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Text te Reo Māori with Telecom
Posted on 18-May-2009 13:13. | Tags Filed under: News.

In a first for New Zealand, common te Reo Māori words will now be recognised in the predictive text message function and auto voice dialling on certain Telecom 3G handsets.

Customers using these handsets on Telecom’s soon-to-be-launched XT Mobile Network will be able to type a word in Maori in a text message, and it will be instantly recognised by the phone in the same way that English words are.

“Introducing te reo Māori to some of our services is a move that reflects Telecom’s Kiwi heritage, and the unique culture of Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Telecom Retail CEO, Alan Gourdie.

Te Taura Whiri it te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission) was consulted regarding the word selection, and the Commission’s Chief Executive Huhana Rokx says they are delighted to have supported Telecom with this service.

“This initiative ensures that te Reo Māori remains a valid form of texting discourse. Our young people who are growing up as bilingual Māori language speakers are also active mobile users and expect the same immediate service that predictive texting offers in the English language,” says Ms Rokx.

As well as common greetings, the words include days of the week, months of the year, the numbers one to ten, and popular New Zealand place names.

The devices capable of te Reo Māori predictive text messaging will include two Telecom-branded handsets and the Samsung S8300 Ultra Touch, with more devices to be added with the feature after launch. The two Telecom branded handsets also feature spoken voice dialling in Maori, Chinese and English - where the handset will say aloud the numbers from 0-9 when they are pressed.

Customers who move to the new network won’t need to change their phone number, and Telecom and Gen-i will have a range of offers to make it easy for both new and existing customers to switch. Telecom’s current mobile network continues to operate and will be supported as normal following the XT Mobile Network launch in late May.

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