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Languages in Raja Ampat

When planning your vacation, it is important to consider the language commonly spoken in your destination. There are many exciting destinations in the world where language barrier hampers the visitors’ experience. If you are planning to visit Raja Ampat in Indonesia, it is imperative to appreciate the range of languages you will encounter.

Languages in Raja Ampat

This archipelago has a wide range of islands, which has led to development of different languages. The impact of neighboring communities is also seen in the various languages spoken in Raja Ampat. Languages spoken in this region are an interesting study of the region’s culture. Below are some of the languages which you will find in the region:

  • Ma’ya: This is spoken by the Wawiyai (Gulf Kabui), Laganyan (Kampung Araway, BeO and Lopintol), and Kawe tribal communities (Kampung Selpele, Salio, Bianci and Waisilip).
  • Ambel (-Waren): Used by the inhabitants of eastern Gulf of Mayalibit including groups such as Warsamdin, Waifoi, Go, and Kabilol, Kalitoko, Wairemak, and Kabaré and Kapadiri.
  • Batanta: A language spoken by the inhabitants of the southern part of Batanta Island including residents of Kampung Wailebet and Kampung Yenanas.
  • Tepin: This language is used in the north eastwards Salawati by residents of Kampung Kalyam, Solol, Kapatlap, and Samate. There are dialects namely Kalyam Solol, Kapatlap and Samate.
  • Moi: This language is used in Kampung Kalobo, Sakabu, and some parts of Kampung Samate.
  • Matbat: This is spoken on Misool Island and speakers are spread across Folley, Tomolol, Kapatcool, Aduwei, Kampung Salafen, Lenmalas, Atkari and Magey.
  • Misool language: This is different from Matbat and is spoken by Missol people from the beach areas including muslims in Fafanlap, Gamta, Lilinta, Yelu, Business Jaya, Kampung Waigama and Harapan Jaya.
  • Biga language: This tongue is used by residents living on the banks of River Biga Biga (South East Misool District) and is considered a language originating from migration.
  • Biak: this is used by people who are migrating from the island of Biak and Noemfoor. Some of the dialects include Biak Wardo, Biak USBA, Biak Kafdaron, Biak Beteu (Beser) and Biak Noemfoor.

Raja Ampat Language - children playing

There are other languages used in Raja Ampat including the language of Tobelo, Bugis, Buton, Ternate, Seram, and Java. However, the Lingua Franca in Raja Ampat have remained Raja Ampat Biak and Malay languages. Biak language is used not only for communication but also as a symbol of unity. While Malay Papua is dominant, Biak language still remains the Lingua Franca in this region. Come to Papua Paradise Eco Resort and our local guide will teach you some of these unique languages to you.

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