Austronesian languages are spoken in Southeast Asia, Polynesia and the Pacific islands.If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien
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Austronesian Languages

Austronesian Languages
Indonesian Linguistics

The Austronesian family includes the Malayo-Polynesian languages and a few other odds and ends. (Austronesian means "southern islands" in Greek.) This massive language family boasts over 1,000 languages, making it the largest family in the world.

As you might guess, Austronesian includes many languages spoken in Southeast Asia and Polynesia, as well as Micronesia and Melanesia. Surprisingly, Malagasy, the official language of the nation of Madagascar, is part of the Austronesian family, despite its location thousands of miles away from core area of Austronesian speakers. Also, the natives of Easter Island, in the far eastern Pacific Ocean, speak an Austronesian language. This testifies to the Austronesians' skill in making long-distance ocean voyages. Anthropologists believe that Austronesian speakers began migrating from their homeland in Southeast Asia about 3,000 or 4,000 years ago, and went on to settle almost all of the Pacific islands.

Despite the huge geographical expanse they occupy, the Austronesian languages are remarkably similar. Some of the most important languages in this family are Indonesian, Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Tagalog, Samoan, Fijian, Maori and Hawaiian. Unfortunately, there are only a few thousand people who speak Hawaiian today, but English speakers in Hawaii use a large number of Hawaiian words in their daily conversation, and are familiar with dozens of other Hawaiian words used in place names. For example, Ala Moana ( Ocean Road) and Kailua ( Two Seas).

 

Austronesian Languages
English Indonesian Tagalog Fijian Maori Hawaiian
I aku, saya ako yau ahau, au owau, au
you engkau, anda ikau iko koe 'oe
he, she dia siya koya ia 'oia, ia
we kami tayo, kami keitou taua, maua kaua, maua
here disini díto, dini ikê konei eia nei
where dimana saan vei keinea aihea
this ini ito nggô tenei keia, ia
hand lengan kamay linga ringaringa lima
heart jantung puso uto ngakau pu'uwai
breast susu suso sudhu   waiu
eye mata mata mata kanohi maka
ear telinga tenga ndalinga taringa pepeiao
nose hidung ilong udhu ihu ihu
mouth mulut bibig gudhu waha waha
face muka mukha mata kanohi maka
foot kaki paa yava waewae wawae
skin kulit kuwit kuli kiri 'ili
head kepala úlo ulu uru po'o
English Indonesian Tagalog Fijian Maori Hawaiian
man orang lakilaki lalaki tangane tangata kanaka
woman wanita babae yelewa wahine wahine
child anak anak ngone tamariki keiki
bird burung ibon manumanu manu manu
pig babi baboy   poaka puua
fish ikan isda ika ika i'a
water air tubig wai wai wai
house rumah bahay vale whare hale
rain hujan ulan udha ua ua
sun matahari araw matanisinga ra la
moon bulan buwan vula marama mahina
sky langit langit lomalangi rangi lani
day hari, siang araw singa ra la
night malam gabi mbongi po po
hill bukit bundok ndelana puke pu'u
road jalan daan sala ara ala
stone batu bato vatu kowhatu pohaku
land tanah bansa vanua whenua 'aina
sea laut dagat waitui moana moana, kai
English Indonesian Tagalog Fijian Maori Hawaiian
island pulau pulo yanuyanu motu moku
fire api apoi kama ahi ahi
wind angin hangin     makani
wood kayu kahoy kau rakau la'au
big besar malaki levu nui nui
small kecil maliit lailai iti iki
good baik mabuti vinaka pai maika'i
new baru bago vou hou hou
dead mati patay mate mate make
taboo     tambu tabu kapu
afraid tahkut takot      
year tahun taon yambaki tau makahiki
to see lihat makákita rai-dha kite ike
to eat makan kumain kana kai ai
to drink minum inom nggunu-va inu inu
to ke sa vei ki i
one satu isa ndua tahi kahi
two dua dalawa rua tua lua
three tiga tatlo tolu toru kolu
four empat ápat whaa haa
five lima lima lima rima lima
English Indonesian Tagalog Fijian Maori Hawaiian

Notes:

  • Most of the words are pronounced as written.
  • In Indonesian, 'c' is pronounced 'ch'.
  • Fijian 'dh' is like 'th' is 'this'.
  • In Hawaiian, an apostrophe indicates a glottal stop.

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