Over the last few years, Māori have been embracing their Reo, rejecting generations of stigma and shame associated with its use, and rediscovering our culture through a language that was unable to be passed on to us. Te Reo is currently undergoing a revival, with citizens contributing to its resurgence by incorporating it into their everyday lives. This renaissance has coincided with a rise in tech, which has made it easier than ever to learn. As someone who is still on their Te Reo journey, I looked at the best apps to help us learn the language of Aotearoa.
The University of Auckland has acknowledged that Te Reo Māori is the foundation of Māori culture and identity and that it is an endangered language. Te Kūaha is a part of The University of Auckland’s ‘Language Plan for the Revitalisation of Te Reo Māori’. While the UI doesn’t look the best, Te Kūaha does the basics very well. When it comes to language learning, the app is intuitive. Tapping any Māori word in any paragraph allows us to hear the proper pronunciation. This also exists when dragging across any paragraph section, enabling us to hear how these words sound within sentences. But the app is not simply a language learning app. Te Kūaha covers areas of Tikanga Māori, creating ones Pepeha, locations of importance, and the importance of Te Reo within te ao Māori. However, the app is limited in its ability to provide advanced learners with a means to move towards more complex elements of Te Reo. Increasing the scope of the app’s content would be a major improvement.
Te Kūaha makes the important link between language and culture, putting it ahead of most another Te Reo apps. 7.5/10
Kupu is a new kind of language-learning app. Take a photo of anything around you. It will use image analysis to identify what is in the photo and the Māori word for it (for me, it was my computer mouse and the massive stack of unread books on my desk, lol). The app is innovative and is a great example of how technology can be used to revive Te Reo. It is fun and gets better as people continue to scan things. The app scores points for ingenuity. The app has expanded with Spark developing Kupu 2.0, which supports Te Reo learning in the classroom following the government’s announcement to make NZ history compulsory in all schools.
The app facilitates the curiosity of its user and is so far endlessly enjoyable. 8/10 for ingenuity.
Drops is the first multi-language learning app to incorporate Te Reo into its linguistic range. The app uses image association to help the user learn whatever language is chosen. You’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the app, but this is reflected in the splendid interface, the scope of learning, and the range of languages you can learn. Daniel Farkas (Drops co-founder) told idealog: “Helping to preserve and promote smaller languages around the world is a cause very close to my heart, so it’s been exciting to see New Zealand’s genuine interest in the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori” The app is 10/10 for that statement alone.
Great user experience makes it a 9/10 despite the cost.
Kōreoreo is an interactive learning tool developed by AUT that uses repetition and phrase listening to learn Te Reo. The app is best used by someone who wants to incorporate Te Reo in their daily lives. The app uses scenarios to base your learning upon. These scenarios are everyday events where anyone can incorporate Te Reo Māori. Again, this isn’t an app that offers someone a full course on learning Te Reo, but we all begin our journey somewhere, and Kōreoreo is a great place to start.
A app for clearly for beginners but still a great tool for those who would like to brush up on their language skills. 6/10