Next Generation Māori Language Dictionary
I am working on a new Māori Dictionary that will revolutionise the way we think of, and use Māori Language Dictionaries.
I have never understood why we need to have multiple paper dictionaries and even sometimes coupled with electronic dictionaries just to study. Throughout my education I always only required one English Dictionary.
Nor have I understood why all the new terminology that is created by authoritative entities seem to end up exclusively in the hands of commercial publishers and in copyright, further halting the growth and development of our language.
Hence this New Generation Māori Dictionary will remove all the current barriers and best of all will be a living dictionary.
I will be using this Blog and my Twitter account to keep you all up to date on many the projects milestones and updates so you can see the trials and tribulations of the Dictionary grow. The reason for this is to encompass the new way we use the Web – SOCIALLY.
Commercial Māori language projects hold our people to ransom for what is our birth right – our language.
After creating the ever successful Te Reo Tupu (predeceased by Reo Tupu) and being involved with the management of planning an implementation of He Matapuna Monolingual Dictionary for Te Taura Whiri, I always had a great regret. A regret that neither project could grow to its full potential whether it was for political or commercial reasons, or perhaps I was just too far ahead of my time again. Sometimes being too innovative in an innovative industry falls on deaf ears.
I am a proven expert in compiling a dictionary and using appropriate technology that will allow the masses to use and create such a project. I feel i need to make it clear early on that i am not a language expert but have surrounded this open project with language experts.
The dictionary itself will be a single compilation with no duplicate head words and with a plethora of definitions with no need to know where a macron is placed. The dictionary will use macrons where appropriate but the search facility will find the headword with and without if you have spelt it incorrectly.
Māori headword count at the moment is over 100,000 headwords with many more definitions. This is the largest Māori Dictionary publication i am aware and it dwarfs in size every other Māori Dictionary.
I’m still negotiating about another 45,000 headwords of which i have no idea how many may be duplicates.
There will be two online versions to begin with. One will be a fully search-able dictionary allowing anyone to search and browse the contents. The option for individuals and groups to upload their own corpus for consideration and inclusion will be available.
The other database will be a private database that will allow scholars and language experts to make editorial adjustments, add new sentences, edit macrons and make further suggestions for their peers. This source database can then update the public database.
Perhaps the most exciting part of all of this is a new algorithm i am writing that i hope will offer audio pronunciation on every possible Māori word.
There are also several Iwi dictionaries that will be fully editable and user/rights controlled by the Iwi. I already envisage this will be of great assistance to some of the current Iwi dictionaries that use outdated and time consuming online methods to store and maintain their corpus.