Microsoft and Straker Translations partner on a translation platform set to make translating our daily news into te reo Māori possible
Tāmaki Makaurau, 13 Mahuru 2022 – Kua whakaputaina e Microsoft New Zealand me te kamupene hangarau o Aotearoa a Straker Translations te pātuitanga e tautoko ana i te reo Māori mā ngā pāpāho tā me te tuihono, kia nui atu te hunga e whiwhi ana i ngā pitopito kōrero i roto i te reo Māori.
Puta noa i te motu, e hia rau ngā pitopito kōrero e whakaputaina ana i ia rā, engari he tino iti noa ērā e wātea ana i te reo Māori nā te tokoiti o ngā kairipoata e matatau ana ki te reo me te uaua me te nui o te utu ki te whakamāori kōrero kia uru wawe ai ki ngā putanga pitopito kōrero.
I whakaarahia e te kamupene hangarau whakamāori o Aotearoa a Straker Translations te take ki te Perehitini o Microsoft, a Brad Smith, i te haerenga o te ohu tauhokohoko o te Pirimia a Jacinda Ardern ki Amerika. I roto i tōna pūmau ki te āwhina ki te tiaki i ngā tikanga ahurea o Aotearoa, kua tukuna e Microsoft he takuhe me ngā tautoko hangarau ki a Straker Translations ki te waihanga i tētahi pūhara whakamāori aunoa.
Ka whakakotahitia e te pūhara ngā utauta whakamāori a Straker Translations me te pūhara Microsoft Translator ake a Microsoft me ngā hangarau AI kia taea ai e te hunga pāpāho te whakamāori kia whānui tonu ngā tuhinga kōrero ki te reo Māori.
Ko te wawata hoki o te kaiwhakaū o Straker Translations me te CEO a Grant Straker (Ngāti Raukawa) kia taea e ngā kura te whakauru mai ki te tukanga, me te noho wātea mai o ngā tuhinga kōrero ki Microsoft Teams, e mārama ana ki te maha o ngā kura me ngā wāhi mahi ki tēnei pūhara. Kātahi ka whakamahia e ngā ākonga te pūhara ki te hanga i tētahi whakamāoritanga aunoa taketake, te arotake ā-ringa me te whakatika i te reo, kātahi ka tuku atu kia whakaputaina.
“He Māori ahau i whānau mai i te tekau tau mai i 1960, kāore tōku reanga i āhei ki te kōrero Māori, kāore i akona ki te reo Māori, ā, i aukatia te reo. Kua 20 tau ahau e whakatipu ana i tētahi kamupene hangarau ao whānui mai i Aotearoa, ko tēnei kaupapa ki ahau he hāpai, he whakawātea mai kia nui ake te reo Māori mā ngā ihirangi pitopito kōrero hāngai me tētahi pūhara akoranga,” te kī a Grant.
“O ngā reo 140 e whakamāoritia ana e mātau, ko te reo Māori me ō Te Moananui-a-Kiwa ngā reo nui rawa te utu, nā te itiiti o ngā kaiwhakamāori pūkenga. E ai ki ā mātau raraunga ko ngā reo nui te utu ki te whakamāori, he tino iti noa te whakamahia, ā, kāore e tino puāwai. Mā te mahi tahi me tētahi whakaihu waka o te ao pērā i a Microsoft me te whakakotahi i tā mātau pūhara ki te whānui o te toro o Microsoft Teams, e whakapono ana mātau ka taea e mātau te āwhina kia whānui ake te taea o te reo me te āwhina kia tipu haere.”
I kī a Carmen Parahi, te Pou Tiaki Matua o Stuff, e whakaongaonga ana ia mō te māiatanga o te pūhara. Kei te kōrerorero a Stuff, 3.4 miriona te hunga ka toro atu i ia marama me te whakahaere i te paetukutuku nui rawa o te motu, stuff.co.nz, ki a Straker Translations mō te āhua pea o te whakaputa ihirangi nui ake ki ana kaipānui mai i tētahi pātuitanga.
“He kaupapa hira tēnei, ā, kei te hiahia mātau ki te āwhina kia momoho tonu te reo Māori i Aotearoa,” tana kī.
Heoi, ka whakaako te kaupapa i ngā utauta ako ā-mīhini kia pai ake te kounga me te reo o ngā whakamāoritanga reo Māori, ā, e wātea ana ngā akoranga mā tētahi pātengi raraunga tūmatanui, e iti haere te utu o te whakamāori mā ngā whakahaere puta noa i Aotearoa.
Kei te mahi tahi tonu a Straker Translations me ētahi atu whakahaere e hiahia ana te tuari i ā rātau ihirangi Māori ki te pātengi raraunga me te whakapai ake i te tika o ngā whakamāoritanga.
I kī a Vanessa Sorenson, te Tumuaki Whakahaere me te Tumuaki Pātui o Microsoft New Zealand, ANZ, i te rikarika ia ki te pōhiri atu i ētahi atu whakahaere me ngā pūkenga hāngai me ngā raraunga ki roto i te kaupapa.
“Mēnā ka taea kia nui atu ngā pakihi me ngā whakahaere hei whakarato mōhiohio i roto i te reo Ingarihi me te reo Māori. Ka tino whakapiki tēnei i te whakaurunga mai o ngā kaikōrero reo Māori, me te tautoko i te reo Māori hei reo ora, ngangahau e whakamahia ana e te tangata i ō rātau ao o ia rā. Ka nui te whakaongaonga kia whai wāhi atu, me te whakatenatena kia nui atu ngā whakahaere ka totoro mai ki te waihanga i tētahi rauemi ngātahi mā Aotearoa katoa,” tana kī.
Ka wātea mai he paetukutuku me pēhea te whakauru mai a ētahi atu whakahaere mā Straker Translations i ngā wiki e heke iho. Ko te tikanga ka whakarewahia te pūhara hei waenganui o te tau 2023.
Auckland, New Zealand, 13 September 2022 – Microsoft New Zealand and Aotearoa tech company Straker Translations have today announced a partnership aimed at supporting te reo Māori in our print and online media, so more people can get their daily news in te reo Māori.
Across the motu, hundreds of news stories are published daily, but very few are available in te reo Māori owing to the lack of journalists proficient in the language and the difficulty and expense of translating stories at the speed the news cycle requires.
New Zealand translation technology company Straker Translations raised the issue with Microsoft President, Brad Smith, while attending Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s recent trade delegation to the US. As part of its commitment to helping preserve Aotearoa’s cultural heritage, Microsoft has provided a grant and technical support to Straker Translations in order to develop an automated translation platform.
The platform will combine Straker Translations’ existing translation tools with Microsoft’s own Microsoft Translator platform and AI technology to enable news media to translate whole articles into te reo Māori at scale.
Straker Translations founder and CEO Grant Straker (Ngāti Raukawa) also has a vision to enable schools to participate in the process, with articles for translation being made available via Microsoft Teams, a platform many schools and workplaces are already familiar with. Students would then use the platform to create a basic automated translation, manually review and refine the language, then post it back for publication.
“As a Māori born in the 1960s, I belong to a generation where Māori was not spoken or taught in schools, and actively discouraged in general. Having spent 20 years growing a global technology company from Aotearoa, I see this project as a way to give back and make te reo Māori more accessible through relevant news content and a learning platform,” Grant said.
“Of the 140 languages we translate, Māori and Pacific languages are among the most expensive, because of the scarcity of skilled translators. We have strong data that shows the more expensive the language is to translate, the less it is used and the less it flourishes. By working with a global leader like Microsoft and combining our platform with the reach of Microsoft Teams, we believe we can help make the language more accessible and play a part in helping it grow.”
Carmen Parahi, Pou Tiaki Matua at Stuff, said she was excited about the potential of the platform. Stuff, which reaches 3.4m unique visitors every month and runs the country’s largest website, stuff.co.nz, is in discussion with Straker Translations about how a partnership might bring more te reo Māori content to its readers.
“This is an important kaupapa and we want to do whatever we can to ensure te reo Māori thrives in modern Aotearoa New Zealand,“ she said.
Ultimately, the project will train machine learning tools to improve the quality and speed of te reo Māori translations, with learnings available via a public database, bringing down the cost of translation for organisations across Aotearoa.
Straker Translations is already working with other organisations willing to share their Māori language content to add to the database and improve the accuracy of translations.
Microsoft New Zealand Managing Director and Chief Partner Officer, ANZ, Vanessa Sorenson, said she was keen to welcome more organisations with relevant skills and data to join in the project.
“Imagine if we can enable more businesses and organisations to provide information in both our national languages. That will dramatically boost inclusion of te reo Māori speakers, and support te reo Māori as a living, vibrant language people can use in their everyday lives. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of that, and encourage more organisations to reach out if they would like to get involved in creating a shared resource for all of Aotearoa,” she said.
A website on how other organisations can get involved will be available via Straker Translations in the coming weeks. The platform is expected to be ready for launch in mid-2023.