Native Village Youth and Education News
January 1, 2009 Issue 193 Volume 2

Inuktitut phrase book tackles language barrier for visitors

Manitoba: A newly published Inuktitut phrase book aims to bridge the communication gap between the Inuit and their visitors.

Billed as a phrase book for nearly all occasions, Pocket Inuktitut is the second aboriginal language book put out by Winnipeg-based publishing house Mazinaate.

Author Martha Toka Peet, an Inuktitut interpreter and translator originally from the Nunavut community of Taloyoak, said the book should be useful to anyone travelling among the Inuit.

The pocket-sized book deals with everyday situations such as going to the grocery store, the church or the hospital.
It also includes small talk for conference-goers, and tips on local culture such as how to dress and behave when visiting Inuit communities.

The company previously published a book on Ojibwe phrases and is currently working on one for Cree, said publisher Pat Ningewance.

"Those are the three languages that, it has been said, will survive," she said.
An American indigenous language institute has expressed interest in publishing similar books for some of its languages such as Cherokee and Navajo, she said.

The best way to keep a language alive is to use it, she said.

Hello.  Ai. (Ey)
How are you?  Qanuipit? (Kan-oo-ee-peet)  
Fine, thank you.  Qaniungi. (Kan-ee-oo-ngee)
What is your name?  Kinauvit? (Keen-a-oo-veet?)
My name is ______ .   Uvanga _____ativa (Oov-a-nga _____at-ee-va)
Thank you.  Naqurmiik. (Nak-urm-eek)
You're welcome.  Ilaali. (Eel-a-lee)
Yes.  . (Ee

Netsilik School, Taloyoak, Nunavut, Canada
No.  Nakka. (Nak-a)
Goodbye (to one person)  Tavvauvutit. (Tav-a-oov-oo-teet)
Goodbye (to many people) Tavvauvusi. (Tav-a-oov-oo-see)
Help!  Ikajunga!
Good morning.  Ulaakut. (Ool-ak-oot)
Good night.  Unnukkut. (Oon-oo-koot)
I don't understand.  Tukisinngittung. (Too-kees-ee-ng-toong)

Article: InuitindianartDigest Number 2290

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