Free Te Reo Māori interfaces for Windows and Office - Interview with Dr Te Taka Keegan





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Published on Jul 17, 2012

Te Reo Māori is a unique part of New Zealand culture and one of our three official languages. To mark Māori Language week in 2011, Microsoft announced the availability of complimentary Māori language packs for Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.

The translation builds on the work of the Māori 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. The work has involved translation of tens of thousands of phrases.

"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.

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."

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