Inuit language thrives in Greenland
In the 1960s and 1970s, elders in Greenland feared their language would be lost. Today, the vast majority of Greenlanders - 92 per cent - are fluent in their native tongue. Inuit language thrives in Greenland, Nunatsiaq News reports:
You can find a copy of Harry Potter, translated in Greenlandic, at the local library of Greenland's capital. Also available are the translated works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway. Fifty Greenlandic publications are produced each year, says Carl Christian Olsen, head of Greenland's language secretariat and chair of the languages commission.
On the streets of Nuuk, Greenlandic is often spoken by children, who all seem to carry cellphones. They send text messages to one another, in both abbreviated Danish and Greenlandic, shortening words like qujanaq, or thank you, to qujan.
Beyond books, Greenlandic is practiced in a lively music scene, ranging from soulful Greenlandic folk tunes to jazz to gangsta rap
In Canadian Nunavut on the other hand, the situation is quite different and according to Nunatsiaq News, some in Nunavut fear that Inuktitut, and related dialects like Inuinaqtun, are dying. Inuit language has been treated differently in Greenland and Canada:
While Inuit in Nunavut were punished for speaking Inuktitut in residential schools, Greenland has a long history of teaching Greenlandic in schools, since the early 20th century.
It's also a consequence of having those missionaries decide that the language ought to be written with standard Roman orthography, rather than the more-difficult-to-reproduce syllabic system popularized by missionaries in Canada's eastern Arctic.
Having money to translate and print such books helps, too. Olsen says he's disappointed that Canada, a country of "enlightened people," doesn't give Inuktitut the same sort of language funding that French receives as an official language
Nunatsiaq News also writes about Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) that wants the Government of Nunavut bring in new laws that would give the Inuit language the same status within Nunavut that the French language enjoys in Quebec, see QIA wants language laws dumped, re-written.
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