Free digital resources include NZSL and te reo Māori

The publisher of an award-winning series of children’s books and CDs in te reo was granted funding to create free digital versions of four Te Reo Singalong books in NZSL.

To view the four Te Reo Singalong video books, visit their website here

“We’ve had lots of feedback from people in the Deaf community as well as mainstream teachers saying how much they are enjoying the combination of NZSL and te reo Māori, New Zealand’s two official languages.

“We were also able to extend publicity about the project into June and July, which is the time of Matariki, because one of the books we translated was our very popular Matariki book,” says Sharon.

The other three books in the project are Kei te peke ahau, Kia Ora and He aha tēnei? Sharon worked with staff from Kelston Deaf Education Centre to develop the signs for the videos, which needed to match the rhythm of the songs. The books in NZSL are a translation of the written text and include some features of Deaf culture. One example is in the translation of Kia Ora, a book about greetings and feelings. In the Deaf culture, unique name signs are given to people by a member of the Deaf community. They are a short and quick way to recognise someone and are often based on a physical characteristic or personality trait. In Kia Ora, name signs have been given to each family member in the NZSL version.

The videos were signed by 19-year-old Tuhoi Henry, one of KDEC’s Tū Kōkiri students who is form Northland’s Te Uri o Hau hapū. Tuhoi says he would love to see more Māori NZSL interpreters.

Tuhoi practising in the film studio


“I have a dream to see more Māori NZSL interpreters, so we can feed back into the Deaf community and show how things can be done in a Deaf way, but also in a Māori way,” he says. “But that has to be done one step at a time and being involved with this project is a good step forward.”

Each of the four videos is available in two versions. One version has te reo Māori subtitles only, and the other has English and te reo Māori subtitles. Follow this link to see them:

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