Topic: Te Reo Māori

Taura Whiri releases tech words resource

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

A new Māori language resource has been released by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to help those doing the Mahuru Māori challenge and encourage people to use Māori in modern contexts.

Do you know the Māori word for 'instagram'?  What about 'follow' or 'selfie'?

Tawaroa Kawana says, "If we don't find or create new words to cover modern aspects we might have to turn to English."

AUT lecturer Hemi Kelly says it's the language of today.

"This is the language we teach our students who are mostly youth, this is their world- it's digital," says Kelly.

30 Māori words have been released that are tech-related in an effort to continue to develop and make Māori language relevant in the modern world.

"It's not just about translating the English words into Māori, we need to look at the technology, what's its function?  Then we may find a suitable Māori word."

Kelly says that it's not a new practice, but one that needs to be developed continually.

"There should be a body to look after this work and ensure the quality of language in the new words that are being produced."

Kawana says, "It may very well be that the longevity of the language is within the use of everyday language."

Te Taura Whiri encourages people to learn one of the 30 new words each day.