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Popular Children’s Shows to Air On Māori TV In Te Reo

Thursday November 14, 2013

Popular Children’s Shows to Air On Māori Television In Te Reo

Kiwi kids will be able to tune in to Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants on Māori Television next year with the broadcaster acquiring rights to re-version the popular animated programmes into te reo Māori.

Māori Television general manager of programming Haunui Royal says connecting to tamariki is vital for the revitalisation of the Māori language.

“We see this audience as central to our te reo strategy so we are happy to be one of the many Māori organisations in the community that are working together to ensure our language can be handed down to the next generation,” he says.

“This is a significant project for Māori Television and we hope that it will be a valuable resource for all of our tamariki and mokopuna.”

Māori Language expert Pania Papa is leading the project to translate the programmes and revoice them in te reo, which she says is a huge boost to the revitalisation of the language.

“Young people carry the potential to take the language to a different dimension so if we provide a good model for them at a young age, who knows where our tamariki can take our language in the future,” she says.

“These programmes are so popular worldwide, the fact they will be in te reo will do much for the status of the language.”

A team of translators from Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo – the Institute of Excellence in the Māori Language – will translate both shows.

Ms Papa says Dora the Explorer will be translated into a national, standardised Māori so that the target audience of children aged one to five can understand. The Spanish language element of the show will be retained so it will be a dual language, Māori and Spanish programme.

For SpongeBob SquarePants, each character will have a different tribal dialect as the series has a wider audience.  

“This will teach tamariki that there are differences within the language and help revitalise the different dialects,” says Papa, who will be voicing some of the minor characters in both series.  

Te Mangai Paho Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency has funded the re-versioning of the programmes, while Māori Television funded the acquisition.

Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants will air on Māori Television in mid-2014.


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