1 Tunngasugit

Dialogue: Welcome

Riita:
Tunngasugit.ᑐᙵᓱᒋᑦ.Welcome.
Taiviti:
Tunngasuppunga.ᑐᙵᓱᑉᐳᖓ. Response to 'Tunngasugit', literally "I feel welcome."
Riita:
Inuktituusuunguvit?ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑑᓲᖑᕕᑦ? Do you speak Inuktitut?
Taiviti:
ii, mikijumik.ᐄ, ᒥᑭᔪᒥᒃ. Yes, a little bit.
Riita:
Riitaujunga. Kinauvit? ᕇᑕᐅᔪᖓ. ᑭᓇᐅᕕᑦ? I'm Riita. What's your name?
Taiviti:
Taivitiujunga.ᑕᐃᕕᑎᐅᔪᖓ. My name is Taiviti.
 

Vocabulary

...ujunga.
My name is...
Aatuvaa
Ottawa
Aatuvaamiutaujunga
I'm from Ottawa.
Iqalummiutaujunga
I'm from Iqaluit.
Iqalummiutsajaujunga
originally from Iqaluit (I am...)
Pannituurmiussajaujunga
originally from Pangnirtung (I am...)
anijuq
leaves; goes out (he/she...)
aullaqtuq
departs (he...)
ii
yes
inuktituusuungujunga.
Inuktitut (I speak...)
inuktituusuunguviit?
Inuktitut (Do you speak... ?)
isiqtuq
enters (he/she...)
ivvilli?
and you?
kinauva?
What is his / her name?
kinauvit?
What's your name?
mikijumik
little bit (a...)
namimiutauvit?
Where are you from?
namimiutsajauvit?
Where are you originally from?
nirijuguk
eat, we (2)...
nirijugut
eat, we (3+)...
nirijunga
eat, I...
nirijuq
eats, she/he...
nirijusi
eat, you (3+)...
nirijusik
eat, you (2)...
nirijut
eat, they (3+)...
nirijutit
eat, you...
nirijuuk
eat, they (2)...
qanuinngittunga
I'm fine.
qanuinngittuq
fine (he/she/it is...)
qanuippa?
How is she / he / it?
qanuippit?
How are you?
qujannamiik
thank you
siniktuq
sleeps (he...)
takujuq
sees (she...)
takulaarivuguk
See you again soon.
tavvaniittuq
It / she / he is here.
titiraqtuq
writes (he...)
tunngasugit
welcome
una
this / he / she
uqalimaaqtuq
reads (he...)

Grammar

structure of Inuktut

In English, the basic unit of meaning is the word. Each word (generally) expresses a separate idea:

The dog sleeps under the tree

 

In Inuktut, the basic units of meaning are roots and affixes.

Roots involve basic vocabulary and always appear at the beginning of words in Inuktut. Here are some examples:
niri- aullaq- tupiq
to eat to depart; leave town tent

Affixes are attached to the end of roots and other affixes. They can never begin a word. Here are three simple affixes:

-tunga -tutit -tuq
I you she or he

 

Roots and affixes cannot be used on their own.  Instead words are built in Inuktut by attaching one or more affixes to a root.  Remember that in most cases, the root is the base of the word and appears at the beginning.

If we add different affixes to the same root, we get different meanings:

aullaqtunga aullaqtutit aullaqtuq
I depart you depart she departs

 

And if we throw in other affixes, we can change the meaning again.  -lauq- is an affix that indicates that something happened in the past:

aullalauqtunga aullalauqtutit aullalauqtuq
I departed you departed he / she departed
In Inuktut very long words can be put together using many affixes.  We end up with single words that would take an entire sentence to say in English:

qangatasuukkuvimmuuriaqalaaqtunga I’ll have to go to the airport.

 

subject of the verb

In Inuktut, we indicate who is performing an action by using an affix that appears (usually) at the very end of a verb:

takujunga I see

 

In the above word, taku- describes the action of seeing and the affix –junga describes who is seeing.
By using different affixes, we can talk about different people doing the same action:

nirijunga I eat
nirijutit you eat
nirijuq he / she eats
nirijuguk the two of us eat
nirijugut we (three or more) eat
nirijusik you two eat
nirijusi you (three or more) eat
nirijuuk the two of them eat
nirijut they (three or more) eat

The affixes highlighted above in blue can be added to any root that ends in a vowel.  Remember Inuktut has three vowels i, u and a.

If the root ends in any other letter, we change the j that begins each of these affixes to t:

uqalimaaqtunga I read
siniktuq he sleeps

to be

THE VERB 'TO BE'

In its simplest form, the verb “to be” is expressed with the affix –u.  It normally appears right before the subject ending:

Piita Peter
Piita + u + junga = Piitaujunga I am Peter; My name is Peter.

When –u is added to a root that ends in a k or a q, it deletes the final consonant:

inuk Inuk
inuk + u + junga =    inuujunga    I am Inuk.
inuujuq He is alive.

 

Remember: In Inuktut, you will almost never find more than two vowels in a row. So, if you delete the final consonant, and find that you already have two vowels, you have to use the affix -ngu- instead of -u-.  This makes pronunciation easier:

pinnguaq toy; game
pinnguaq + u + juq = pinnguangujuq It is a toys; someone's playing with it.

               
Adding –u to names coming from other languages like English, can sound quite awkward in Inuktut.  If such a name ends in a vowel, it usually isn’t a problem:

Aimi Amy
Aimi + u + junga = Amiujunga My name is Amy.

 

But if the name ends in a consonant, Inuktut speakers will usually change –u to –ngu, again to make pronunciation easier:

Charles + u + junga = Charles-ngujunga. My name is Charles.