Every year since 1975, New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week, te wiki o te reo Māori. This is a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate te reo Māori (the Māori language) and to use more Māori phrases in everyday life.
Te reo Māori is a unique part of New Zealand culture and one of our three official languages. To mark Māori Language week this year (4 – 10 July), we announced the availability of complimentary Māori language packs for Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.
The translation builds on the work of the Maori Language Commission and the University of Waikato in previous interpretations for Microsoft XP and Vista, and offers a wider vocabulary and greater accuracy, particularly when it comes to new words describing new innovations and technology. “We found that certain Māori words used in relation to technology didn’t always capture the true spirit of the English word, so we’ve developed and adapted words that are becoming increasing adopted,” says Wareko Te Āngina, an independent translator who worked as moderator on the project.
These language packs translate commonly-used features within Windows 7 and Office 2010, giving people the choice to use the technology in a language that is familiar and honours linguistic and cultural differences.
Microsoft offers language packs for around 200 languages around the world because we believe that technology plays a significant role in the dissemination of culture.
Dr Te Taka Keegan, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato emphasises the important role that technology plays: “For languages to survive, they need to be used in normal day-to-day activities, and because technology and computers are such a big part of our lives, the language needs to be used in technology as well. We are very excited about the opportunities the new translations will bring for te reo students, particularly those in immersion schools. It can only help to strengthen the language and encourage greater use.”
Click below to hear more about the project from Dr Te Taka Keegan.
The Māori language pack for Microsoft Office 2010 and the Māori language pack for Microsoft Windows 7 can be downloaded from Microsoft New Zealand’s website at no cost. Complimentary Māori language packs are also available through for previous versions of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows. Please link to these free resources help to spread the word to others in the community who might be interested.
By Dr Mark Rees, National Technology Officer, Microsoft New Zealand