Microsoft adds New Zealand's Māori language to Windows 8

It's a language that is spoken by just 157,000 people, but now those folks can now interact with Windows 8 and other Microsoft software products in their native tongue. Recently, Microsoft added a new language pack for Māori, which is spoken primarily by the native people of New Zealand.

A Microsoft post states that the Māori language pack is now free to download and also supports Office 2013, Outlook.com and Internet Explorer 10 in both Windows 7 and 8. In addition, Windows Phone 8 now has support for the Māori language in its Regional Settings, allowing users to view things like the current date and time in that language.

The Wall Street Journal reports that this project has been in the works for the past 10 years; this means Microsoft currently supports a total of 108 languages for its products. Microsoft also plans to add Māori to its Bing Translator service at some point.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has gone out of its way to put in obscure languages inside its software products. In December, the company added a language pack for the Native American Cherokee language.

Source: Microsoft via Wall Street Journal | Image via Microsoft

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22 Comments

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Most of the comments here are absolutely disgusting and pathetic.

It's not purely symbolic, it's also about helping to maintain languages that are at risk of dying out, and when a language disappears, so does the culture attached to it. I doubt there are many Maoris who don't also speak English, but that doesn't make this move pointless.

Oh so it's not just the Government who bends over here to be politically correct. Next they'll get their own tv channel and racially based sports teams...oh...wait.

It may be spoken by over 150,000 people but most of those will also speak English and those that don't probably don't use computers much. This is an entirely symbolic move. The biggest disgrace is how long it took for Microsoft to support British English.

theyarecomingforyou said,
The biggest disgrace is how long it took for Microsoft to support British English.

Yep, they didn't support British English until Win 8. Or what i like to call "real English" or "the non-bastardised version".

Pathetic considering it's not even just Britain who uses it. It's used in many English speaking countries by hundreds of millions of people, and it's often taught in schools in countries that don't speak English.

NoClipMode said,
Yep, they didn't support British English until Win 8. Or what i like to call "real English" or "the non-bastardised version".

Pathetic considering it's not even just Britain who uses it. It's used in many English speaking countries by hundreds of millions of people, and it's often taught in schools in countries that don't speak English.

True, I use British English on my computer as well because otherwise it defaults to Australian English which is filled with Americanisms.

NoClipMode said,

Yep, they didn't support British English until Win 8. Or what i like to call "real English" or "the non-bastardised version".


Oh come off it already. Your country played empire for a while until someone took your toys away. The least you can put up with for being colossal douchebags for all that time is not being the exclusive owners of and stuck-up snobs about your language, which is just a bastardized mish-mash of other European languages anyway.

/"we're gonna spread our language to all corners of the world and throw hissy fits if it evolves anywhere our queen doesn't poop"

Joshie said,

Oh come off it already. Your country played empire for a while until someone took your toys away. The least you can put up with for being colossal douchebags for all that time is not being the exclusive owners of and stuck-up snobs about your language, which is just a bastardized mish-mash of other European languages anyway.

/"we're gonna spread our language to all corners of the world and throw hissy fits if it evolves anywhere our queen doesn't poop"

Most languages are a mish-mash of others. The point is the British created English the language. And an American (i'm assuming) talking about being douche bags? I think most people would consider the U.S the most douche bag place on Earth. Including in the past. Have you got rid of slavery yet btw? Are black people allowed on public transport yet?

Joshie said,
Oh come off it already. Your country played empire for a while until someone took your toys away. The least you can put up with for being colossal douchebags for all that time is not being the exclusive owners of and stuck-up snobs about your language

This has nothing to do with colonialism or your intolerance for the UK and everything to do with companies respecting the language and culture of the territories in which they operate. It is disgusting that for so long the Windows operating system was filled with Americanisms like "color" and "personalize" when there was no legitimate reason, technical or otherwise, for doing so.

NoClipMode said,

Most languages are a mish-mash of others. The point is the British created English the language. And an American (i'm assuming) talking about being douche bags? I think most people would consider the U.S the most douche bag place on Earth. Including in the past. Have you got rid of slavery yet btw? Are black people allowed on public transport yet?

Sarcasm or not, you really are clueless.

theyarecomingforyou said,

This has nothing to do with colonialism or your intolerance for the UK and everything to do with companies respecting the language and culture of the territories in which they operate. It is disgusting that for so long the Windows operating system was filled with Americanisms like "color" and "personalize" when there was no legitimate reason, technical or otherwise, for doing so.

First you dismiss adding te reo Māori an "entirely symbolic move" but then you get all bent out of shape because you feel Microsoft isn't respecting your own language and culture? Please, do us all a "favour" and get over yourself.

ModernMech said,
First you dismiss adding te reo Māori an "entirely symbolic move" but then you get all bent out of shape because you feel Microsoft isn't respecting your own language and culture?

Yes. There's a difference between adding support for a rarely spoken language that is virtually extinct and is mostly used as a second language, and adding support for the primary language of the 60m+ people that live in the UK. Surely you can see the difference?

NoClipMode said,

Most languages are a mish-mash of others. The point is the British created English the language. And an American (i'm assuming) talking about being douche bags? I think most people would consider the U.S the most douche bag place on Earth. Including in the past. Have you got rid of slavery yet btw? Are black people allowed on public transport yet?


Yeah, "the British" created it (whatever it means to 'create' a language anyway), and some of "the British" left to other places, where those "the British" continued to evolve it separate from "the British" who stayed home.

You're about as related to "the British" who "created" English as any American is. You've just convinced yourself that state borders are the end-all-be-all of linguistic ownership.

Language evolves when it meets other people. That's why English has so much German, French, Latin, and Greek to it. "The British" sent a bunch of English speakers around the world where--guess what--English met more people. Ta-freakin'-da, language changed. Deal with it.

NoClipMode said,

Yep, they didn't support British English until Win 8. Or what i like to call "real English" or "the non-bastardised version".


It's funny you mention this. If you actually did your research on word etymology, you would find British English is actually the bastardized version. American English uses spellings and pronunciations that are closer to the word's origin than British English does.

For example, in British English: colour. In American English: color. This comes from the Latin word: color. The British borrowed the word and spellings off a chain of other languages, but American English went back to the Latin origin. So really, it's British English that's bastardized.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yes. There's a difference between adding support for a rarely spoken language that is virtually extinct and is mostly used as a second language, and adding support for the primary language of the 60m+ people that live in the UK. Surely you can see the difference?


Because us poor non-American users had no idea what all those American "words" meant? Pfft. If you had difficulty understanding the difference between "color" and "colour" then I genuinely feel for you.

Also, Maori and Maori culture is far from extinct and by adding it to Windows it helps to ensure that it doesn't become so. I'm sorry if you also find that difficult to understand.

mikeyx12 said,
Because us poor non-American users had no idea what all those American "words" meant? Pfft. If you had difficulty understanding the difference between "color" and "colour" then I genuinely feel for you.

It's not about that and you know it.

theyarecomingforyou said,

It's not about that and you know it.

I agree that EN-UK should be a supported language, but this attitude that it's the only valid version of English and should've been THE English to begin with is tiresome and childish. American English speakers outnumber native UK English speakers by an enormous margin. EN-US *is* the dominant form of English in the world. If England wants to keep on throwing childish tantrums about it for another two hundred years, that's its prerogative, but don't expect to get anything but eye rolls from Americans.

Alternatively, the UK could, oh, I don't know, try contributing enough to culture and technology to have an impact. Language gets a lot of social influence, but the only think the UK seems capable of contributing is a bad actor in a bow tie.

Joshie said,
I agree that EN-UK should be a supported language, but this attitude that it's the only valid version of English and should've been THE English to begin with is tiresome and childish.

Again, that wasn't the point being made. You're simply trying to pick a fight.