Toi Te Kupu | Māori language dictionary in time for Māori language week

A refreshed edition of the popular te reo Māori health resource, Toi Te Kupu, will make using and learning Māori easy, relevant and fun for whanau in the context of their everyday lives.

Toi Tangata and the New Zealand Heart Foundation released Toi te Kupu, the Māori health dictionary in time for te wiki o te reo Māori, last month. First published in 2014 as a collaborative effort between the two organisations, the purpose of Toi te Kupu is twofold; normalising te reo Māori and encouraging good nutrition.

Toi Te Kupu Māori dictionary
Māori to English and English to Māori dictionary about food, cooking and health.

“From a holistic point of view, te reo Māori is the very heart or manawa of Māori culture and Toi Te Kupu encourages the use of te reo Māori when it comes to children’s heart health,” says Megan Tunks, CEO of Toi Tangata.

“Expanding te reo Māori vocabulary, particularly words about food or kai, the types of kai, the preparation of kai, the cooking of kai and the preservation of kai, is important for children to learn about good nutrition.”

“There is a growing demand/need for te reo Māori resources and we encourage the use of te reo Māori and associate Māori vocabulary with children’s health,” says Tunks.

Toi Te Kupu is a Māori-to-English and English-to-Māori dictionary about kai, cooking, our body and our mind. It covers a broad range of terms focused on encouraging healthy activity and nutrition while normalizing te reo Māori. 

An earlier update in 2016 saw the inclusion of language around exercise and fitness, and this edition includes new stories of the Atua and the foods of Tāne, Tangaroa, Haumia and Rongo. Words (kupu) for vegetables, nuts, fruits, legumes and pulses, breads and cereals, meat and eggs, dairy products, drinks and beverages and types of snacks are also included. Toi Te Kupu explains the digestive system, cooking and preparation methods and the kupu for cooking equipment.  

“We are proud to partner with Toi Tangata to teach children about the importance of healthy food, a healthy body and a healthy mind. If it helps families start a conversation, share knowledge and live a healthy lifestyle, it can reduce their risk of developing heart disease,” says Heart Foundation Chief Advisor Food and Nutrition, Dave Monro.  

“Teaching these kupu (words) to children so they grow up with the knowledge of both the te reo Māori and English translations allows all children to develop an understanding of the history, culture and language that underpins Aotearoa,” says Dave. 

As the National Māori Agency that promotes Māori approaches to physical activity and nutrition, Toi Tangata will put  Toi Te Kupu to the test. 

In a focus on Māori heart health during September, the Heart Foundation also called for more resources to tackle heart disease in the Māori community and hopes this book can help start the conversation about how our kai and daily activity plays a role in preventing heart disease.

The new Toi Te Kupu 2020 edition is free and can be ordered online or downloaded here.

First published in 2014, the 2020 revision is funded by the One Foundation.

Toi Te Kupu: Resource helps whānau to kōrero through korikori and kai

A re-versioned Māori language dictionary focused on physical activity and cooking kai was launched this week by the Heart Foundation and Toi Tangata. Its purpose is to empower everyone to have conversations with tamariki and mokopuna about the importance of nutrition and health in te reo Māori.

Posted by Te Karere on Tuesday, 15 September 2020