Trilingual mobile app links Aucklanders with places and species

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Auckland, September 26, 2020

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has just announced that it has made public a Mobile App that helps people in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) to identify places, spaces and species in nature.

Although developed five years ago, it is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

Available in three languages including Te Reo, English and Mandarin, the App speaks to the holder.

Called ‘Pūkete taiao o Tāmaki Makaurau,’ or The Language of Nature in Auckland, the App can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices.

The Writer’s passion

DOC Strategic Partnerships Advisor Julie Kidd, who wrote the App, said that it began as a passion project to help her Conservation partners improve their identification and pronunciation of Te Reo.

“It had such an immediate and large uptake by thousands of people all around the world, we thought, ‘What next?’ The obvious opportunity was Mandarin to support resident Chinese communities in Auckland to engage safely in nature in and around the City,” she said.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust Chair Jo Coughlan welcomed the trilingual App, saying that it is the sort of tool the trust is encouraging people to give a go.

The NZCLW Trust has produced its resources in three languages for several years now.

Celebrating multilingualism

NZCLW celebrates multilingualism in New Zealand and recognises the advantages of learning Chinese in our increasingly globalised community.

Now in its sixth year, the Kiwi-led initiative is being held across New Zealand between September 20 to September 26 this year, under the theme ‘A Taste of New Zealand,’ celebrating the food and drink links between our Chinese and New Zealand cultures.

NZCLW has resources designed to make it easier to practice helpful phrases provided by the Trust through its website

Helpful guides

There are helpful phrase guides and posters available to download from the NZCLW website, People can take part in the #5Phrases5Days challenge and post on social media using #NZCLW or #NZCLWDumplingDay hashtags.

Ms Coughlan said that the Trust hopes to help more Kiwis ‘give Chinese a go’ by taking part in an event, taking the #5Phrases5Days challenge, or eating some dumplings.

A key part of the week will be Dumpling Day on September 26, 2020, a chance to celebrate the delicious little food parcels and highlight some of the great producers of dumplings in New Zealand – or indeed any good Chinese food made with great New Zealand products.

“While we are not able to travel between New Zealand and China at the moment, there is a lot of shared history and culture, particularly food, to celebrate in New Zealand. We encourage the public and local business community to get involved, host an event, and help inspire New Zealanders to better understand and connect with our Chinese friends and partners,” Ms Coughlan said.

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