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Rapa Nui and Indonesian Languages


I stumbled upon an interesting post about a language when I was using Facebook. It is the Rapa Nui language from Easter Island located in the Polynesia inside the territory of Chile. This language surprised me because it resembles one of my native languages, Indonesian. Although both countries where these two languages are spoken are separated extremely far away, I notice similarities that are interesting to share.

Comparison between Rapa Nui and Indonesian languages

Both Rapa Nui and Indonesian belong to the Austronesian language family. It is the fifth-largest language family by number of speakers. The Austronesian languages are a language family widely spoken throughout Southeast Asia, Madagascar, the islands of the Pacific Ocean, and Taiwan. 

The following list shows the words in Rapa Nui and Indonesian languages, with Rapa Nui on the left and Indonesian on the right.
  • 1 = tahi / satu
  • 2 = rua / dua
  • 3 = toru / tiga
  • 4 = ha / empat
  • 5 = rima / lima
  • 6 = ono / enam
  • 7 = hitu / tujuh
  • 8 = varu / delapan
  • 9 = iva / sembilan
  • fish = ika / ikan
  • ear = taringa / telinga
  • eye = mata / mata
  • louse = kutu / kutu
  • leaf = rau / daun
  • root = aka / akar
  • stone = poatu / batu
  • fire = afi / api
  • sky = rangi / langit
  • fruit = pua / buah
  • mosquito = namu / nyamuk
  • liver = ate / hati
  • cry = tangi / tangis
  • bird = manu / burung
  • I = au / aku
  • he/ she = ia / dia
  • die = mate / mati
  • woman = vahine / wanita

Easter Island and Indonesia

Easter Island is a remote volcanic island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, governed by Chile. It has a population of almost 8,000 inhabitants. The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called Moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people.

Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago and the 14th-largest country by area, located in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. With over 279 million people, Indonesia is the world's fourth-most-populous country. Indonesia consists of thousands of ethnic groups and hundreds of languages.

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