Language

Inuktitut is one of the principal Inuit languages in Canada

It is spoken in Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and in Nunavut.  It actively has official status in those three areas as well as in the Northwest Territories.

Sometimes the term Inuktitut is used more generally to include all the Inuit dialects in Canada including Inukvialuktun (used mainly in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region)

Inuktiut Dialect Map

Inuktiut Dialect Map

In Nunavut and Nunavik, a special writing system, known as syllabics is used. It was adopted from a writing system developed by missionaries for use in Cree areas. The system of syllabics was easy to learn because as soon as each symbol was learned, the words could be sounded out. It is known as syllabics because each sign represents a syllable such as Ki, Ka and so forth. This was very useful for the missionaries because it made reading the hymns and the Bible much easier for the Inuit.

If you are wondering what the Syllabic alphabet looks like, here it is:

Syllabic Alphabet

Syllabic Alphabet

In Nunatsiavut and in the Inuvialuit region, the Inuit language is written using the Latin letters (Roman orthography); this method is also used in Greenland and Alaska.

Many Inuit hope that one day all Inuit languages will be written using Latin letters.

If you would like to learn some Inuktitut took words or phrases or just to listen to what it sounds like, please look at the following links: