Sleep your eyes

You may have noticed that I have an ability to make myself look really smart by taking information from reliable sources and rewording it to be not (quite) as boring. It’s a gift, I know. But until now I’ve never refashioned anything from the show AKO, and there’s a very simple reason why… I don’t like AKO!

*Collective gasp!*

Now before I alienate my entire reader base let me explain. I don’t like TV at the best of times, so watching 30mins of slack-jawed expressions is pure torture (suggestion: gunk machines or paintball guns for incorrect answers would make it infinitely more watchable). I could perhaps force myself to stay awake if I knew that the topic of the episode was of particular interest to me but when Māori TV provides no descriptions for any of the almost-200 episodes, it’s like trying to find a needle in a very boring haystack.

So it was with great pleasure that I received all four seasons worth of AKO worksheets from an upokopakaru follower (thank you MNS). YAY! All the juicy bits and none of the chaff and – most importantly – a whole new source of things to steal be inspired by.

Here’s a simple English phrase many of you say every evening.

go to sleep
e moe*

* (Don’t even get me started on people who say “haere ki te moe” or we’ll be here all night)

But here’s a much better way to say it.

E moe ō karu
Sleep your eyes

That just kills me. How can you not love that? Lucky for us there’s a simple and logical trick that we can all learn and impress our friends with. (For the original check out AKO Terenga 4: Hōtaka 7)

Instead of saying ‘au’, ‘koe’ and ‘ia’ in a sentence, think about how you would phrase it when replaced with ‘tōku’, tō’, or ‘tōna’ and the part of the body that it relates to. Obviously this doesn’t work with all verbs and adjectives, just ones to do with the body.

Kei te ngenge ahau.
Kei te ngenge tōku tinana.

Ka pekepeke ia.
Ka pekepeke ōna waewae.

Kua whāwhā ia i ngā taonga Kirihimete
Kua whāwhā ōna ringa i ngā taonga Kirihimete

I aro atu rātou
I aro atu ō rātou mata/kanohi

Of course it’s not always as simple as these ones above; you have to take this as a starting point and think a bit laterally. Let’s take a simple phrase.

Kei te hiakai ahau
I’m hungry

Could we replace ahau with tōku puku or tōku waha.?

Kei te hiakai tōku waha
My mouth is hungry

Kei te hiakai tōku puku
My stomach is hungry

No, we’re being too formulaic… we can do much better than that! Think for a second… what exactly does your mouth and stomach DO when you’re hungry?

Kei te hāwareware tōku waha
My mouth is drooling.

Kei te kokō tōku puku
My stomach is gurgling.

Exactly! Those are much better ways of saying “I’m hungry”… well done you!

I found tons of phrases exactly like this while researching for that Tinana/Kīwaha series but I didn’t see it as a pattern (I know, sometimes not the sharpest tool in the shed). Now we know better (thanks AKO) and to prove it… why don’t you add a phrase of your own (like those above) to the comments below. Let’s see who can bring it.

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6 thoughts on “Sleep your eyes

  1. tēnā koe Upokopakaru!
    I am absolutely loving on your blogs. I am an adequate speaker of te reo Māori (I can hold converstation confidently), however, after reading all your posts i have become somewhat embarrased to post in te reo Māori because you are so amazing! and with that, i feel a little embarrsed that I may misplace an “i” or “ki” in the wrong place. Placement of the little yet very significant “joining words” make me uneasy at times especially when conversing with people that have a very high level of academic te reo Māori! Yet next to our kaumātua, kei ngaro te whakamā! I learnt te reo Māori along side my children at Te Kōhanga Reo and at Kura, and I am still actively involved with Te Kōhanga Reo.
    So, I thank you for these blogs, these corrections, these insights! In a forum where whakamā has no embodiment! (unless the writer (me) chooses to embody it, even for a short time 😉

    Ngā mihi anō e hoa. Ka puta mai i te pō ki te ao mārama mō te reo, mā te reo!

    • I love 2 get feedback ahakoa tōna reo! Besides I make mistakes all ova the place… the trick is having very good theories 4 why you chose to use i, ki or woteva. That way if u make mistakes, u do it with style 😉

  2. ataahua enei kupu ki oku karu …. wow … that was great ….much better than my original “pai tenei korero” …. I have no idea how i ended up on this page but so thankful for having come across this blog in particular. .

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