Thursday, March 08, 2007


My Inuktitut lessons are going well this week and I must say I'm quite pleased. I have a great instructor. I have expanded my vocabulary quite a bit and added considerably to my little red book of Inuktitut phrases and words.

Inuktitut has a lot of inflections/verb endings which I found quite intimidating at first. You can take a simple verb and keep adding on little suffixes so that the words can grow quite long. In English there are only a few suffixes like "s", "ed" and "ing" to worry about following a word. In Inuktitut however, there are, according to the workbook we were using, around 738 such verb endings in the North Baffin dialect. Wow. 738!

Here's how it works. I'll use a grand total of 3 verb endings.

tukisi (understand) + nngi (negative) + lauq (past tense) + tunga (I)

Run it all together (and I hope I have this right) and you get the freight train word of tukisinngilauqtunga (I didn't understand).

NOTE - I've been corrected through a very helpful anonymous commenter. The correct word should read "Tukisiqqaungittara". Qujannamiik!

On another note, I've been following the Canada Games over in Whitehorse and our local athletes are doing quite well. We have a few medals in Inuit and Dene Games. They've picked up at least 6 by my count. As mentioned in a previous post, these medals don't count in the official standings since they are only (!)demonstration sports. But if these medals did count it would up our medal total, meaning that a number of Nunavut's medals have come from our athletes in Arctic Bay. What can I say? We have awesome kids here!!


Anonymous said...

"I didn't understand"

"I don't understand"

"I understand"

Way Way Up said...

Thanks for the correction. My instructor pointed out my error when I mentioned it to him this morning but I couldn't get home fast enough to change it.

I do find it rather ironic that I messed up this phrase though!

Anonymous said...

It's the only way to learn from mistakes and I'm really anal when it comes to mistakes in writing in inuktitut :) sorry.


Way Way Up said...

No apologizes encessary, Ida. I totally understand.

Bonnie said...

On my way south, deays due to fire in Iqaluit airport, but wil enjys keeping up with ArctiC bay news through your blog and photos. I only got to one inuktitut from kango a few weeks ago and had hoped they might be on a weekly basis. lots going on during PD week from the worshops in the gym to sewing parkas and ents. Unfortunately being my last week had to stay in office and finish up all the pape work!
Take care.

Way Way Up said...

Thanks Bonnie. I know the kids really appreciated your involvement in our community. Have a pleasant trip back to oil country.