Native to Canada (Nunavut and Northwest Territories)
Native speakers
410 (2011 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Northwest Territories[3]
Regulated by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog copp1244[4]

Inuit dialects. Inuinnaqtun is olive green.

Inuinnaqtun (Inuit pronunciation: [inuinːɑqtun]; natively meaning like the real human beings/peoples), is an indigenous Inuit language of Canada and a dialect of Inuvialuktun.[5] It is related very closely to Inuktitut, and some scholars, such as Richard Condon, believe that Inuinnaqtun is more appropriately classified as a dialect of Inuktitut.[6] The governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut recognise Inuinnaqtun as an official language in addition to Inuktitut.[3] The Official Languages Act of Nunavut, passed by the Senate of Canada on June 11, 2009, recognized Inuinnaqtun as one of the official languages of Nunavut.[2]

Inuinnaqtun is used primarily in the communities of Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk in the western Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut. Outside of Nunavut, it is spoken in the hamlet of Ulukhaktok, where it is also known as Kangiryuarmiutun.[7] It is written using the Latin script.[8][9]

Inuinnaqtun phrases

Nutqarrit stop sign
English Inuinnaqtun pronunciation
Goodbye Ublaakun /ublaːkun/
Good morning Ublaami /ublaːmi/
How are you? Qanuritpin /qanuɢitpin/
I am fine Naammaktunga /naːmːatuŋa/
I am good Nakuyunga /nakujuŋa/
How about you? Ilvittauq /ilvitːauq/
What are you doing? Huliyutin? /hulijutin/
What are you going to do? Huliniaqpin? /huliniaqpin/
I'm not going to do anything Huliniahuanngittunga /huliniahuaŋːitːuŋa/
I love you Piqpagiyagin /piqpaɡijaɡin/
I don't know Nauna /nauna/
Yes/Yeah Ii /iː/
No Imannaq /imanːaq/
Who are you? Kinauvin? /kinauvin/
Where are you from? Namirmiutauyutin? /namiɢmiutaujutin/
Where am I? Namiitunga? /namiːtuŋa/
Who is that person? Kina taamna? /kina taːmna/
Where is the store? Nauk niuvirvik? /nauk niuviɢvik/
How much is this? Una qaffitaalauyuk? /una qafːitaːlaujuk/
Do you have a phone? Talafuutiqaqtutin? /talafuːtiqaqtutin/
Do you have a camera? Piksaliutiqaqtutin? /piksaliutiqaqtutin/
Can you cut this? Una pilakaalaaqtan? /una pilakaːlaːqtan/
Would you like to go for a walk? Pihuuyarumayutin? /pihuːjaɢumajutin/
This is nice Una pinniqtuq /una pinːiqtuq/
I am going to work Havagiarniaqpunga /havaɡiaɢniaqpuŋa/
I am going home now Angilrauniaqpunga /aŋilɢauniaqpuŋa/
I am hungry Kaagliqpunga /kaːɡliqpuŋa/
I need help (help me) Ikayullannga /ikajulːaŋːa/
I like those Aliagiyatka taapkua /aliagijakta /taːpkua/
I will see you tomorrow Aqaguttauq /aqaɡutːauq/
My name is... Atira ... /atiɢa/
I have a daughter Paniqaqpunga /paniqaqpuŋa/
I have a son Irniqaqpunga /iɢniqaqpuŋa/
Thanks Quana /quana/
Thank-you Quanaqqutin /quanaqːutin/
Thank-you very much Quanaqpiaqqutin /quanaqpiaqːutin/
You are welcome Naammaktak /naːmːaktak/
May I ask you a question? Apirillaglagin? /apiɢilːaɡlaɡin/
One Atauhiq /atauhiq/
Two Malruuk /malɢuːk/
Three Pingahut /piŋahut/
Four Hitaman /hitaman/
Five Talliman /talliman/
Knife Havik /havik/
Fork Kauraut /kauɢaut/
Spoon Aluut /aluːt/
Plate Akkiutaq /akkiutaq/
Cup Qallut /qallut/
That's all! Taima! /taima/


  1. "Mother Tongue - Detailed Aboriginal Languages (79), Single and Multiple Language Responses (3), Age Groups (13A), Sex (3) and Area of Residence (6) for the Population Excluding Institutional Residents of Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2011 Census". Statistics Canada. 2011.
  2. 1 2 Consolidation of (S.Nu. 2008,c.10) (NIF) Official Languages Act and Consolidation of Inuit Language Protection Act
  3. 1 2 Northwest Territories Official Languages Act, 1988 (as amended 1988, 1991-1992, 2003)
  4. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Copper Inuktitut". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. "Iñuvialuktun/Inuvialuktun/Inuinnaqtun". Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  6. Condon, Richard; Julia Ogina; The Holman Elders (1996). "Foreword". The Northern Copper Inuit. University of Toronto Press/University of Oklahoma Press. p. xix. ISBN 0-8020-0849-6. Retrieved 2011-02-09. ...the majority of Holman residents speak the central Arctic dialect, Inuinnaqtun...
  7. IRC - Languages
  8. Nunavut's Official Languages
  9. Kitikmeot Inuit Association Languages

Further reading

  • Harnum, Betty, Janet McGrath, and Margo Kadlun. Inuinnaqtun Lessons Phase 1 : Copper Dialect of the Inuit Language. Cambridge Bay, N.W.T.: Kitikmeot Inuit Association, 1982.
  • Harper, Kenn. Current Status of Writing Systems for Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun and Inuvialuktun. [Yellowknife, N.W.T.]: Northwest Territories, Culture and Communications, 1992.
  • Inuinnaqtun English Dictionary. Cambridge Bay, Nunavut: Nunavut Arctic College, 1996.

External links

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