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Ardern launches te reo Māori translation trust

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has launched the Kotahi Rau Pukapuka Trust, which will translate 100 popular fiction books into te reo Māori over the next 10 years.

Working alongside Auckland University Press, Māori groups, philanthropy organisations, Creative New Zealand and te reo language organisation Te Mātāwai, the trust will begin with the translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J K Rowling, Bloomsbury), which will be released as Hari Pota me te Whatu Manapou in 2020. The trust aims to publish five or more translated titles per year.

Over 185,000 people in New Zealand speak te reo Māori. Kotahi Rau Pukapuka trustee Pānia Papa told the Spinoff that it’s important translated books exist, not just as learning tools, but as entertainment for the thousands of New Zealanders who speak te reo.

‘It will provide those who are learning and those who are already fluent with content, things that they can read for enjoyment rather than necessarily for learning, and that will broaden the scope of people’s imaginations in te reo Māori, which is a really huge thing creatively,’ said Papa.

The initiative plans to translate novels, comics, theses and nonfiction works and, according to Papa, the diversity of the books will continue to expand after the first 100 have been translated.

At the University of Auckland launch, Ardern said the project, ‘encourages us to experience the joy of reading, but also brings te reo to the world.’



Category: Local news