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

tunngasugit
welcome
inuktituusuunguviit?
Inuktitut (Do you speak... ?)
ii
yes
mikijumik
little bit (a...)
kinauvit?
What's your name?
...ujunga.
My name is...
kinauva?
What is his / her name?
namimiutauvit?
Where are you from?
Aatuvaa
Ottawa
Iqalummiutaujunga
I'm from Iqaluit.
Aatuvaamiutaujunga
I'm from Ottawa.
namimiutsajauvit?
Where are you originally from?
Iqalummiutsajaujunga
originally from Iqaluit (I am...)
Pannituurmiussajaujunga
originally from Pangnirtung (I am...)
anijuq
leaves; goes out (he/she...)
takujuq
sees (he/she...)
aullaqtuq
departs (he/she...)
titiraqtuq
writes (he...)
nirijunga
eat, I...
nirijutit
eat, you...
nirijuq
eats, she/he...
nirijuguk
eat, we (2)...
nirijugut
eat, we (3+)...
nirijusik
eat, you (2)...
nirijusi
eat, you (3+)...
nirijuuk
eat, they (2)...
nirijut
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 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- to eat
aullaq- to depart; leave town
tupiq tent

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

-tunga I
-tutit you
-tuq she / he / it

 

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 I depart.
aullaqtutit You depart.
aullaqtuq He / 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 I departed.
aullalauqtutit You departed.
aullalauqtuq 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.

 

2 » 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 (3+) eat
nirijusik you two eat
nirijusi you (3+) eat
nirijuuk the two of them eat
nirijut they (3+) 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 siniktuq
I read. he / she sleeps