Google Maori gets a Qwerty Keyboard for Macrons (ka rawe – cool as!)

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In 2008, during Maori Language Week, we launched Google Maori, which lets people navigate the Google interface in te reo Maori.

Now, to make it even easier for users who want to enter Maori text into the Google search box weve introduced a soft Maori keyboard.

In the M?ori language, some vowels are lengthened – these are represented in text by a macron, or bar over the vowel (as in the word Maori). The new M?ori soft keyboard allows users to quickly type these macron characters.

Previously Google Maori users needed to cut and paste the macron character into the search bar (unless they had macrons installed on their computers and for those with Windows 7 this will be a great function. Now, when the Maori soft keyboard is selected, they can simply hit the grave accent key [`], usually found at the top left of a QWERTY keyboard, before typing a vowel.

To enable the keyboard go to Google Maori with the Maori language interface selected. On the right hand side of the search box a small keyboard icon appears. Click on this and the keyboard is enabled. Macron characters can be entered using the soft keyboard that is displayed, or your standard physical keyboard. Again, simply type the grave accent key [`], followed by a vowel, and the macron vowel will appear.

Google says that they hope this will make a big difference and encourage whanau to keep te reo Maori alive in their daily lives.

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