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Sep 21, 2021

Porirua high school students create website to improve pronunciation of Māori and Pasifika names

To’e Lokeni considers his name a gift, given to him by his family. But it’s a gift that’s been mispronounced over and over again, the 16-year-old says


Lokeni and a group of nine other Porirua high schoolers have created a web tool to help people correctly pronounce Māori and Pasifika names – bringing pride into pronunciation.

The year 12 students at Bishop Viard College have created a website called “Fa’amalosi” which means “be strong” in Samoan.

“Fa’amalosi means be strong to say it right – have the courage to try,” co-chief executive Mannfred Sofara said.

Two weeks after its launch, the website has more than 700 Māori, Samoan, Tokelauan, Kiribati, Cook Island and Tongan names, which users click on to hear.

For a one-off cost of $4.99, people have access to the site – where they search for a name, then click on it to hear correct pronunciation, as well as seeing the name spelt correctly and phonetically.

Read more here.