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Inuktitut Phrases For Your Arctic Safari

Wherever you travel, it’s always helpful to know some common phrases from the area you’re visiting. It’s respectful to try and speak to the locals in their language since you’re exploring their home and living within their communities.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together some key Inuktitut phrases you can use if you visit Baffin Island. A few dialects make up the Inuit language across the Canadian Arctic, but these are some phrases you may want to know in this area.

When You'll Speak Inuktitut

While it’s true that many people in the Canadian Arctic — especially on Baffin Island — speak English or French, their mother tongue is Inuktitut. It’s a respectful gesture to learn some phrases you can use rather than using the language you bring to the North.

You’ll likely travel to one or two communities on an Arctic Safari. You may explore Iqaluit on a Getaway or connect through the capital city of Nunavut, where many locals speak English, but Inuktitut is always welcome. You might then fly to Qikiqtarjuaq off the eastern coast of Baffin Island, or Pond Inlet on the North of the island.

Arctic Kingdom is very proud of its partnership with the Inuit community, and many of our guides are from the areas we visit. These Inuit guides don’t expect you to have entire conversations in their mother tongue, but appreciate the effort to say common phrases.

Common Phrases in Inuktitut

English Inuktitut Pronunciation
Hello Halu Ha – lu
Goodbye (singular) Tavvauvutit Tah – vow – voo – teet
Goodbye (plural)  Tavvauvusi  Tah – vow – voo – see
Good morning Ulaakut Oo – lah – coot
Good afternoon Unusakut Oo – nah – sa – coot
Good evening Unukut Oo – new – coot
Thank you Nakurmiik Na – koor – meek
You're welcome Ilaali Ee – lah – li
How are you? Qanuipit? Ka – nwee – peet?
What is your name? Kinauvit? Kee – nau – veet?
Yes Ii Ee
No Aakka Ah – ka
Great Alianait Ah – lee – ah – nite
Delicious Mamaqtuq Ma – makh – took
Polar bear Nanuq Naa – nook
Whale Arvik Ar – veek 
Seal Nattiq Naa – tick 
Arctic char Iqaluk Ick – ka – look 


Experience Inuit Culture

If you're interested in cultural tours, visiting historic locations and exploring Nunavut's capital, discover our Getaways by clicking below.

Our Getaways

 

To experience traditional practices and meet Inuit guides, visit our Arctic safaris below.

Our Arctic Tours

 

By: Mat Whitelaw