Kiwi Tongues at War

Visitors to new zealand these days might be excused for wondering if it really is English they speak there. The accent is but a minor distraction; it's the words that stop newcomers in their tracks. Newspapers refer casually to tikanga (Maori culture) and kaupapa (philosophy or plan). TV hosts open and close their shows with haere mai (welcome) and ka kite ano (see you later). Acquaintances say they're flat out with mahi (work) and have a hui (meeting) to get to. John Macalister, a writing teacher at Victoria University of Wellington, returned to New Zealand in 1997 after 16 years away...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!