Inuktitut mutual intelligibility?

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Inuktitut mutual intelligibility?

Postby MkO » 2013-05-19, 7:58

Hi! I'm new here on UniLang. I'm just wondering if there's anyone around here who could give me some advice on this.

This summer I'll be moving to the Ottawa area. One of the (many many many) reasons I'm excited about this is that there's an Inuit cultural centre in Ottawa, Tungasuvvingat Inuit, and also Ottawa is home to the largest Inuit community outside Nunavut and the settlement areas. I'm finally going to be able to learn about that end of my heritage and make a real attempt to learn the Inuktitut language.

My grandfather is Inuit, of Nunatsiavut. He himself was born in Newfoundland, but both of his parents are Nunatsiavimmiut. He doesn't speak the Inuttut language himself and I know very little about it. Since he himself has very little connection to his culture, I know next to nothing about that part of my heritage, which I find kind of sad.

Now I'd prefer to make an attempt at learning the Inuttut dialect of Labrador, considering it's highly endangered, the more Nunatsiavimmiut that learn it the better. But according to this post on Tungasuvvingat Inuit's website, Ottawa Inuit (that community having been established for some 40 years now) speak their own dialect, a mixture of dialects. I'm going to guess that dialect is a lot closer to standard South Baffin Inuktitut than anything.

My question is, how mutually intelligible are the various Inuktitut dialects? Would a fluent speak from Nain, Labrador be able to communicate with someone from Iqaluit? If I can study the individual Inuttut dialect but still be able to communicate with people in Ottawa for practice that'd be ideal, but if they're not I'll settle for learning the local dialect.

I've read that the Labrador dialect is mutually intelligible and very similar to Kalaallisut in southern Greenland. If there's anyone that knows whether Kalaallisut would be mutually intelligible with the standard Qikiqtaaluk of Nunavut, that'd be helpfull too!
Native: [flag]en-CA[/flag] Canadian English
Fluent: [flag]fr-QC[/flag] Français québécois
Interested in: [flag]fr-AC[/flag] Français acadien [flag]iu[/flag] Inuktitut

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Re: Inuktitut mutual intelligibility?

Postby johnklepac » 2013-07-23, 0:22

My impression is that the Inuit languages are fairly intelligible mutually given their area - even Greenlandic's not too far off.

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Re: Inuktitut mutual intelligibility?

Postby księżycowy » 2013-07-23, 2:38

This is one thing that has made me wonder. From the Inuktitut and Iñupiaq I've looked at it seems those two are close enough you can figure stuff out. Though it is hard to say at the moment given my level of knowledge of either.

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