Rapa Nui – the language – is spoken by a minority of Easter Island’s population. Figures suggest perhaps 800 out the 3700 or so inhabitants.
I wanted to include some authentic Rapa Nui language in the script for my new musical ‘Compass Rose’, though I’m not convinced I’ve achieved it!.
There aren’t a huge number of resources out there, but these sites were useful:
- Rapa Nui Language – Wikipedia
Good overview, if a little technical. Lists of numbers, vowel sounds and links through to other sites.
On Easter Island, dedicated few trying to preserve native Rapa Nui language
This was an inspiring article and part of the impetus to include Rapa Nui in the script. Interesting video on Rapa Nui in the classroom.
The Language of Easter Island
Pronunciation, preface to the dictionary.
- Rapa Nui – English dictionary
My main resource, and a fascinating excursion into the way the environment shapes our language. There are hundreds of entries regarding fish, and nine different phrases for the various phases of the tides.
- Learn a Little rapa Nui
Beginners guide, simple words and phrases.
- Rapa Nui Language Information & Dictionary
List of Rapa Nui place names, phrases and pronunciation guide. Complete with photos!