Native toIndonesia
RegionWest Papua
Native speakers
(6,000 cited 1987)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3wrp

Waropen is an Austronesian language spoken at the Geelvink Bay of Indonesian Papua. It is fairly closely related to the Yapen languages. Dialects are Waropen Kai, Napan, and Ambumi.


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
prenasal ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ
voiced b d ɡ
Fricative f s ɣ (h)
Rhotic r
Approximant w j

/w/ can also be heard as a fricative [β].

/h/ may also exist phonemically in other dialects.[2]

Sounds /w, j/ can be heard as vowels [ʊ, ɪ] when after vowel sounds.[3]

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid ɛ ~ e ə ɔ
Open a

/ɛ/ may be pronounced as [ɛ] or [e].[2]


In Papua province, it is spoken in Mamberamo Raya Regency and Waropen Regency. The Ambumi dialect is spoken in the south Waropen Bay area. Waropen is also spoken southwest to the Rombak River mouth.


  1. ^ Waropen at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Held, Gerrit J. (1942). Grammatica van het Waropensch (Nederlandsch Noord Nieuw-Guinea). A.C. Nix, Bandoeng.
  3. ^ Flassy, Don A.L.; Animung, Lisidus; Sawaki, Rachel (1994). Fonologi bahasa Waropen. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.