Maori Translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is Now Up for Preorder!
Earlier today, Auckland University Press listed the newest Harry Potter Translation, HARE POTA ME TE WHATU MANAPOU up for preorder!
To say I'm excited about this new translation is an understatement. Not only are we getting brand new and wonderfully unique cover art from hopefully a Maori illustrator (I'm not sure of this, but am hopeful for now!) Harry Potter is being rendered into an indigenous language. My inner linguist is so very happy right now!
There are thought to be approximately 50,000 native speakers; however, 149,000 New Zealanders claim some speaking knowledge of Maori. Maori, one of New Zealand's official languages since 1987, is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Maori People, the indigenous people of New Zealand. The language has been in sharp decline 1945, but because of revitalization efforts, the language is beginning to turn around. Beginning in 2015, the language began undergoing a revival due in part to previous revitalization efforts as well as the language's growing popularity within the country. Maori language classes started becoming more in-demand, and the status of the language has continued to rise.
In 2019, Kotahi Rau Pukapuka Trust was launched in 2019 by the country's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. Auckland University Press will be working alongside the Trust for the duration of the project. The Trust aims to publish 100 books into Te Reo Maori, starting with the publication of a book about my favorite boy wizard, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. How fabulous is it that Harry is kicking off this amazing effort! Again, I'm just so giddy!
I'm guessing that Harry Potter was chosen to be included in this set of 100 books for several reasons which in include drawing attention to the language and this project, creating new interest in the language, giving language learners and native speakers an internationally renowned and well-loved book, wanting to continue to elevate the status of the language, and others. I am very excited to read about the reception of this book and its translation. And, if the translation is as excellent at the cover art, Maori readers are in for a treat!