September 24, 2018
Issue 11 2018

Kupu: The must have app for te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

Kupu (meaning “word” in English) is a new app aiming to make the incorporation of te reo Māori into everyday life easier than ever.

Users can take photos of everyday things on their smartphone, and Kupu will provide the te reo translation of what is pictured within seconds.

This translation comes with multiple options, including the word “lock” as well as “door” for a picture of the latter, and also has a search bar in case you cannot find what you’re looking for.

You can also click on the word itself to hear how it is correctly pronounced in te reo, which clears up the common confusion of articulating the macrons and vowel sounds correctly.  

The Spark funded app uses Google Translate, Cloud Vision, and Artificial Intelligence technology to make the photo-recognition as simple and accurate as possible.

The App will continually improve its vocabulary and accuracy through its translation feedback feature, where users can suggest corrections or improvements to translations.

It uses the Te Aka Māori dictionary, the dictionary that typically comes up first when you google a te reo word or phrase.

Kupu’s “about” section tells of how the Te Aka Māori dictionary was the life work of Professor John C Moorfield.

Moorfield passed away earlier this year after a lifetime of dedication to the revitalisation of te reo.

Kupu carries this legacy on further, helping show New Zealanders that modern day life and te reo Māori are compatible.