February 12, 2019 — Te reo Māori will have a new international linguistic audience today, as major multi-language learning app Drops launches Māori for iOS and Android. The Māori release will include almost 2000 words, a vocabulary comprehension level that most linguists agree is sufficient for understanding between 80-90 percent of a language.
Named Google Play’s ‘Best App of 2018’, Drops is the first major multi-language app to add te reo Māori and will include categories like food, objects, transportation, and more. Users match an image and the corresponding word with the swipe of a finger. These visual mnemonics are proven to help users learn, and remember new words and phrases easily.
The language app enters the market amidst a stark revitalization period for te reo Māori in Aotearoa. Despite 2013 census data showing a gradual decline in speakers of New Zealand’s native language*, te reo classes across the country have been widely reported as being booked out.
“Helping to preserve and promote smaller languages around the world is a cause very close to my heart, so it’s been exciting to see New Zealand’s genuine interest in the revitalization of te reo Māori,” said Drops Co-founder and CEO, Daniel Farkas.
“Te reo Māori has a rich history, with words and phrases uniquely tied to the values embedded in their culture. We worked with native translators to create a seamless experience for learners of all ages and all levels — from parents who grew up speaking Māori, Kiwis starting their learning journey, through to international tourists interested in New Zealand’s unique and magnificent language,” Māori broadcaster, Te Aniwa Hurihanganui, whose voice-overs can be heard throughout the new Drops app, understands the importance of expanding te reo comprehension in New Zealand and abroad.
“Te reo Māori is an essential part of Aotearoa’s cultural fabric,” said Hurihanganui. “Alternate learning platforms like Drops not only give New Zealanders the chance to learn our native tongue; they bring our beautiful language to people across the world.”
Drops is the fastest growing language app in the world (5x year-on-year growth) with more than 10 million users, almost five million of which are based in the Asia-Pacific region. The company uses a fundamentally different approach to learning, allowing it to move quickly and buck industry standards, adding new languages in a matter of weeks.
“We recently launched Hawaiian and Icelandic, and the responses have been incredible. We’re hoping we will get a similar reception with the introduction of te reo Māori. There are already wonderful initiatives in effect in New Zealand to preserve the Māori language, and we’re keen to do our bit in supporting its resurgence with Māori on Drops,” said Farkas.
*NZ Census data, accessed on https://www.stats.govt.nz/ show NZ’s te reo speakers dropped from 4.17% in 1996, to 3.5% in 2013
Drops is the new way to learn a language that combines beautiful, engaging word puzzles with mnemonic association. Like an online game, Drops is fast and fun and quickly becomes an integral part of your daily routine, thus making it easy to learn one or more of Drops’ 30+ languages. Drops was founded in 2015 by language and learning enthusiasts. Daniel Farkas and Mark Szulyovszky. Built off years of research into easier and more effective ways to learn, the app has developed a cult following and is now the fastest-growing language learning app in the world. Drops is available for free on iOS and Android, with a premium version available for $9.99 monthly, $69.99 yearly, or $159.99 for lifetime access.
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