te reo Māori Spam brings te reo Māori into 21st Century
With so much emphasis on te reo Māori being normalised; it looks as though spammers are now using Google Translate to translate spam into te reo Māori according to Robyn Gallagher http://www.robyngallagher.com/2014/01/11/te-reo-Māori-419-spam/ .
Is this a new avenue of normalisation albeit an annoying but normal part of our online lives? I suspect so! and that this is just the beginning of a new era of spam, viruses and phishing attacks that will be conducted in te reo Māori.
On one hand it is encouraging to see that te reo Māori is being recognised by international spammers as a living language but will this provide a negative backlash with speakers of te reo Māori who may be more trusting of a plea of assistance that is written in te reo Māori? Or perhaps we will see more sophisticated phishing attacks aimed at te reo Māori speakers?
In turn, Virus companies, Spam filers, phisinging alerts and web sites will all now need to recognise te reo Māori in order to be useful tools. Likewise, schools and web safelty agencies will also need to become aware of Google Translate when dealing with threats and other abusive correspondence that has been translated into te reo Māori.
It may also make hackers think more about te reo Māori passwords and phrases that many Māori speakers use for passwords as they are not so easily broken by automation attacks such as dictionary attacks.
This of course will provide ammunition for the te reo Māori elitists who will claim that automated te reo Māori tools such as Google Translate will only corrupt te reo Māori , as te reo Māori becomes more accessible and normalised loosing much of its current economic value. But automated translations should be embraced and used as a tool for people to learn to speak Māori and it certainly makes te reo Māori more mainstream and normal. There will always be a need for well written te reo Māori as there is with well written English.
A positive example of Google Translate is my American friend in Los Angeles sent me a Christmas card written in te reo Māori using Google Translate. It is exciting and surreal to read it, but it is nice and is promoting the usage of te reo Māori on a global scene that was once never possible.
In Twitter post, a te reo expert/Public Figure and broadcaster Juilian Wilcox rightly points out that the translation is not the best and he likens part of it to Samoan and Tongan. But Google and Dr Te Taka Keegan have raised the fact that the automated translation now required human suggestions to improve the automated translations. The more speakers of te reo Māori who assist with the improvements the better automation will become.
Te reo Maori in spam is simply an evolution of a once dying language that is now accessible to anyone in the world with access to Google Translate.