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Learn Rapa Nui language

Learn to speak some rapanui language to impress the islanders! Showing some cultural interest by speaking the local language can open many doors on the island.

Rapa Nui alphabet

AaĀāEeĒēHhIiĪīKkMmNnOoŌōPpRrTtUuŪūVv'Ŋŋ

The rapanui alphabet contains 20 letters of which 10 are vowels and 10 are consonants.

Long vowels

All vowels have a long variation. The long vowels are marked by a line above the letter, such as "ē" and "ū".

Ŋ

The consonant letter "Ŋ" (pronounced "enge") is used as "ng" in the English language (e.g. "king"). Since the letter "g" doesn't exist in the rapanui language, ŋ is used instead of "ng".

Glottal stop (')

The straight apostrophe (pronounced 'e'e in rapanui) is a so called glottal stop and sounds like the hyphen in the expression uh-oh!. 'E'e is a consonant in the rapanui alphabet.

Lesson 1

Rapa Nui English
¡'Iorana! Hello! / Goodbye!
Au Me / I
Koe You (singular)
¿Pē hē (a) koe? InfoThe a is mostly omitted when speaking, but should be present when writing. How are you?
Riva-riva (I'm) fine
¿Ki hē (a) koe? InfoThe a is mostly omitted when speaking, but should be present when writing. Where are you going?
He oho au I'm going
He oho au ki tō'oku hare I'm going home (literally: to my house)
He oho au he hī I'm going fishing
¿I hē (a) koe? InfoThe a is mostly omitted when speaking, but should be present when writing. Where are you?
¿I hē te hare toa? Where is the store?
¿Ehia tara? How much does it cost? (literally: how much money?)
¡Māuru-uru! Thank you!

Lesson 2

Rapa Nui English
Ko aŋi-aŋi 'ana au I understand
Kai aŋi-aŋi 'ana au I don't understand
¡Ka oho mai! Come here!
¡Ka oho ka hī! Go fishing!
¡Ka va'ai mai i te ika! Give me the fish!
¡Ka oho riva-riva! Good luck! (literally: walk well)
Ko haŋa 'ana au I want
Ko haŋa 'ana au mo oho ki te hare komo I want to go to the bathroom
¿Ko 'ite 'ana koe i he te hare komo? Do you know where the bathroom is?
'Ina, kai 'ite 'ana au No, I don't know
'Ē-ē, ko 'ite 'ana au Yes, I know
Ko haŋa 'ana au mo kai I want to eat
Kai haŋa 'ana au mo kai I don't want to eat
Lesson 2 conversation

Rapa Nui pronouns

Singular
Au I
Koe You
Ia He / she
Plural
Tāua We (me and you)
Māua We (me and him/her)
Mātou We (me and them - not you)
Tātou We (all of us)
Kōrua You
Rāua They

Rapa Nui tenses

Rapa Nui English
He oho au I go
Ko oho 'ana au I went (unfinished event) *
I oho ai au I went (finished event) *
Kai oho 'ana au I didn't go
E oho 'ana au I am going (ongoing event)
I oho rō au I have gone
E oho rō au I will go
E oho rō 'ana au I go **

The grammatical term 'ana can also be shortened to .