Learn Greenlandic (Kalaallisut)

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About Greenlandic (Kalaallisut)

Greenlandic was probably brought over to Greenland in the 1200s by the Thule people, who originated in Alaska. It is related to the Canadian Inuit languages such as Inuktitut but, unlike them, is written with the Latin alphabet. There are three main dialects but the official one is Kalaallisut (West Greenlandic), which is also the one uTalk teaches. Words are built by adding multiple suffixes to a root and so can get very long.

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Fun facts — Greenlandic

  • We borrow the word anorak from Greenlandic.
  • A lot of information can be crammed into one word. For example, 'uiqarpoq' means 'she has a husband'.
  • The word for 'ten' is 'qulit' meaning 'the upper part', because the upper body has 10 fingers.
  • Nuuk - the capital - is the Greenlandic word for 'cape'.
  • The word for computer, 'qarasaasiaq', means 'artificial brain'.
  • The name for a potato is naatsiiat, which literally means ‘something for which one waits for a long time to grow’.

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