Fujitsu and Straker Translations collaborate on Māori translation initiative

Just in time to close out this year’s Māori Language Week, Fujitsu and Straker Translations announced today that they’ve teamed up to offer Māori translation on ServiceNow.

The move is part of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand’s Māori and Pacific Peoples Inclusion Plan, a five-year plan that the company launched in August 2021 to foster and sustain an inclusive relationship with the Indigenous community of New Zealand. The announcement also comes just a few days before the end of Māori Language Week — this year, the celebratory week, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori as it’s known in New Zealand, began on Monday, Sept. 12 and ends on Sunday, Sept. 18.

“Language is such an important part of inclusivity and respect for culture,” said Grant Straker, CEO of Straker Translations. “We are extremely pleased to have worked with Fujitsu on this project and its long-term plan to support Māori and Pacific New Zealander culture.” 

Although Māori is one of the official languages of New Zealand, it is also spoken by a fairly slim minority throughout the country, whose population mostly speaks English. Since it first became an official language in the late 1980’s, the country’s government and other private sector organizations have, however, pledged to support the development of the language, which is Indigenous to the islands.

ServiceNow is a platform that provides various digital workflow solutions for companies and government offices — soon, its dynamic translation feature will include the Māori language, thanks to Fujitsu and Straker Translations’ collaboration. According to the company’s announcement, this will allow customers to automatically translate chats, virtual agents, and other processes into Māori. Customers will also be able to integrate third-party Māori translation services like Google and Microsoft.

“It is no secret that Māori and Pacific New Zealanders have been underrepresented in the technology industry,” the CEO of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, Graeme Beardsell, wrote in a foreword to the Māori and Pacific Peoples Inclusion Plan in August 2021. “That is why Fujitsu has taken the step of publishing a formal inclusion plan — to express our commitment to being part of the solution, and to work collaboratively with community, customers, and our people as we do so.”

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Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.

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