Holy heck. The launch date for Lingogo is only weeks away; November 2nd, save the date!

My excitement is at cringeworthy levels with intermittent bouts of mad panic which my partner/friends/the person sitting next to me at the library right now, are probably getting very sick of. 

But I can’t help it. 

At risk of sounding like an overly-enthusiastic idealist launching her first business - I think we’re about to help a whole lot of people with their language learning journey. And I hope some really good things come from that.

Though, I still have a lot to pull together to make that happen. I was reeling off the list to a friend recently; accounting, writing, applying for an AMP scholarship (pick me AMP!), when she interrupted me.

‘But, what about your te reo Maori?’ she said.

I paused. ‘Um…. I’m a week or so behind’ I replied sheepishly.

I was actually four weeks behind. My friend raised her eyebrows and cocked her head to one side. It felt like laser beams were shooting out of her eyeballs. The kind that fill you with guilt.

I’m from New Zealand and I’ve always wanted to learn te reo (the Maori language). At the moment I’m doing a beginner-intermediate certificate online. I’m ¼ Maori, though that always seems an odd thing to say. In fact, I really don’t know what it means. I guess that’s what I’m hoping to find out.

And so, with my friend’s laser eye beams burning my skin, I put the accounting to one side (which wasn’t too hard actually), and moved another task to the front of my ‘to do’ list: #LingogoChallenge ideas.

Starting from November, we’ll be issuing a challenge for language learners to complete each month - fun ways to get using your language (alongside Lingogo of course). I’m going to test out an idea in preparation for November’s #LingogoChallenge and boost my te reo skills in one hit. 

The fact is, it’s bloody hard to find an opportunity to practise or use Maori regularly. Plus… it’s scary! There are a lot of ways to get Maori customs wrong. When you (inevitably) do, you don’t only offend the crowd you’re with, you also offend every one of their dead relatives.

So, onto the challenge! I’ve invited a friend who speaks te reo out for a beer. The catch is we’re only allowed to speak in Maori. If we do swap to English, I have a few ideas to try out as punishments… I’ll leave them as a surprise for now, but let’s just say I’m sure the locals at the Mount Maunganui pub will be entertained.

Check in with my next blog to hear how it goes. Considering my stage of learning I’m predicting terribly, but surely I will learn something from it all. If I only had a te reo Maori Lingogo Story…. (coming soon!)

Hei konā rā! (Bye!)

Lizzie Dunn

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