Inuktitut language, syllabary and pronunciation

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Inuktitut syllabary    ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᖅ ᓄᑕᐊᖅ

Origin

The Inuktitut syllabary was adapted from the Cree syllabary in the late 19th century by John Horden and E. A. Watkins, missionaries from England. Edmund Peck promoted the use of the syllabary across the Canadian Arctic, and also translated the bible into Inuktitut, and wrote an Eskimo Grammar and an Eskimo-English Dictionary.

In 1976 the Language Commission of the Inuit Cultural Institute approved two standardized writing systems for Inuktitut in Canada: one using the syllabary and the other using the Latin alphabet.

Today the Inuktitut syllabary, which is known as titirausiq nutaaq (ᑎᑎᕋᐅᓯᖅ ᓄᑕᐊᖅ) or qaniujaaqpait (ᖃᓂᐅᔮᖅᐸᐃᑦ), is used mainly in Canada, especially in the territory of Nunavut (ᓄᓇᕗᑦ), the population of which is 85% Inuit, and in Nunavik (ᓄᓇᕕᒃ), Quebec. The Latin alphabet, known as qaliujaaqpait is used in other parts of Canada, Alaska and Greenland, while in Siberia the Cyrillic alphabet is used.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: syllabary.
  • Writing direction: left to right in horizontal lines.
  • The Inuktitut syllabary consists of a small number of basic signs, the vowel sound attached to each one depends on their orientation.

Used to write

Inuktitut, an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Siberia by about 65,000 people. There is in fact a dialect continumum of Inuktitut dialects across the Arctic with varying degress of mutually intelligibility between them.

The language is used in schools and local government to some extent. It is also used on the radio and TV. In 2007 a new policy was introduced that will require senior government officials to speak Inuktitut by 2008. This requirement will eventually be extended of other officials.

Inuktitut syllabary

Inuktitut syllabary

Sample texts in Inuktitut

Nunavut Inuktitut

Sample text in Nunavut Inuktitut (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Transliteration

Inuluktaat inuulisaannguqput nangminiirungnasimaqaqɬutik ajjigiingmiglu ilitarijaujjutsiaqaqɬutiglu pijungnautitauqaqɬutik. Isumaksaqsiurungnatsiarnirmik inuutsiarutigijarlu piliqtungauttut, asianngurnullu iliurnirviqatigiittaruksariaqaraluaqput qatanngutigiiqqatigiittut anirniqsaarni.
(Titiqqaqsimajuq 1 Kitutuinnat pijungnautit silarjuarmiuqatigiinnut nalunaiqsiutit)

Nunavik Inuttitut

Sample text in Nunavik Inuttitut (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Transliteration

Inuujulimaat aniqtirijulimaat inuulaurmata isumarsurlatik ammalu ajjiuqatimiiklutik nirsuangunikkut ammalu pijunnaititigut. Isuqaqtuqartitauvalirput pijjutiqarnikkuut qatangmutimiittiariqaqnikullu.
(Ilanga 1 Silarjuarmiut nalunaiqsiutingit kinakkutuinnait pijunnautingit)

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Inuktitut | Inuktitut phrases | Tower of Babel in Inuktitut

Links

Information about the Inuktitut Syllabary
http://www.languagegeek.com/inu/inu_syllabarium.html
http://www.itk.ca/communications/technology-syllabics.php

Inuktitut – Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics transliteration system
http://www.translitteration.com/transliteration/en/inuktitut/canadian-aboriginal-syllabics/

Inuktitut Project - includes information about the syllabary and language
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~inuit/

Information about Nunavut and the Inuktitut language
http://www.nunavut.com/nunavut99/
http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/nunavut.html

Inuktitut Tusaalanga - online Inuktitut lessons
http://www.tusaalanga.ca

Inuktitut Dictionary
http://www.livingdictionary.com

Inuktitut fonts
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Inuktitut.html
http://www.nunavut.com
http://www.evertype.com/software/apple/

Inuktitut online radio
http://www.cbc.ca/north/programs/

Nunatsiaq news (in English)
http://www.nunatsiaq.com

Nunavut Arctic College (in Inuktitut & English)
http://www.nac.nu.ca

Government of Nunavut (in Inuktitut, French & English)
http://www.gov.nu.ca

Nunasoft - Inuktitut software and other resources
http://www.nunasoft.com

Eskimo-Aleut languages

Aleut, Greenlandic, Inuktitut, Iñupiaq, Yup'ik

Syllabaries

Bamum, Blackfoot, Caroline Island Script, Carrier, Celtiberian, Cherokee, Cree, Cypriot, Eskayan, Hiragana, Iberian, Inuktitut, Katakana, Kpelle, Loma, Mende, Mwangwego, Ndjuká, Nüshu, Ojibwe, Vai, Yi


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