May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Team uses new Google Translation Toolkit to translate Google!

3 min read

Te Reo Maori (Maori language) took another bold step into the future when Google launched a Maori language option in the Google Translator Toolkit last month.

The Google Translator Toolkit (GTT) is a language translation service for professional and amateur translators that builds on Google Translate and makes translation faster and easier.

GTT was made available for testing to the team who launched Google in Maori last year. Project Manager of both projects, and Managing Director of Potaua Biasiny-Tule, said: These online tools are especially important for rangatahi (children), who grow up in a world of technology and who will ultimately be responsible for bringing the language to future generations.

Screen shot of the Google Translation Toolkit: it allows for comments, rating translations and sharing work with others

Were grateful that Google sought our input when testing the Google Translator Toolkit, and fortunate that Dr Te Taka Keegan spent six months at the Google offices in San Francisco said Mr. Biasiny-Tule. As a passionate Maori language activist, Dr Keegan was a strong advocate for Maori to be included as one of the 285 new minority languages added to the Translator Toolkit.

Translation programme continuing

Team Leader Leah Fitzpatrick demonstrates GTT to Expert Translators also announced today that they were continuing the Google in Maori translation project started last year as part of Googles Google in your Language program.

The team is currently working on translating Googles main Search site and Google Wireless, which helps to navigate the numerous websites that are not optimised for Mobile use. The team was just recently given permission to translate Picasa 3, free software from Google that helps organise, edit, and share photos.

Being given the opportunity to translate Picasa 3 is huge for us, as it is substantial piece of software that may open the door to translating even more Google applications, such as Gmail and Chrome said Mr. Biasiny-Tule. It does however mean that our overall scope has changed and we are keen to find additional support for this phase of the project.

This translation project wouldnt be possible without the support of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, they have provided expert guidance, generous resourcing and skilled translators. Being able to use the GTT means that the translation work can be shared easily and the work done with ease said Mr. Biasiny-Tule.

It is wonderful to have the support of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, with Regional Manager Neville King and team leaders Leah Fitzpatrick and Roka Pukepuke adding that vital language component and bringing both the reo and the work to life said Mr. Biasiny-Tule.

While much of the current translation work is being carried out in Rotorua, we are now looking to connect with other Maori language speakers around the world to join our team and to continue this innovative work said Mr. Biasiny-Tule. We will be holding GTT seminars and translation workshops to invite and train government, education and community organisations along with the general public on how to use this valuable tool.

Our work is dedicated to pioneering Maori language proponents such as Wiha te Raki Hawea Stephens (Ngati Awa, Tuhoe), who was pivotal in the Google Maori project and who sadly passed away earlier this year said Mr. Biasiny-Tule. Maori is considered a minority language worldwide and in order to prevent its extinction, we must bring it to life everyday, in as many possible ways.

According to the 2006 census, 132,000 people can hold a conversation in Maori.

Ko te reo te ha te mauri o te Maoritanga
Language is the very life-breath of being Maori.

Media contact:

Potaua Biasiny-Tule Ltd
07 348 3670
021 39 9091
[email protected]

Translators contact:

Nikolasa Biasiny-Tule
07 348 3670
021 0250 9976
[email protected]

3 thoughts on “Maori Team uses new Google Translation Toolkit to translate Google!

  1. I feel this is among the so much significant information for me. And i am satisfied reading your article. However want to remark on few general issues, The site taste is great, the articles is really excellent : D. Excellent process, cheers

  2. If you are a translator and interested in this mean project please get in touch and we'll give you access to the GTT translations 🙂

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