Check your spelling in Māori

Check your spelling in Māori
Quick Mac Tip, 28 August 2011

We Kiwis all know the problem of a spellcheck flagging placenames such as Te Awamutu or Te Wai Pounamu. Those of us who write in Māori also have to face not even having a spellchecker. Fortunately Karaitiana Taiuru has solved the problem and made his spellchecker available free for Mac, Windows and Linux. Here’s what you need to know.

Maori placenames are marked as potentially incorrect.

Maori placenames are marked as potentially incorrect.

Te Ngutu Kura Māori Spell Checker

Te Ngutu Kura Māori Spell Checker – version 3 is a major upgrade from the original version ten years ago. The previous versions has over 58,000 words, including a separate New Zealand Place Names spell checker and an option to spell check double vowel words.

Te Ngutu Kura truly brings te reo Māori into the new age era of ICT by being available for most systems and applications, including:

The word list is freely available to all software developers further ensuring that te reo Māori is no longer hindered by commercial constraints and gate keepers.

As te reo is a living language, Te Ngutu Kura Māori spell checker is as well. The word lists are constantly being reviewed and added to; individual users also have the option to edit and modify Te Ngutu Kura on their own desktops.


Install Te Ngutu Kura on Lion

The website explains how to install Te Ngutu Kura, but if you’re using Lion there may be a few problems, as you may not be able to find the Home/Users/'UserName'/Library/Spelling folder. Lion now hides the User’s Library folder.

  1. Follow the instructions on the website and download the two files mi_NZ.aff and mi_NZ.dic to your Downloads folder.
  2. Open a new Finder window.
  3. Hold down the Option (⌥) key and click on the Go menu in the menu bar. With the Option (⌥) down you’ll see the Library listed as a folder. [Without the Option (⌥) key that folder does not appear in the list.]
  4. Select Library from the Go. menu. The contents of the Library folder are listed in the window you opened at Step 2.
  5. Open the Spelling folder.
  6. Drag the mi_NZ.aff and mi_NZ.dic files into the Spelling folder.

Now follow the other instructions on the website to use your new spellchecker.

Note: you may need to quit and re-open the software you’re using so that it recognises the newly added spellchecker.

Now see how Te Ngutu Kura handles your Māori text.

Tell us in the comments how you find the Māori spellcheck.

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