тАв Kia ora koutou
тАв Apa kabar
тАв Ni hao
тАв Magand├бng gabi po
тАв Xin ch├аo
тАв Assalamu Alaikum
It is my pleasure to be able to speak to you here tonight on behalf of the Prime Minister, Right Honourable Helen Clark, who, although she would have liked to, was unable to attend tonight…
– Extracted from the speaking notes of New Zealand Statistics Minister Darren Hughes’ address to the Southeast Asian Night Market in Wellington on the weekend.
To my eye we have Maori, Thai (duh!), Malay/Indonesian, Mandarin, Tamil, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Arabic. Not a bad selection of greetings. Are there any pan-regional polyglots out there who could hold their own in all eight? Or is this the kind of linguistic ambition that only ever stretches as far as an opening gambit?