31: Pop culture in Cook Islands Māori - Interview with Ake Nicholas

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Apr 19 2019 39 mins   861
When a language is shifting from being spoken by a whole community to being spoken only by older people, it’s crucial to get the kids engaged with the language again. But kids don’t always appreciate the interests of their elders, especially when global popular culture seems more immediately exciting. One idea? Make stories from pop culture, featuring characters like Dumbledore and Batman, but in the local language. In this episode, your host Gretchen McCulloch interviews Dr Ake Nicholas, a linguist and native speaker of Cook Islands Māori, the lesser known relative of New Zealand Māori. Ake combines her her work as a Lecturer at Massey University, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, University of New Zealand, with having her students create resources for young Cook Islands Maori learners, especially video stories from pop culture. We also talk about Kōhanga Reo, or language nests, a method for language revitalization that was first developed for New Zealand Māori and has spread around the world, and the social situations around Cook Islands Māori and New Zealand Māori. This month’s bonus episode is about how people in the media know how to pronounce names correctly. It’s an interview with Tiger Webb, who makes the pronunciation guide for the ABC, recorded at our liveshow in Sydney. We get enthusiastic about words, style guides, emoji and more! Lauren and Tiger also quiz Gretchen on whether she’s learned any Australianisms on her visit to Australia, and Gretchen fires back with a few Canadianisms of her own. Feel like you’re in a cosy room of friendly linguistics enthusiasts by supporting Lingthusiasm on Patreon to gain access to this and 26 more bonus episodes. patreon.com/lingthusiasm For links to everything mentioned in this episode, including a map of the Cook Islands and the videos that Ake's students made, go to https://lingthusiasm.com/post/184283009071/lingthusiasm-episode-31-pop-culture-in-cook