Maori words in Cell Phones
Telecom NZ announced in Twitter that it is to include Māori words in their cell phone dictionaries for all new phones and some services http://www.telecom-media.co.nz/releases_detail.asp?id=3599&page=1&pagesize=10. Ka mau te wehi Telecom!.
Unfortunately there will only be 100 common words (as decided by the office of the Māori Language Commission) included despite that fact the Māori have about 500 words that now form part of the English language. This is excluding the tens of thousands of place names of which i would estimate that there is at least a few thousand common place names such asWhanganui, Akaroa, Mahia etc.
Also, a great deal of Māori speakers use txt/SMS and have resorted to their own vocabulary.
I would like to see more of an effort here for our second official language and have two new predictive txt dictionaries. A New Zealand dictionary that includes all the Māori words in the NZ English language and a second optional one for fluent speakers if the size. Ideally the one dictionary file with all the words would be preferable. We can select a number of different languages on our phones already so wjy not Māori ?.
In response to the TelecomNZ tweet i read this afternoon i retweeted VodafoneNZ and offered the company free use of the Te Ngutu Kura word lists.
In response to the TelecomNZ tweet i tweeted VodafoneNZ and offered them Te Ngutu Kura list to also create something for Māori speakers on the Vodafone network. They have quickly acknowledged receipt of the offer – with in minutes. This is a great business case for using Twitter :-). But hopefully Vodafone can take it one step further and consult the people is storage is an issue.
Interestingly a few years ago in a research project on Maori and ICT access it was made clear that the majority of Maori people use Vodafone prepay cell phones. There were various reasons why but the point is the telco with the minority of Maori speakers may be promoting Maori.
Either way it is great to see competition in the telco market and hopefully we will see more consideration as the telcos increase in NZ.