Do me

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this already! Before upokopakaru was even a twinkle in my LCD, I would write little kōrero about phrases I heard or grammar I was taught – the process of writing about it helps my memory better than anything else. My computer is still stocked with these kōrero, which I figure I’ll tidy up for public consumption eventually. The following post is one of the very first topics I wrote about and it still makes me giggle; I just thought I’d already shared it with you – hinengaro makere! Enjoy.

Call into any kohanga reo or kura kaupapa in the country and you’ll hear kids yelling this.

Ka taea au!

Now I know this is wrong. Of course I do. The right way to use taea is as a passive. And it’s not just kids – lots of adults do this too. Sometimes I’ll correct them. Sometimes I’ll teach through example by repeating it back correctly. Mostly I’ll just ignore it.

But I’d never actually stopped to think about what the mistake actually means. Not until a friend related what it was like growing up (speaking te reo) with older relatives and getting a smack for it.

Ka taea au.
I can be done.

In other words, you’re saying that you’re ready and willing to be “done” by someone! *blush*

Now there may be times where you – a consenting adult – may want to tell someone that you’re, um, easy. No judgements here. But it now means that I can no longer hear a six-year old blunder without cringing or rushing up and saying “no darling please don’t say that” but being unwilling to explain why.

So please, be a good example to all our tamariki and save me some blushing – use an ‘e’.

Ka taea e au!
I can do it!

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