Microsoft continues its support of small and distant languages with the addition of te reo Maori, language of New Zealand’s native people. Users of can now Mera (email) or look up Nga Tangata (contacts). A Microsoft spokesman said the company had launched Windows 8, Office 2012, Outlook and Internet Explorer 10 in te reo Maori this week, with schools, universities and government departments all keen to get their hands on the software. Te reo Maori is one of New Zealand’s three official languages. Even though a number of initiatives have been introduced to revitalize the language, including a television channel, it is only spoken by around 157,000 people globally.
“It’s a free download so there is no money in it…But we feel it is nice to be part of the revitalization efforts in New Zealand,” the Microsoft spokesman said. “[The program’s] been pretty popular in the Maori language classes and schools.”
In preparation for Māori Language Week 2013, Microsoft has announced that the choice to use te reo Māori in Windows 8, Office 2013, Outlook.com, and Internet Explorer 10 is available now. “We are thrilled to continue our support for te reo Maori,” says Paul Muckleston, Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand Limited. “We are grateful for the hard work that so many people have done to make it possible to weave this taonga into the very latest of tablet, smartphone, PC, and cloud technologies.” “We are also announcing our support for a new initiative that can bring free te reo Maori translations to the Internet with the Microsoft Translator Hub in the future,” says Muckleston. Glenis Philip-Barbara, Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, adds that support for te reo Māori in technology is essential for investing in tamariki by offering an interface from their school years. This allows youth to be immersed in te reo for life.
New support for te reo Māori in Microsoft products includes the following:
- In Windows 8, te reo Māori can be applied to the desktop and the modern touch-friendly interface, as well as the included apps for Mail, Calendar, People, Weather, Maps, Games, Music, Finance, News, Defender (the included free anti-virus software) and more.
- The new Internet Explorer 10 web browser for Windows 7 and Windows 8 can also be used with te reo Māori menus and options.
- With Office 2013, te reo Māori can be applied to Outlook 2013, Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, and OneNote 2013. The free online email service Outlook.com also has the option to be used in te reo Māori.
- Windows Phone 8 now offers te reo Māori support for the Regional Settings (this will display things like the time and date in te reo Māori).
Microsoft has been working toward having the Maori option for 10 years and the launch of the new language means the company now offers its products in 108 languages including KiSwahili and Scottish Gaelic.
To add te reo Māori, go to the Language Settings (Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10, Outlook.com, and Windows Phone 8), or with a free download, Office 2013 from http://aka.ms/Office2013inTeReo