Horse and Penguin

Are you riding a hoiho or a hōiho?

Published: 14/09/2020

We are asking if you are riding a penguin or a horse!

A hoiho is a penguin and a hōiho is a horse.

The Māori Language Commission has now been advocating the use of macrons for over 30 years.

Here is how the Māori Language Dictionary explains these two words – a hoiho and a hōiho.

You can see that having a macron or not having a macron changes the meaning of the word.

Macrons are the horizontal lines above some vowels. They indicate a longer vowel sound. For instance, the macron in Māori gives it an 'a' sound like in 'car'.

How can you put a macron in your writing if you need one?

If a macron is required, you can press the "insert" key, then "symbol" and find the appropriate vowel with a macron.

The Kupu website has more information about setting up your keyboard to assist with adding macrons.

We hope this will help you to understand more about macrons and to be able to use a macron when the word you are using requires it.