Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Maori Language Week 2016: Facebook in deal to take native language to modern day

Facebook is on the verge of signing a deal with the Maori Language Commission to develop a tool which will translate posts into te reo Maori.

Suzanne Wolton contacted the Herald recently, outraged to discover, when setting up a Facebook page for her Pt Chevalier wig and beauty salon, that the language was not one of the 94 language options on the social media giant's site.

"When editing the 'preferred audience section - languages' I was shocked to find that Maori or te reo does not appear as an option to select," the Aucklander said.

"I find this crazy. I'm sure I'm not the first. Or I'm doing something terribly wrong?"

AUT senior lecturer Dr Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta says Facebook stopped adding new languages a few years ago.

Google began its Maori-language search engine in 2008.

Maori Language Commission head Ngahiwi Apanui says the commission is now "on the verge of signing an agreement with Facebook to allow them to use our online dictionary to develop a translation engine on Facebook".

Facebook did not return requests for comment.

In the meantime, people are already using te reo on the platform. Te Mana o Te Reo Maori, a Facebook group set up to encourage discussion in te reo, has 6969 members.

There are 7800 at He Tamariki Korero Maori, a group for parents speaking te reo with their children, and 4792 at Maori 4 Grown Ups.

On Twitter there are hashtags such as #tereo and #reomaori.

Also lacking in Maori dictionaries were translations of popular words in the social media and IT realm.

But Te Mihinga Komene, a Maori-medium education consultant at CORE Education in Auckland, has put her hand up to fill in the gaps with a list of 198 words.

If you look up "Snapchat" in an online dictionary such as Professor John Moorfield's maoridictionary.co.nz, it returns no matches.

Try "iPad" and it offers "iPapa". But "iPhone" and "iTunes" draw blanks.

For Snapchat, Ms Komene lists Atapaki, combining ata (image) with paki (publish). For iPhone she gives two options: iWaea, from the English word wire, and iWhonu, from the English phone.

For iTunes it's easier: iRangi, using the word rangi which can mean tune as well as sky.

"It's for a generation that is under 40 and using social media a lot and are asking for these terms," Ms Komene said.

"A lot of them have taken off, like Tihau for Twitter. Tihau means twitter for a bird, it was already a term we had but it wasn't widely known."

Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta, who works with Professor Moorfield on his online Maori dictionary, says new words are added in many ways.

"For example the Maori word for selfie, kiriahua, that's on the website because we heard it as a term out and about," she says.

Kiri means skin, but can mean self, and ahua means to form something.

"The other way is through our contact with experts in Maori language such as Te Haumihiata Mason, who translated Shakespeare," Ms Ka'ai-Mahuta says.

"We asked her for the word 'segway' and she gave us 'tuwira', and within half an hour that was on the website.

"Tu means stand, and wira means wheel, but it also has a humorous side to it because of the whole 'two wheels'."

Translation

Kua tata nei te hainatanga whakaaetanga a Pukamata me Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori ki te hanga taonga whakamāori i ngā pōhi.

Nā Suzanne Wolton o Tāmakimakaurau te Hērora i toro mai inākuanei, e riri ana i te korenga o te reo Māori ko tētahi o ngā reo e 94 o taua ipurangi rongonui nā, hei reo whiriwhiri māna mō tana whārangi Pukamata hou mō tana toa hoko uru whakapīwari kei Rangimatarau.

"Ka tae ki te wāhi hei tohu i te 'reo - mō te hunga pānui' ka tūmeke katoa au kua kore kē te reo Māori hei whiriwhiritanga atu."

"Kātahi nā te hanga pōrangi ko tēnā. Mōhio tonu rā ehara au i te tuatahi. Tērā rānei kei te tino hapa kē nei taku mahi?"

E ai ki te pūkenga kaiwhakaako o AUT nei Tākuta Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta kua mutu kē te tāpiri reo hou mō Pukamata i ngā tau tata ake nei.

Nā Kūkara hoki i whakarewa tāna ake pūmanawa rapu reo Māori i te tau 2008.
E ai ki te Tumuaki o Te Taura Whiri a Ngahiwi Apanui kua "tata haina whakaaetanga Te Taura Whiri me Pukamata kia āhei mai rātou ki tā mātou papakupu ā-ipurangi hei hanga pūmanawa whakamāori mō Pukamata".

Tae ana ki tērā wā kei te whakamahi kē ngā tāngata i te reo Māori ki runga i tauaipurangi. Ko Te Mana o Te Reo Māori tētahi rōpū Pukamata hei whakawhitiwhiti kōrero i roto i te reo, ko tōna 6969 mema. E 7800 hoki kei te rōpū nei o He Tamariki Kōrero Māori, he rōpū mō ngā mātua kōrero Māori ki ā rātou tamariki, ka mutu e 4792 anō kei Māori 4 Grown Ups.

Kei Tīhau hoki ōna kuputumu pēnei ko #tereo me te #reomaori.

Ko tētahi atu mea ngaro kē i ngā papakupu Māori, ko ngā whakamāoringa o ngā kupu rongonui o te ao hangarau IT me ngā hapori ipurangi.

Engari kua tū mai te ringa o Te Mihinga Komene, he kaitohu mātauranga reo Māori nō CORE Education i Tāmakimakaurau, ki te whakakīkī i ngā whāwhārua me tana rārangi 198 ngā kupu.

Ki te rapu "Snapchat" mā te papakupu ā-ipurangi pēnei i tā Ahorangi Hone Murumāra maoridictionary.co.nz, ko te whakahokinga mai ko "0 ngā kupu i kitea".
Ka mea ko "iPad" ka whakahokia mai ko "iPapa". Engari anō mō te "iPhone" me te "iTunes" kua kore noa iho kē.

Mō Snapchat ko tā Te Mihinga ko Atapaki, arā nō te tūhono mai o te ata (whakaata) ki te paki (whakaputa kōrero).

Mō te iPhone e rua ana whiriwhiringa: ko iWaea tētahi mai i te kupu Ingarihi nei mō waea, ā, ko iWhonu tētahi mai i te oro kē o te kupu waea o te reo Ingarihi.

He māmā ake mō iTunes: ko iRangi, ina hoki te matarua o te kupu rangi nei, mō te rangi waiata me te rangi e tū nei.

"Mō te whakatupuranga i raro i te 40 tau tēnei e rite tonu ana tā rātou whakamahi i ngā hapori ipurangi, te tonotono mai hoki mō ēnei kupu," e ai ki a Te Mihinga.

"He maha ngā mea kua ū pēnei i te kupu Tīhau nei mō Twitter. Nō te tīhau kē a te manu te kupu nei engari kīhai kē i rongonuihia."

E ai ki a Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta, e mahi tahi ana me Murumāra mō tana papakupu Māori ā-ipurangi, he nui ngā ara tāpiri mai ai i ngā kupu hou.

"Pēnei i te kupu Māori nei mō 'selfie' ko kiriāhua, he mea tāpiri tēnā ki te ipurangi nā te mea ka rongo mātou e kōrerohia ana i waho," hei tāna. Ko kiri arā ko te tangata tonu tēnā me tōna āhua.

"Ko tētahi atu ko te kōrero tonu mai a te pūkenga reo Māori pēnei i a Te Haumihiata Mason, nāna i whakamāori Rūrūtao. Ka ui ki a ia mō tana kupu mō 'segway' ka whakahokia mai ko 'tūwīra', hawhe haora rawa ake kua tāpirihia ki te ipurangi.

"Ko tū e tū ana ko wīra e wīra ana, engari arā anō kē tōna ahunga 'e rua kē ngā wīra'. Inā ia te wairua Māori whakakoakoa!"

- Nā Simon Collins

Te Reo Māori translation service supported by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

- NZ Herald

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