COOK ISLAND LANGUAGE WEEK – A celebration of our language
Festivities occur between July and August each year in honour of the local languages, and ties in with the Te Maeva Nui celebrations. Click here to learn more
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE COOK ISLAND LANGUAGE
- Pukapukan is a different dialect within the Cook Islands. Originating from the island of Pukapuka. Located in the Northern Group of the Cook Islands.
- All islands have different accents. Some unique words and have certain ways of saying things.
- The alphabet only has 13 letters in the Cook Islands.
- “Ng” is one letter in the Cook Islands alphabet.
- Long vowels used in Cook Islands Maori which can change the meaning of the word.
- Te reo was a spoken language with no written form until missionaries wrote the language in the 1830s.
- The Cook Islands languages are related to the indigenous languages of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Hawai‘i, the Marquesas.
- English is the other official Cook Islands language.
- There are several distinct dialects of Cook Islands Maori (“Rarotongan” is the most commonly used).
Cook Island Maori is an enchanting language to experience. We love sharing our language with our guests, it’s a great way to broaden your vocabulary and immerse yourself in our culture when visiting us.
To help with your next trip to our little slice of paradise, we have compiled a list of commonly used Cook Island phrases to get you started:
Photo Credit: Children – David Kirkland
Photo Credit: Aunties – Dylan Harrison