May 14, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Te reo Maori comes to iPhones

2 min read

Te reo Maori on an iPhone. A Hamilton company has created the technology to bring te reo Maori to iPhones, where a simple text message will see English translated into Maori.

The iPhone application was launched nationally by Auckland University of Technology and Te Upukare National Maori Language Institute to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori.

Te Reo Maori iPhone AppHamilton company VO2 has come up with the iPhone application after digitising the Maori dictionary for the institute.

Peter Moorfield and Damian Rosewarne are the brains behind the technology.

The application for iPhone will see the Maori dictionary built into iPhones, but the pair have also developed the systems for text messaging which would see translations and definitions text messaged to phones.

The pair developed the online Maori dictionary at the end of 2007 and it has been generating large volumes of traffic.

“It’s definitely our busiest site.” Now it is so successful they wanted to take it to the next level to produce this new initiative which would give the language a broader reach, Mr Moorfield said. The aim was to get information on the language into the hands of as many people as possible. While the iPhone was still new to New Zealand, it was the direction the technology was heading.

VO2 become Soda Inc’s first tenant late last month, setting up offices in the Meteor theatre in Hamilton’s Victoria St.

Soda Inc was set up in October last year as the region’s business incubator, with Dame Cheryll Sotheran, founding chief executive of Te Papa, its chairwoman and South African Grant Collier its general manager.

Professor Tania Kai, Te Ipukare director, said people would be able to sign up to the service for a nominal fee which would depend on what services the user wanted. There was the option of downloading the full dictionary or people had the option of texting in a word in Maori or English which would then be sent back in Maori.

By NICOLA BOYES, Business Editor – Waikato Times

3 thoughts on “Te reo Maori comes to iPhones

  1. Online usages for Maori dictionary

    Te Upukare National Maori Language Institute at the Auckland University of Technology has launched an application to put the Te Aka online Maori dictionary into iPhones and multimedia players.

    Institute director Tania Ka’ai says the application will also enable users to text a word and get it back translated into te reo Maori.

    She told Waatea news podcasts of lessons can also be downloaded from Te Whanake Maori language series.

    the iPhone application was created by the same company that digitised the Maori dictionary. Ms Ka’ai says it’s being launched in time for Maori Language Week next week.

    Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

  2. Kia ora whanau

    This is an interesting korero that happened around the iPhone and the appearance of a whakairo amongst the wallpaper options~

    Apple recently posted a tour of the forthcoming iPhone. Watching the presentation I was surprised to see one of the default wallpapers is the face of a tiki (a wood carving of the human figure).

    The Maori style is typically curvilinear (most Polynesian art is rectilinear in style). The face in the wallpaper looks very similar to the one on the New Zealand 10 cent coin: IMAGE

    It’s a bit hard to make out much detail in the screen capture. Here is a wall figure (representing an ancestor) from inside Tokomaru Bay Marae which better demonstrates the intricacy of many such designs: IMAGE


    MANU CADDIE: was interested to get my new i-touch and see the whakairo featured alongside the six other masterpieces of world art. I am wondering which wharenui the carving is from and how Apple came to access the image – they are obviously making ,money off it and I wonder if the whanau who have their tupuna/ancestor represented in this way are aware it is being used for commercial purposes by one of the largest corporations in the world?

    Do you reckon Apple would respond if we asked them for more information?

    For more, read here:

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