Comic: macrons matter

That little line above certain vowels makes a big difference when it comes to the pronunciation and meaning of te reo Māori. Illustrator Matt Russell takes a closer look at why tohutō (macron) matter when it comes to te reo taiao (language of the environment).

Enable macrons on your phone (Android and Apple) and computer (Mac or Windows). Te Aka Māori Dictionary is also a great online resource to check if a kupu (word) has tohutō or not.

Image of a poop emoji (kaka) and a kākā bird. Accentuating the macrons being important in a word.
Image showing how tohutō (macron) looks in te reo Māori and how to pronouce the sounds.
Using macrons is part of valuing te reo Māori. Image shows the difference a macron can make - a chilli is kakā (hot/inflamed), kaka could mean poop or clothing and kākā is a forest parrot.
Macron mixups list with images of the following.
Rata (doctor) vs Rātā (tree). Mānu (to float) vs manu (flying creature). Tui (sew/thread) vs Tūī (parson bird). Rūrū (handshake) vs Ruru (morepork).
More mixups. Showing side by side weta (poop) vs wētā (insect). Tieke (cheque) vs tīeke (saddleback bird).