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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
|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?|
|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.
To experience traditional practices and meet Inuit guides, visit our Arctic tours and safaris below.
By: Mat Whitelaw