Friday, November 23, 2007


This is what Inuktitut looks like (I stole this from another northern blog, thanks Jen)
I know about 15 words for sure, and a few others I can work out. Here are a few spelled phonetically, because as you can see above, those symbols are a handful.
AH-TEE: Hurry up, let's go, go ahead
TAY-MA: Stop, knock it off
ILL-KNEE-LA: Youngest son
PAN-IC: Daughter (no kidding, panic)
CAN-YOU-WEEP-IT: Hey, how's it going?
CAN-YOU-LING-EH: I'm good, and you?
OO-LA-KOOT: Good morning
OO-NOOK-SAW-KOOT: Good afternoon
OO-NOOK-KOOT: Good evening
EEE: Yes
EEE-KEY: I'm cold
OOO-LU: a women's knife
SAH-VICK: A man's knife
TOOK-TOO: Caribou
NAN-NOCK: Polar Bear
AH-MAU-TICK: A traditional baby carrying jacket
A-MA-MOCK: How a baby eats
A-MOCK: Putting a baby in an amautiq
COY-AN-A-MEEK: Thank you
MAH-LOOCH: Marijuana
AH-KA-LUUK: I love you
EYE-TAR: This is shit
MUCK-TAHK: Whale blubber, tasty whale blubber
PEEF-FI: Dried fish, usually char, tasty char
IG-OOH-KNOCK: Walrus meat fermented in a hole in the ground
ACK-SARN-NITE: Northern Lights
KA-MICKS: Traditional footware
Keep in mind, those words change from region to region, and dialect to dialect. NAH-KO-MEEK means thank you on Baffin Island, buy COY-AN-A-MEEK works all over the territory.
The catchiest cultural bit is eyes open and eyes narrow. All you have to do to say yes is open your eyes wide, and to say no you make them small. With my eyebrows, I always feel like I'm shouting when I do that. I worked in an office with three other white folk, and one day we realized that we were all doing the eye open/shut thing. It is darn catchy.