June 02, 2023
Translator casts net wide
Teacher and translator Te Haumihiata Mason says the more domains te reo Māori can be in the more it will thrive.
Ms Mason was this week invested as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori language education.
She says growing up in Ruatoki, te reo Māori was her first language, and it has always given her comfort.
She’s recently returned to Te Urewera after a career that included lecturing at the University of Waikato and two spells with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.
Her publications include contributions to the first monolingual Māori dictionary He Pātaka Kupu, the translation of The Diary of Anne Frank, and the Maori version of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida which featured in the Globe to Globe festival in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.
She’s just started work on interpreting another of Shakespeare’s plays, and intends to take on some younger collaborators to show them the ropes.
“I think Shakespeare understands human behaviour, human thought. Those things are universal, they are so similar to te ao Maori and the way we behave in certain situations I guess. Shakespeare seems to just have such a good handle on that, on human behaviour,” Ms Mason says.