Before knowing about He Haerenga app, let’s find out the history of Maori language.
In the last 200 years, the history of the Māori language (te reo Māori) has seen its ups and downs. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was the predominant language spoken in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As more English speakers star living in New Zealand, the Māori language was increasingly confined to Māori communities. By the mid-20th century, there were concerns that the language was dying out.
Just to keep it alive and going, the Haerenga app is the second in the Pāpapa Series of Maori language apps released last year for kids and adults who wish to learn the language. Earlier Pāpapa, one of the country’s newest mobile app production companies, was established and run out of Palmerston North released in April 2017 He aha tēnei? (What is this?) focused on 20 everyday Māori words and how they are pronounced.
Under the series of te Reo Māori app for children under 5 and their caregivers, will focus on beginner-level language learning and specifically the acquisition of vocabulary. He haerenga continues this focus on everyday words and their pronunciation for use between children and their caregivers by providing vocabulary associated with four different holiday destinations popular with New Zealand families: The river, beach, mountain and farm. An added bonus scene – outer space – is then available on completion of these first four scenes.
According to Papapa co-founder and computer programmer James Porter (Te Atiawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa), for parents like himself who are learning te Reo Māori alongside their children, the challenge of supporting the children’s language acquisition as they grow while developing own language capabilities can be daunting.
Features of the Haerenga app
- You will virtually visit different locations, such as a mountain, beach, river and farm.
- Drag and drop each object or creature to hear their name read out to you.
- Included are words such as Pakoko puaheiri (Snowman), Karoro (Seagull), Waka topatopa (Helicopter) and much more.
- Be rewarded all throughout your journey when you match everything at a location to begin your search for an additional fantastic creature Or match everything in all locations to take a trip somewhere out of this world or even match everything in the game to unlock two mini games.
Pāpapa believes in creating opportunities for children and caregivers to explore their world together in Te Reo Māori. The app prefers to provide self-paced, uninterrupted experiences, so the app doesn’t include anything to rush you or include any advertising.
All Māori language features (words and phrases) used in the apps are quality assured by licensed translators certified by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission).
These Pāpapa app series should focus deliberately on everyday words and environments, with practical as well as fun and mystical elements to ensure maximum interest and engagement from children. So for example, in addition to eels and tents at the river, there are fairies too.
Te Taura Whiri o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) has long emphasized “To live, a language needs to be spoken in the home” (2008, Te Reo i te kainga, p. 3). This was supported by Te Paepae Motuhake, the Independent Panel appointed by Government in 2010 to conduct a review of the Māori language sector and Māori language revitalization strategies. Yet the resource pool available for strengthening te Reo Māori in homes is still small, with a distinct lack of digital resources.
Thus digital technologies are the perfect avenue to explore innovative answers to resource development in many fields. They are especially effective for language revitalization initiatives, given the ability to use sound, imagery and movement. The haerenga app is available for purchase on both Apple and Android devices, in both New Zealand and Australia cost NZ/AU$4.49