‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i Hawai‘i

Akamai, Wiki, Mahalo, and now… Makamaka?

Google is apparently developing a challenger to Facebook in the social network space, and is the latest technology to draw its name from the Hawaiian lexicon – makamaka. Makamaka means an intimate friend, pal or buddy in Hawaiian. If this is indeed the final name of the product it would be very nice if Google would respond to our emails and post inquiring about our offices providing a Hawaiian translation for some of their online services. I have contacted the email they provide for their localization coordinator – no response. Post to their translator’s discussion forum – my post doesn’t appear. Call their offices – get the runaround. If they want to use a word from our language for their product, fine, but support the language, too! How about it, Google?

I am an Asst. Professor of Hawaiian Language and Technology and Media Director for the Hawaiian Language Center at U. of Hawai’i at Hilo. I have worked for many years to bring technology resources to Hawaiian speakers and strengthen their ability to interact with each other through our native language. I would very much like to work with Google to provide a Hawaiian interface to some if not most of your services. I have translated numerous programs into Hawaiian and have run our Hawaiian language telecommunications systems for years. We currently have about 1,000 speakers who use these systems, and I am certain this number would increase dramatically if the services were help.

I just read how M?ori language will be added soon. Our languages are closely related and would welcome the opportunity to work on this personally.

Keola Donaghy
Assistant Professor of Hawaiian Studies
Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani
University of Hawai’i at Hilo

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