Kupu App Launches in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

The Kupu app has been produced as a result of a collaboration between Spark, Google and the research team of Te Aka Māori - Te Ipukarea at Auckland University of Technology.

Listen to an RNZ interview on this app here. As expressed in this article and interview "the app's catchphrase is 'take a photo, learn a language' and its concept is pretty simple – you take a photo of something with your phone, then Kupu scans the image and tells you the name of the object in te reo Māori."

NPM Researcher and Te Ipukarea director Professor Tania Ka’ai of AUT was project lead on the development of the app, and worked closely with Spark and Colenso BBDO, Spark’s Creative Team. Tania is also leading the NPM project Te Whare Matihiko o te Reo.

For Tania the Kupu app symbolises the legacy of her colleague, mentor and friend Professor John Moorfield, who passed away in March, and was also an NPM Researcher.

In an article this week Tania was quoted as saying; “Spark first approached John late last year. They needed a solid, reliable and comprehensive set of Māori words to integrate into the app – and saw John’s Te Aka Māori - English, English- Māori Dictionary as the best tool for the job.”

The team at Te Ipukarea sourced and provided a set of nouns and adjectives that underpin the app’s te reo lexicon. They also provided the audio versions of these words to ensure that Kupu users can hear the correct pronunciation.

“The team and I worked hard to get the best possible collection of words and phrases together in time for the app’s launch"

“One of John’s final projects was a Dictionary update and to help finish that off in time for the Kupu launch we spent five days in a recording studio with a native te reo speaker and recorded a further 6,500 new words. It was an exhausting, but necessary process.”

Now that Kupu has been launched, Tania and her team are involved in the apps reviews and fine tuning process.

NPM would like to congratulate the AUT and Te Ipukarea team, as well as Spark and Google, in producing this fantastic resource.

Visit your respective app stores now, to download and use today!