Raja Ampat region is a region that is very unique with a series of islands large and small, which greatly affects both the state of the language and its speakers as well as the cultural and social system that is embraced by the people in this region. In addition, this region is a border region between groups of languages ​​and cultures in the west, namely the language and culture in the Moluccas and groups of languages ​​and cultures in Papua.

With the geographical conditions, which is an archipelago and the most western part of the circuit island big island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat Islands into areas that are anthropological and linguistic is an area that gets the title of diversity (an area of ​​diversity). This diversity is very precise term used to describe the situation of culture and language is a blend of cultures and native languages ​​Raja Ampat with cultural and language brought by immigrants, both from other regions of Papua and outside Papua. This mix of cultures and languages ​​has happened since centuries ago.

Languages ​​deployment in Raja Ampat

From the survey conducted, Raja Ampat languages ​​can be grouped as follows:

  1. Language Ma’ya;

That the language used by the tribal community Wawiyai (Gulf Kabui), tribal Laganyan (Kampung Araway, BeO and Lopintol) and tribal Kawe (Kampung Selpele, Salio, Bianci and Waisilip). They use a language that consists of several dialects, namely dialect Wawiyai, Laganyan, and Kawe.

  1. Language Ambel (-Waren);

That the language used by the inhabitants of several villages in the eastern Gulf of Mayalibit, such Warsamdin, Kalitoko, Wairemak, Waifoi, Go, and Kabilol, and Kabaré and Kapadiri in North Waigeo.

  1. Language Batanta.

The language used by the people who inhabit the south Island Batanta, namely residents of Kampung Wailebet and Kampung Yenanas.

  1. Language Tepin.

The language used by the population in north eastwards Salawati, namely residents in Kampung Kalyam, Solol, Kapatlap, and Samate, with several dialects, namely, dialect Kalyam Solol, Kapatlap and Samate.

  1. Language Moi.

This language is the language used by the residents in Kampung Kalobo, Sakabu, and partly Kampung Samate. Moi language used in Salawati Moi is a dialect derived from the mainland west the Bird’s Head, which is directly adjacent to the Strait of Sele.

  1. Language Matbat.

Matbat term is the name given to identify resident and native language Misool Island. The original person called the Matbat Misool and their language is called the language Matbat. Residents who are native speakers of this Matbat spread in Kampung Salafen, Lenmalas, Atkari, Folley, Tomolol, Kapatcool, Aduwei, and Magey.

  1. Language Misool.

This title is given by the population speaking Misool Misool own. This Misool language different from the language Matbat. People who use this Misool language called as Matlou by the Matbat, which means the beach. People who use the language Misool Misool generally Muslim, scattered in Kampung Waigama, Fafanlap, Gamta, Lilinta, Yelu, Business Jaya, and Harapan Jaya. This language is also used by some Muslim villages in Salawati like Sailolo of Muslim villages, and Samate.

  1. Language Biga.

This language is one of the languages ​​of migration that is in the southeast of the island of Misool, which is used by the inhabitants of the village on the banks of the River Biga Biga (South East Misool District). Population and language is expected to migrate from Waigeo Island, from Kampung Kabilol, speaking Ambel. Researchers need to conduct further research to determine whether the language has similarities with language Biga Ambel.

  1. Biak language.

Biak language in Raja Ampat is a language that is migrating from the island of Biak and Noemfoor together with the spread of Biak to Raja Ampat. Biak language is divided into several dialects, namely Biak Beteu (Beser), Biak Wardo, Biak USBA, Biak Kafdaron, and Biak Noemfoor.

  1. Other Languages.

With the current population migration from the Maluku Islands and other western regions, then there are also several languages ​​spoken by migrants in Raja Ampat as the language of Ternate, Seram, Tobelo, Bugis, Buton, and Java. These languages ​​are minority languages ​​because speakers are not too much.

Lingua Franca in Raja Ampat

History shows that the Raja Ampat Biak and Malay language has long been used as a language of everyday communication among tribes in Raja Ampat, especially in the northern part of the Raja Ampat. Use of Biak language as the language of everyday communication (lingua franca) in this region is supported by the spread rate and Biak language dominant in coastal areas and islands of Waigeo Island in the north to Salawati and Kofiau in the south. While Malay Papua is the most common communication language used in every day activities in the Raja Ampat.

In the history of civilization in Raja Ampat, Papua Malay language plays a role not only as the language of instruction used at any time, but also to strengthen the relationship between all ethnic groups as well as the language of communication with other ethnic groups in the region outside the Raja Ampat. Until now the language is still used as a lingua franca, though Malay Papua very dominant compared to the Biak language.