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
inuktituusuunguvit ?
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...)
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, affixes and grammatical endings.

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

Roots that describe nouns (people, places, animals or objects) sometimes appear on their own:

nuna land
inuk an Inuk; a person
natsiq ringed seal

Generally, though, words are built in Inuktut by attaching affixes and endings to a root.  

Here are three simple noun endings:

-mi in / at a place
-mut to a place
-mit from a place

We can add these endings to a noun root to create a word:

sijjami at the shoreline 
sijjamut to the shoreline
sijjamit from the shoreline

 

Verb endings are attached to verb roots that describe actions.  Here are three simple verb endings:
 

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

 

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

aullaqtunga I depart.
aullaqtutit You depart.
aullaqtuq He / she departs.

 

Affixes are pieces of words that appear between the root and the ending.  They can never begin a word.  Affixes add more information about the noun or verb that is described by the root.

For example -lauq- is a verb affix that indicates that an action happened in the past:

aullalauqtunga I departed.
aullalauqtutit You departed.
aullalauqtuq He / she departed.

 

In Inuktut, it is possible to build up very long words by adding a series of affixes between the root and the ending.  We can 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

Verb roots in Inuktut describe actions or states of being. The verb ending tells us who is performing the action.

takujunga
I see.

 

In the above word, taku- describes the action of seeing and the verb ending –junga describes who is seeing.
By using different verb endings 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 verb endings 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 verb endings to t:

uqalimaaqtunga siniktuq
I read. he / she sleeps