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Polynesian Language References

Aloha kākou!  Iorana korua!  

The language and culture of Hawai‘i and Rapa Nui are the roots of my ‘Ulu Tree.  Because this website is largely based on information gained in those two Polynesian islands, you may see words in each language (Hawaiian and Rapa Nui) here and there.  For those of you who need a little bit of help with the Polynesian language references found in the pages of this site, I've included this resource for you.  Here you'll find a very basic lesson on the Hawaiian Language, as well as a brief description of the Rapa Nui language.  I've also provided links to a Hawaiian Dictionary as well as a Rapa Nui Dictionary of all the words used within the site.    

There are a surprising number of similarities in the vocabulary of the Hawaiian and Rapa Nui languages.  I heard a theory once that the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Rapa Nui languages are more similar to each other than to the languages found in the rest of the Pacific because the ancient settlers of both Hawai‘i and Rapa Nui set out from the Marquesas.  Not being a linguist, I really cannot attest to the validity of this information...however, I do know that from my experience, when hearing Marquesan and Rapa Nui spoken, I seem to understand a little bit more than I do with other Polynesian languages.   (I can't understand a word of Maori, Samoan or Tongan!)  The more time I spend in Rapa Nui, the more I feel I can understand.  The grammar of the Rapanui language, however, seems to vary greatly from that of Hawaiian, as well as the rhythm while speaking.  While I understand some of the words I hear, I usually cannot understand the overall statement simply because the grammar and rhythm are different from what I am used to.  

Here is my Disclaimer:  This is not a valid reference for study of the Rapanui language or any other Polynesian language.  These are just little things I've picked up here and there from my own experience.  I am in no way an expert in the Rapa nui Language, and even though I have been schooled in the Hawaiian Language, I make no claims to being an expert at it either.  Please keep that in mind when viewing the following pages.  Enjoy!  

A VERY Basic Hawaiian Language Lesson

Hawaiian Dictionary

of words used on this site

Rapanui Language Information & Dictionary

of words used on this site




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