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Dictionary Of NZ Biography Releases New Te Reo Translations


Finalising te reo translations is a welcome development says Neill Atkinson, Chief Historian at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. “It has taken some time to get to this point, but we’ve taken due care to ensure the translations accurately reflect the mahi and significant impact of these prominent New Zealanders.

“The new translations cover the Māori entries published since the Dictionary became a purely digital product, and were made by Sean Ellison, Te Haumihiata Mason, Hēni Jacob, Charisma Rangipunga and Simon Petricevich, taking into account differing iwi dialects and orthographic conventions”.

“The rich contribution of our translators is now acknowledged on each biography page alongside the names of the entries’ authors”, says Mr Atkinson.

As a result of this project, the DNZB’s 500 biographies on Māori subjects are all now available in te reo Māori, which – together with the te reo sections of Te Ara – forms the largest te reo Māori publishing programme ever undertaken in New Zealand.

Producing content related to Māori in both te reo Māori and English has been central to the Dictionary project since the first print volume was published 30 years ago this year. The DNZB is the foremost reference work on the lives of people who shaped this country’s history and culture from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. It includes more than 3000 biographies, written by specialists and produced to a high standard by a team of researchers and editors.

When the Dictionary was first released online in 2001, users could toggle between te reo Māori and English versions of the entries for the first time. The Dictionary became part of Te Ara the Encyclopedia of New Zealand in 2010.

A new tranche of Dictionary of New Zealand Biography entries is expected in May 2021.

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