The Drops app makes an endangered New Zealand language accessible to the world
An app by Hungarian-based Language Drops is giving global exposure to te reo Māori, the native language of New Zealand. The program, called Learn Māori, is one of more than 30 apps from the language learning company. It is the the first major multi-language app to add te reo Māori. Another of Drops’ apps teaches Hawaiian, which is also an endangered language.
Te reo Māori (known locally as Māori) has fewer than 127,000 native speakers worldwide — making it an endangered language. The global reach of the app could encourage more people to learn it, according to the company. The Learn Māori program includes 2000 words. Apparently that is enough to understand 80 percent of the language, according to the company.
The format is picture-based. It is divided into categories like food, objects and transportation. The app provides a Māori word, along with the correct pronunciation. The app then prompts the user to swipe to the corresponding picture.
The app is a free download for Andriod and iOS. Premium packages are also available for $9.99 monthly, $69.99 yearly, or $159.99 for lifetime access.