you have a rare anger coop.”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Buildings Words

Hospital – hōhipera

Some prostitutes get shot outside a hospital and come inside to get medical care. The hospital is a whore helper.

School – kura

A courier rider rides through town, and eventually rides into a school to drop off a package. He’s the school courier.

Church – whare karakia

A ferry sails past with a church on top of it. Suddenly there is a big crack that splits the ferry in half, right up through the centre of the church all the way to the spire. The church is a ferry crack.

Airport – papa rererangi

A family is sitting at an airport. A young man gets off his phone and says to his father “Papa, Rory rang”.

Library – whare pukapuka

A ferry sails past with a library on top of it. Inside the library, two cars full of cow manure drive through looking for books. The library is a ferry poo car poo car.

Town Hall – hōro

Outside of a town hall, a number of prostitutes stand in a line. The town hall is now a whore row.

The Māori word for ‘school’ – kura – shares ‘k’, ‘u’, ‘r’ sounds at the beginning with the English word ‘courier’

Railway Station – teihana rerewē

Outside of a railway station, a man sits balancing a pile of tea bags in one hand and a tea kettle in another. The railway station is a teahand railway.

Fire Station – whare tinei ahi

A ferry sails past with a fire station on top of it. Two firemen have one eye normal and one eye made of tin. The fire station is a top a ferry tinny eye.

Port – tumu herenga waka

On top of a cargo ship, two cows are listening to a noise below. Down below at the port, a man is using a weed whacker to keep some vegetation at bay. At the port is two moos hearing a whacker.

Post Office – poutāpeta

The Post Office is flooded, but a petal falls off a giant flower and lands on the water like a boat. The postman uses it to paddle out of the Post Office. He is a boater petal.

Museum – whare tongarewa

On top of a ferry, there is a museum. An electrician wearing a Tongan rugby jersey enters the musuem and pulls out some wires to rewire then. The museum is undergoing a ferry tongan rewire.

Tower – pūwhara

Atop a stone tower, a man stands with his son. The man points to an object and asks “What’s that?” His son looks through some binoculars and says “It’s a poo, father.”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Truth and Falsehood Words

Truth, to be true – pono

An adolescent boy’s parents are scolding him for his computer use habits, asking “Is it true that you watch all these pornos?”

Lie, to lie, Bullshit – teka

A salesman is asked by his boss how the day has gone. “Any takers?” the boss asks. The salesman shakes his head, and the boss accuses him of lying.

Secret – toropuku

A man reads something in a book, and shows it to another man. The other man rips the book into pieces, and says “Now it’s a secret.” He tore a book up.

Belief, to believe – whakapono

At a camping ground, a woman points to a cabin on a hill and says to a family “I believe yours is the far cabin, yo.”

Claim, to claim – kerēme

A woman appears on television and claims that “The claim of the country is that this is our best cream.”

to admit, confess, disclose – whāki

A man shows a strange looking contraption to some friends, and says “Now, I admit that this looks a bit fucky.”

The Maori word for ‘fact’ – meka – sounds like the English phrase “me car”

to confirm, confirmation – whakaū

Some spies are holding a man’s head underwater. They pull it out and say “Can you confirm what we told you?” The man says “Fuck you!”

to deny – whakahore

In a courtroom, a judge asks the defendant “So you deny that on the night of 12 August you did fuck a whore?”

honest – matatika

Some policemen show a video of a holdup at a supermarket to a seated suspect. They say “Be honest. Are you the mart attacker?”

dishonest – hīanga

A twenty-dollar note blows along the ground, and a man picks it up. Another man comes along and says “Did you see my twenty?” The first man says “Here? Nah.”

Fact, to be true – meka

Beside an expensive car, a man is pleading with a skeptical policeman. “It’s true that it’s me car! It’s a fact!”

to pretend, deceive – hangarau

A lady is hanging some clothes in rows on a clothesline. She says “I’m pretending to be a laundrywoman! Come, hang a row!”.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Rugby Words

Hooker – kaikape

A gorilla stands over a fry pan and stovetop. He is the cook ape. Someone calls out for him so he puts on a number 2 jersey and joins a scrum as hooker.

Fullback – haika

A team is waiting to receive a kick off, when suddenly the fullback breaks into a haka.

Scrum – kakari

A bunch of schoolboys form a scrum to break their way into a classroom. On the door of the classroom it says “Cookery”.

Drop goal (verb) – whana whakapiro

A player drop kicks a ball, and it goes through the goal but hits a row of fans and they all fall over. The drop goal was a fan fuckup.

Penalty goal (noun) – hāmene whakapiro

A player successfully kicks a penalty goal while a choir sings behind the goal posts. They try to sing in harmony, but they sound terrible – the penalty goal was a harmony fuckup.

Penalty kick (verb) – whana whiu

A player kicks a penalty goal, but the touchjudge is busy fanning himself as if it was too hot to pay attention. He says “I thought I’d just fan a few (minutes)”.

The Māori word for ‘penalty’ – hāmene – shares a h-m-n-e sound with the English word ‘harmony’

Penalty kick (noun) – whana hāmene

The kicker lines up a penalty kick while a choir sings behind the goalposts. Dancing girls come and fan the choir – they fan a harmony.

Referee – kaiwawao

A fight breaks out on the pitch and the referee runs in, blowing his whistle and shouting “Okay, whoa, whoa!”

Lineout – whakarārangi

A Maori boy runs through a carpark. His friend yells, “To the far car, rangi!” and throws a ball as if into a lineout. The Maori boy, when reaching the far car, leaps in the air to catch it as if a lineout.

Kickoff – tīmata

A player stands waiting to kick off, and an old lady yells at him to hurry up. The player says “I can’t kick off until I get the tee. Mother.”

Penalty – hāmene

The referee awards a penalty, and the crowd starts singing in perfect harmony.

Try – piro

A player scores a try and celebrates with a pirouette that a ballet dancer would be proud of.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.