em-FA-sis on the wrong syl-A-bles

The hardest thing about being a journalist up north is not butchering Inuktitut.

I don't know what I thought I was getting into when I jokingly agreed with people saying "soon you'll be tri-lingual"... I should have made Spanish or Italian my goal.

Inuktitut is REALLY hard. Really hard to hear... and distinguish between the different words and sounds.

On top of that, I end up putting a French accent on it ... which sounds stupid to me, but my co-worker - who helps me when I have to say Inuk. words on-air, or to other locals - says it's not too bad when I use my French pronunciation...

But he's probably just being nice :P

I think what makes it so difficult, for me especially, is that I don't have any idea what syl-A-bles to em-FA-size... tricky tricky tricky.


Anonymous October 4, 2007 at 11:32 AM  

You may want to ask someone who is fluent in the language about syllabication (I think that's a word). As I recall(perhaps incorrectly) in Mimac there is no emphasis. It's more of a rhythm thing.


Anonymous October 4, 2007 at 11:33 AM  

Mimac should be Micmac


Jackie S October 4, 2007 at 11:37 AM  

Ha. Great. so my analytical method of learning how to speak the language will not work. greeeeeet.

haha :)

Jen October 4, 2007 at 1:40 PM  

The problem is that it's different in every community and everyone has a different take on it. It has only been written for less then a 100 years, so everybody likes to spell and pronounce things differently. I wouldn't worry about it too hard because you are only going to have to re-learn it in Rankin! I am really bummed because I know when we get transfered to another community, everything I have learned will be useless crap (to some extant).
We are only an hour plane ride from each other and Thank you is pronounced differently, although similar!

J Consortium October 4, 2007 at 5:22 PM  

I find that in Rankin at least, there is equal emphasis/non-emphasis on words. When you're here I can maybe help you with your Inuktitut. I can't speak it obviously but I understand a bit of how it works and how to pronounce things.


Kate Nova October 4, 2007 at 9:35 PM  

You're so lucky you've got a few Inuktitut-speaking coworkers, definitely listen to them as much as possible! Also, see about night courses when you get to Rankin at the college. I'm taking one at the campus here, and though it is incredibly slow-going, those few words I pick up translate into more when I'm interviewing...folks think its funny to hear me attempt it, and like to add little bits here and there to it. Granted, I'm interviewing for print, but you know what I mean. :)

Jackie S October 4, 2007 at 9:48 PM  


Wow, I never even considered the fact that AC would have courses like that!!!

I really hope the one in Rankin has a course! I'm such a nerd, but I really want to take a course or two in the winter. Just to keep myself busy, and at least learn something useful!

Thanks for the tips/sympathy/empathy all!

J Consortium October 6, 2007 at 9:44 PM  

Rankin hasn't had any Inuktitut courses since before we moved here. :( I know they were trying to find an Inuktitut instructor but I don't think they ever got one.

My guess is that it'll be awhile before they offer a course for it. Boo urns...I really want to learn it, too.