Te Reo With Mnemonics: Food Words

to bite – ngau(-a)

A man pulls up a pile of food from a hangi, and starts to gnaw on a meaty bone.

to eat – kai(-nga)

A man dressed as a king sits down in front of a hangi and starts eating the food there.

to chew – ngaungau(-a)

Watching through a pair of binoculars, a policeman sees a teenage girl put a piece of gum in her mouth and start chewing. The policeman picks up his radio and shouts “Now! Now!” as if orchestrating a hostage rescue.

bitter – pūkawa

A cow takes a bite of a flower and its facial expression shows intense bitterness; then it defecates. The bitter taste caused a poo cow.

sweet – reka

On a pile of junked cars and vans at a wrecker‘s yard, a young boy sits and eats sweets, ice-creams and chocolates.

to feed – kainga

Two boys are playing checkers. One moves a piece to the far side and says “King me!” His opponent picks up the board and feeds it to him.

The word ‘tower’ and the Maori word for flavour, tāwara, share a t-w-r- sound

Flavour – tāwara

A teenage boy walks up to a teetering tower made of salami. He takes a bite out of it, and then says “This tower is tower-flavoured.”

Food – kai

A woman walks into a grocery store to buy some food. Instead of regular food, the shelves are full of keys of all descriptions.

fresh – mata

A matador walks up to a table full of food. Under his breath, he mutters “Fresh? Is this food fresh? Fresh enough?”

hunger/hungry – hiakai

Hercules sit does in front of a meal with a rumbling stomach. He tucks into the food in a way that shows a striking level of hunger.

taste – rongo

A man watches as a woman takes a bite out of an apple. She says “It tastes like banana.” “Wrong!” the man replies.

thirst/thirsty – hiainu

Through the bars of a prison cell, a prisoner says to a guard “I’m dying of thirst in here.” The guard replies “A fitting punishment for your heinous crimes.”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming ‘Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics‘, a book by Jeff Ngatai.

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