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Microsoft Translator Blog

Kia ora, te reo Māori!

Today, we are happy to announce that we have added te reo Māori to Microsoft Translator.

On our mission to break down language barriers, we often have the chance to tackle interesting challenges. For the Translator team, adding te reo Māori was such an exciting opportunity. Continuing a journey which started back in the days of statistical machine translation and Translator Hub, we now release neural machine translation (NMT) models fit for use with Custom Translator, our customization solution for NMT. This brings te reo Māori to all scenarios powered by Microsoft Translator, and our users can build their own custom models, for their specific needs.

Maori language support

Neural machine translation technology has recently achieved impressive quality gains, characterized by highly fluent and accurate output, even for low-resourced languages such as Māori. Using deep learning, we have iteratively refined our machine translation models. With today’s release, our commitment to deliver high-quality machine translation for te reo Māori moves to the next stage, as we prepare to continuously improve translation quality based on feedback from our users.

Māori Language

The Māori language is classified as a Polynesian language, together with Tahitian, Marquesan, Rapa Nui of Easter Island, and Hawaiian. Māori uses the Latin script, with the macron (horizontal bar on top of a vowel) to denote the long form of the vowel and the absence of the macron denoting the short form. One of the official languages of New Zealand since 1987, te reo Māori has recently experienced a revival, with growing interest in and adoption of the language throughout the country.

Microsoft has been working with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) on projects that include te reo Māori in our platforms and software for more than 14 years. We want to provide better access to Māori language and culture via the technology Kiwis use every day. In collaboration with the wider Māori community, we hope to be able to contribute to increasing adoption of te reo Māori, especially concerning its usage in the digital space. You can read more about our engagement in Brad Smith’s blog.

Māori is available now, or in the next few days, on all Microsoft Translator apps, add-ins, Office, Translator for Bing, and through the Azure Cognitive Services Translator API for businesses and developers.

What you can do with Microsoft Translator

Translate real-time conversations, menus and street signs, websites, documents, and more using the Translator app for Windows, iOS, Android and the web. Use the Microsoft Translator Text and Speech API, both members of the Azure Cognitive Services family, to help globalize your business and customer interactions. Create a more inclusive classroom for both students and parents with live captioning and cross-language understanding.

For more information on Microsoft Translator please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/translator/.