Linguistics in the Media

The use of Māori language accelerating in newspapers

“Kiwis are using and reading more Māori words than a decade ago, according to a study of what’s in our newspapers. Waikato University linguistics student Katie Levendis’​  master’s study looked at newspapers in the North Island from 2008- 2017 and tracked Māori loan words – Māori words used in New Zealand English.” – Jo Lines-Mackenzie, Sept 2018.

Māori Language Week 2018: Taking on the wero of learning te reo in adulthood

“While I am 100 per cent committed to seeing the 36-week beginner course through, there are still times when I have to talk myself into turning up to class, due to being too tired or too busy.” – Deena Coster

Kīwaha – Give it a go! Episode 1

To celebrate 2018 Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, RNZ have released this special podcast series. Shannon Haunui-Thompson and Guyon Espiner get together to share a few simple and fun phrases that everyone can use everyday.

Culturally insensitive and sexist language turning Kiwis off

“Culturally insensitive and sexist or ‘gendered’ language on television or radio has become increasingly unacceptable to New Zealanders. The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has released research which highlights what language Kiwis find acceptable or unacceptable in broadcasting. Every year the BSA receives complaints about strong language used on TV and radio. The Language That May Offend research survey aims to find out which words or expressions are considered most offensive and how acceptable they are in certain contexts.”

Does good grammar really matter?

“When we talk about “grammar”, what we actually mean is “the grammar” and even more specifically, “the grammar of written language” as taught in schools. These distinctions are not made explicit; they remain hidden behind the veil of “proper English” and “a good education”.  To write properly is to write in the standard language form. To write otherwise is to show ignorance and a lack of status or intelligence.”- Andreea Calude

Samoan Language Week: Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker takes part in Samoan Language Week 2018. He counts himself lucky he can speak the language taught to him and his siblings by parents Salavao and Lalogafau Dempsey Parker.

Play to sit in multiple languages

“It sounds like the beginning of a dated joke: four theatre-makers — one Chinese, one Māori, one Pākehā and one Samoan — walk into a theatre … But that line signals the start of a theatrical experiment which Auckland — indeed the world — hasn’t seen before. The Chairs, by Romanian-French playwright Eugène Ionesco, will be performed in English, Te Reo Māori, Cantonese and Samoan in four consecutive seasons.”

Samoan Language Week 2018 celebrates alofa – love and kindness

“Kindness is the resounding theme for this year’s Samoan Language Week, which celebrates the third most spoken language in New Zealand. The first of the Pasifika language weeks of the year highlights the theme: Alofa atu nei, alofa mai taeao – Kindness given, kindness gained.”

New Zealand teaching jargon gets glossary

“If a kid comes home and says, I spent half an hour in the cave today, a parent might wonder a little bit about what that was,” senior education evaluator Barbie Mavor​ said. They’re unlikely to be referring to a hole in a rock, but are probably talking about “a quiet place where they can be on their own and study individually or reflect on their work”.


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