Google in Māori

With great disbelief and frustration, I read the following article (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10453254) which also appears on Stuff about a husband and wife team whom have either mislead the NZ Herald reporter or whom have been miss interpreted by the NZ Herald reporter.

Anyone in the world can and has been doing for several years, register at the sign in page of Google and translate Google into Māori. If you wish, you can choose to join the discussion group which the couple in question have done.

The NZ Herald appears to have put a slant on the story that the couple had this great idea and asked Google to assist with the technology. Nope again!. It has been a public project for several years.

Anyone who was registered with Google Translations would know that over 68% of the translations for the main page were completed November 2006 and 80% of the translations were completed in April this year. Not to mention the copious translations in the other areas including GMAIL. A long duration of time and copious translations prior to the claims that the couple started 5 weeks ago.

“And their idea has been welcomed by Google’s American owners”. It wasn’t the couple idea in the first place. Their idea was only to add some structure to the project by establishing a Google Groups and take a Project Manager lead in a semi complete project.. Google have made the tools available for Maori and a plethora of other languages to translate for at least several years.

Mr BiasinyTule told the New Zealand Herald if Star Trekkies could get a language option then Maori should have no trouble. They had Klingon and the Muppets, even Elmer Fudd. We asked ourselves, `Where was Maori?
The option was always there to have a Maori option. The only issue was that there were not enough people to translate Google. Obviously there are more Trekkie Geeks et al than Maori language speakers.

The project started about five weeks ago and the first of eight pages will be submitted to Google today to coincide with the launch of Maori Language Week.
Peculiar. The project has been going for at least several years and by many translators. I am not too sure how only 8 pages will be submitted to Google when the Google policy states that the Main page must be translated first.

Mr BiasinyTule said Google had provided a template but making sure translations lined up with technology-based Maori words, agreeing on common words across different dialects and relying on a team of volunteers meant the task was time-consuming. The template is not so much a template but a dynamic web site where anyone can visit and suggest a translation as they have done so for several years.

Come on NZ Herald, do some investigating prior to publishing a story.

2 responses to “Google in Māori”

  1. Nikolasa Biasiny-Tule says:

    Would have loved for you to get in touch e hoa and ask us directly and we could have easily clarified things for you.

    Regardless, we’d love for you and Teanau (a friend of ours as well) along with your other exec members to be involved in the launch which is to be held during Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori (all going well!).

    Kia ora!

  2. Karaitiana says:

    Tena koe Nikolasa,
    In response to your first sentence, please clarify here for us all. I am certain we would all be appreciative of that. kia ora.

    In the meantime, i want to acknowledge Dr Te Taka Keegan who completed the translations last week in conjunction with the Maori Language Commission verifying translations, and to the many other anonomous translators who have contributed over the years.

    Lets all hope that Google approve the translations in time for Te Wiki o te reo Maori and the several proposed launches of Google Maori.

    It will be an exciting day when we can use Windows, Office, Google etc in te reo Maori.

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