1 Tunngahuglutit

Dialogue: Welcome

Riita:
Tunngahuglutit.ᑐᙵᓱᒡᓗᑎᑦ.Welcome.
Taami:
Tunngahuktunga.ᑐᙵᓱᒃᑐᖓ. Response to 'Tunngahuglutit', literally "I feel welcome.""
Riita:
Inuktuurungnaqpit?ᐃᓄᒃᑑᕈᖕᓇᖅᐱᑦ? Do you speak Inuktut?
Taami:
ii, mikiřumik.ᐄ, ᒥᑭᖪᒥᒃ. Yes, a little bit.
Riita:
Riitauřunga. Huuvit? ᕇᑕᐅᖪᖓ. ᓲᕕᑦ?. I'm Riita. What's your name?
Taami:
Taamiuřunga.ᑖᒥᐅᖪᖓ. My name is Taami.
 

Vocabulary

tunngahugit
welcome
inuktuurungnaqpit?
Inuktitut (Do you speak... ?)
ii
yes
mikiřumik
little bit (a...)
huuvit?
What's your name?
...uřuŋa /....ŋuřuŋa
My name is...
huuva?
What is his / her name?
humiutauvit?
Where are you from?
Aatuvaa
Ottawa
iqaluŋmiutauřuŋa
I'm from Iqaluit.
Aatuvaamiutauȓuŋa
I'm from Ottawa.
humiutammariugavit?
Where are you originally from?
iqaluŋmiutammariuřuŋa
originally from Iqaluit (I am...)
Paŋniqtuurmiutammariuřuŋa
originally from Pangnirtung (I am...)
aniȓuq
leaves; goes out (he/she...)
takuřuq
sees (he/she...)
aullaqtuq
departs (he/she...)
titiraqtuq
writes (he...)
niriřunga
eat, I...
niriřutit
eat, you...
niriřuq
eats, she/he...
niriřuguk
eat, we (2)...
niriřugut
eat, we (3+)...
niriřuhik
eat, you (2)...
niriřuhi
eat, you (3+)...
niriřuk
eat, they (2)...
niriřut
eat, they (3+)...

Grammar

1. The Basic 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 Inuktitut, the basic units of meaning are roots and affixes.

Roots involve basic vocabulary and always appear at the beginning of words in Inuktitut. 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 Inuktitut 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:

aullaqtuŋa aullaqtutit aullaqtuq
I depart you depart she departs

 

And if we throw in other affixes, we can change the meaning again.  -rumaaq- is an affix which marks the far future tense:

aullarumaaqtuŋa aullarumaaqtutit aullarumaaqtuq
I will be departing you will be departing he / she will be departing
In Inuktitut 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:

miřviliariaqarniaqtuŋa  I’ll have to go to the airport.

 

2. Subject of the Verb

In English, we often use pronouns to tell us who we are talking about in a sentence:

 

I ate. Who are you? He left yesterday.

 

In Inuktitut, we indicate who we are talking about by using an affix that appears (usually) at the very end of the word:

takuřuŋa I see

 

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

niriřuŋa I eat
niriřutit you eat
niriřuq he / she eats
niriřuguk the two of us eat
niriřugut we (three or more) eat
niriřuhik you two eat
niriřuhi you (three or more) eat
niriřuuk the two of them eat
niriřut they (three or more) eat

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

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

uqalimaaqtuŋa I read.
maliktuq She follows.
tikittuhi You (3+) have arrived.