Most people have heard of Easter Island, a remote island owned by Chile famous for the moai, or head statues, that dot the ground. What fewer people know is the indigenous name of the island: Rapa Nui. The indigenous people of Easter Island are of Polynesian ethnicity and speak their own, unique Polynesian language also called Rapa Nui.
The indigenous Rapa Nui people and their culture thrived for hundreds of years before the arrival of European colonizers. Now, as a part of Chile, the Rapa Nui language and culture are under threat of Hispanization, as most Rapa Nui children learn Spanish before their ancestral tongue. Despite efforts to revitalize the language, its vitality remains vulnerable, leading most translation services to forgo offering services for Rapa Nui. But at TranslationServices.com, we love the Rapa Nui language and would hate to see it die out. We know it holds deep cultural value to the Rapa Nui people, and they deserve access to great translation services. This is the thinking that led us to create our Rapa Nui translation team.
Contact us and ask for a free quote for our Rapa Nui translation services anytime.
Want to learn a bit about Rapa Nui?
Rapa Nui currently has around 1000 speakers, with efforts ongoing to increase the language’s vitality. It’s classified as an Eastern Polynesian language, placing it within the Austronesian language family and making it related to Tahitian, Marquesan, and Hawaiian. Like other Polynesian languages, Rapa Nui is a strictly isolating language, featuring almost no inflection, and puts the verb at the beginning of sentences in a verb-subject-object word order. It distinguishes between alienable and inalienable possession (i.e., things that one possesses without conscious choice, like body parts) through two different possessive particles.
Also like other Polynesian languages, Rapa Nui makes heavy use of reduplication, to various grammatical ends. Reduplication can transform nouns into adjectives, intensify an action, or denote plurality, depending on the context. Rapa Nui pronouns also pack more nuance than those of English, with first-person pronouns divided into singular, dual, and plural versions and the dual and plural versions further distinguished by clusivity (i.e., whether or not the speaker is included). All grammatical objects in Rapa Nui are marked with the relational particle i, except with verbs of sensing, such as tikea (“to see”).
Since Rapa Nui is so dramatically different from English, its grammatical structure may seem overwhelming. But to our native-speaking Rapa Nui translators, it’s no problem.
We’d like to translate to and from Rapa Nui for you.
We’re dedicated to high-quality translation services both to and from Rapa Nui, covering as many client needs as possible. Our translators are prepared to translate various materials from Rapa Nui to English, from historical documents, to traditional folklore, to personal notes written by Rapa Nui speakers—these are ways to increase awareness of and appreciation for the Rapa Nui language and culture. Our team is also equipped to translate content from English to Rapa Nui, whether that’s questionnaires, educational material, books, games, websites, apps, or anything else—this can help Rapa Nui speakers preserve their language by expanding its domain of use and creating more material for learners.
Why not send us a message today to discuss your Rapa Nui translation needs? We’re waiting!