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Arctic Blast 2001

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Culture and language are inseparable. But the culture of the North is especially oral, having been passed on since the beginning of time. 

There are 8 official
languages spoken in the NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Luckily many legends still exist! Try one of these...

Why Is It Dark In The Winter

The Man Who Became A Caribou

Inuktikut Language Chart

The languages of the Inuit people constitute a subfamily of the Eskimo-Aleut language family. A major linguistic division occurs in Alaska, according to whether the speakers call themselves Inuit (singular, Inuk) or Yuit (singular, Yuk). The language spoken by inuit (among which our team is traveling) is generally called: Inupiaq in Alaska, Inuktitut in Canada and Kalaallisut (Kal‚dtlisut) in Greenland. It is a chain of dialects! Which means that most often people who live close by can understand each other, whereas when they are far apart they can not - even though it is the same language!!

(For your info the Yuit language is generally called Yupik)

To see this chart of the Inuktitut Language in full click here
-- Try to write your name!

The Inupiaq dialects have more than 40,000 speakers in Greenland and more than 20,000 in Alaska and Canada. Yupik languages are spoken by about 17,000 people, including some 1000 in the former Soviet Union. These various languages are used for the first year of school in some parts of Siberia, for religious instruction and education in schools under Inuit control in Alaska, and in schools and communications media in Canada and Greenland. Inuktitut is now also one of 3 official languages in the new Canadian territory of NUNAVUT.

The Inupiaq and Yupik languages have an immense number of suffixes that are added to a smaller number of root words. A root word can give rise to many derivative words, often many syllables long and highly specialized in meaning, and sometimes complex enough to serve as an entire sentence. Qimuksiit (which means "Dogs and people traveling together as a unit) is a good example!

Because these languages are among the most complex and difficult in the world, few explorers or traders have learned them; instead, they relied on a jargon composed of Danish, Spanish, Hawaiian, and Inupiaq and Yupik words. The Inupiaq and Yupik languages themselves have a rich oral literature. The first book in Inupiaq was published in 1742






  How are you Qanuippit Khah-nweep-peet
  I am fine Qanuinngittunga Khah-nwee-nngit-toonga
  What is your name Kinauvit Kee-nah-oo-veet
  Thank You Qujannamik Khoo-yannah-meek
  You are welcome Ilaali E-laah-li
  I am hungry Kaaktunga Kaak-toonga
  Help! Ikajuunga Eekah-yoo-nnga
  How many? Qatsiit Khat-seet
  Yes li Ee
  No Aakka Ah-ka
  Maybe Immaqqaa Eem-mak-haw
  What is it? Una suna Oo-na soo-na
  Goodbye Tavvauvutit Tub-vow-voo-teet
. . .

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