Day 30. Sounds of the alphabet

I just love language and all its eccentricities.

I have sung the alphabet songs, pondered over pronunciation and succeeded with spelling.

I have played around with alliteration – because it trips off the tongue so well. 

I have recited the rhymes inside my head – to speak them out loud would make me sound quite crazy.

I have taunted myself with tongue twisters – because why wouldn’t I?

I have learned four languages and some random words of others. I have even practiced speaking them in foreign countries – much to the amusement of the locals.

And yet….   Still the English language confounds me.  The English has fifteen vowel sounds represented by the letters ae, i, o, and u

But wait – there’s more – what about the consonants?  Let’s not go there!

In the Maori language (Te Reo Maori) – one of the three official languages of New Zealand – the vowels are pronounced the same regardless of the word it appears in. And the sounds of the alphabet roll beautifully off the tongue.

A  - as in Are
E -  as in There
I  - as in Three
O  - as in Or
U  - as in Two

Knowing the alphabet sounds is to begin to know the language and the culture.
This whakatauki (Maori proverb) sums up some of my thoughts about language.

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria

My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

And to quote the label on the inside of my tunic ……  

“We all smile in the same language”

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’

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