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Māori Dictionary Sofware a Worldwide Hit

Māori Dictionary Sofware a Worldwide Hit

Thinktank Consulting Limited
21 July 2008

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori / The Māori Language Commission released its electronic monolingual dictionary of Te Reo Māori today. The entire dictionary is in Māori, and contains entries representing 95% of the most frequently used Māori words.

The Freelex / Mātāpuna dictionary sofware which underpins the dictionary won the Computerworld Award for the excellence in the use of IT in Government in 2004. New Zealand developed, web-based and 100% Open Source, it is freely available to anyone who wants to use it. The software is also being used by the University of Hawai'i at Hilo for their bilingual Hawaiian-English dictionary, a Karen-English dictionary being compiled by worldwide communities of Karen refugees from Burma, and a number of other languages under stress. Victoria University of Wellington plans to use the same software to develop an online multimedia Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language through the Deaf Studies Research Unit, and a dictionary of Māori legal terminology through the Law faculty.

Dave Moskovitz, the sofware architect said that "the great benefit of Open Source software is that projects can share their development effort to produce best-of-breed systems that are highly flexible and have a very low cost of ownership. Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori led the field with their early vision, and now they are benefiting from the development efforts of other dictionaries. This project sets a new standard in lexicography software, and places Te Taura Whiri at the centre of the community of indigenous lexicographers."

The new online Māori dictionary can be found at:

The dictionary software site is at:


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