I can't see Nunavut from my house, either; but they can see the Inuktitut LIP from their computer!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/10/13 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/10/13/10075167.aspx


THE WINDOWS 7 INUKTITUT LANGUAGE INTERFACE PACK IS LIVE!

Please note that we are releasing a 32- and 64-bit version of the Inuktitut Windows 7 LIP. This LIP can be installed only on a system that runs an English client version of Windows 7.

You can download it from right here.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON INUKTITUT

NUMBER OF SPEAKERS: 

~35,000

NAME IN THE LANGUAGE ITSELF: 

Inuktitut

Inuktitut is, along with English and French, is the official language of Nunavut, the largest of the territories of Canada which was created in 1999. Nunavut is spoken by about 80% of the population there as well as in all other areas in Canada north of the tree line, like the Northwest Territories where it is official language as well. In Nunavik, a semi-autonomous portion of Quebec, it has legal recognition and enjoys official support. While for a long time Inuktitut shared the fate of most indigenous languages in the Americas, namely getting closer and closer to extinction, the last census data indicate that the number of speakers have stopped declining in Canada and might even be increasing in Nunavut.

Because of the huge area in which Inuktitut is spoken, it has a big dialectal diversity. Some scholars even count Greenlandic as a variant, though it is more commonly considered a language of its own. Inuktitut is an agglutinative language in which a succession of different morphemes are added to root words to express for what other languages need several words or sentences.

FUN FACTS:

CLASSIFICATION:

Inuktitut belongs to the eastern group of Inuit, one of the two branches of the Inuit-Aleut (Eskimo-Aleut) language family.

SCRIPT:

Inuktitut is written either in the Latin alphabet (which was introduced to the region by Moravian missionaries) or the Inuktitut syllabary, which is based on the Cree syllabary created by the missionary James Evans. This syllabary got its present form in the 1970s when it was adopted by the Inuit Cultural Institute in Canada.

Enjoy! :-)


Anne Crossman on 13 Oct 2010 12:27 PM:

You might want to check your first paragraph about Inuktitut. Second sentence start should be "Inuktitut" not Nunavut. Inuninaqtun is spoken in the Central Arctic part of Nunavut. Inuvialuktun is spoken in the Western Arctic part of the Northwest Territories. Inuvialuktun is one of several offical languages of the Northwest Territories.

Otaku on 13 Oct 2010 1:03 PM:

This is great to see, but let's be sensative to Eskimos and not call them Inuit. Inuit is only one tribe of Eskimo (they are predominant in Canada). The Alaskan version of Inuit is Inupiat and they don't care to be called Inuit, because they are called Inupiat. There are other tribes of Eskimo as well, such as Yupik and Siberian and they would be just as offended to be called Inuit as you would Ukranian (or Bosnian or Chinese or whatever). Canada and Wikipedia have done some real damage to Eskimos by calling all of them Inuit (in Canada, they think the word "Eskimo" is a deragatory term - in Alaska, it is the only word that can be used and not be offensive when referring to all the peoples that are Inupiat, Inuit, Yupik, etc). "First Nations" in Canada is also too generalized as it includes Canadian Indians and "Native" in Alaska is too generalized because it includes Alaskan Indians (Tlingit, Haida, Athabaskan, etc.) and Aleuts.

Michael S. Kaplan on 13 Oct 2010 1:33 PM:

The LIP is of course going to be tailored more than anything else to whoever uses that specific dialect, I'm not sure about degree of intelligibility across the wider language family, and how well the LIP works for others may vary a lot....

Blake on 13 Oct 2010 4:54 PM:

@otaku - In Canada the word "Eskimo" is a derogatory term, there is no "thinking".  Canadian Inuit generally find being called Eskimo to be insult, end of story.  "First Nations" is the sensible sort of collective, within that it is preferred to just refer to a specific nation by name.   The whole "Eskimos" vs "Indians" bit makes little.

Otaku on 13 Oct 2010 8:25 PM:

@Blake: okay. umm...

Joe Clark on 17 Oct 2010 2:44 PM:

Inuktitut ≠ Nunavut. Check first graf.


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