Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl has been translated into Te Reo Maori

The translated version of Anne Frank's diary is being launched at Te Papa.
The translated version of Anne Frank's diary is being launched at Te Papa. Photo credit: Supplied

One of the world's most well-known autobiographies has been translated into Te Reo Māori.

The translated version of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl will be  launched at Wellington's Te Papa on Wednesday.  It would have been Anne Frank's 90th birthday. 

Boyd Klap, the chair of the Anne Frank Travelling Exhibition , decided the book should be translated after he was invited to Parihaka to discuss his exhibition and its themes of discrimation. He was asked by a young Māori woman if Diary of a Young Girl  was available in Te Reo.

"I didn't even know it hadn't been translated into Te Reo Māori," the 92-year-old said.

"I think most people wouldn't have known."

He then obtained the rights to the book,with permission granted by Anne Frank Fonds Foundation in Switzerland. After that, Klap found a publisher and the money to translate and print it.

Te Rātaka a Tētahi Kōhine (Diary of a Young Girl) will be the 73rd translation of the book.

The book  has been translated by kaiwhakamāori (interpreter) Te Haumihiata Mason. She says her experience with Te Reo Māori has come full circle after being beaten at school for speaking it, to being paid to write it.

"I grew up in Ruatoki, where the whole community spoke Te Reo," she told NZME.

"At the time, with the assimilationist policy in place to get all the little brown kids to speak English we were not allowed to speak it." 

She says as a child she was afraid to speak Māori, and the opportunity to translate such an important work is something she is committed to.

"It's important to me, this work. I've been invested in the revitalisation of te reo for decades and I'm committed to that," Mason told news site Noted. 

"I hope to transport the reader somewhere and transform their thinking in Te Reo," she said.

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