Local languages

Street signs.  PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Street signs. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

About twenty years ago as part of an advocacy role I received publications from a community organisation in Hong Kong. One page was in English and the other page was in either Mandarin or Cantonese.

About five years ago I sent a local newspaper editor some suggestions about a local newspaper.  I wondered whether they had considered having a section focused specifically on iwi issues (and members of local iwi, events, hui, important sites and architecture) and have it printed in both Maori and English.  I got no reply at all.

Now before you all start hurling abuse and dead chickens at my head think about the resurgence of Gaelic and the Hong Kong publications.

I understand that recently some young man was foolish enough to suggest that we could have bi-lingual signage. It could be done as signage needs replacing so that there is no cost increase.

What a great way to gradually learn about all the history and meaning of our area through dual street and suburb names.  Just as I would be fascinated to know the Maori description and/name of Bethlehem, Pyes Pa and Welcome Bay I would be equally delighted to know the meaning of Te Puna, Otumoetai, Matua, Omanu and Arataki and their correct pronunciations.


About Author

Comments are closed.