Translating into Inuit

Snowy landscape with pine trees

Inuit is a generic term for a number of languages that are mainly spoken in the northernmost part of North America, but also in some parts of Siberia. They were formally known as the Eskimo-Aleut languages. Inuit is now the name for this language group in Greenland, Canada, and West Alaska instead of the controversial word ’eskimo’. The largest number of speakers can be found in Greenland, but there are also a sizeable number of people in eastern Canada who speak the language. It is always possible that you may need a translation out of, or into, Inuit and this is precisely where our translation agency can help.

The language

Some regions have different names for the same thing because Inuit is actually a generic term for various dialects. An awareness of these differences is therefore very important if you are going to be doing business in these regions. The various dialects also have more than a few similarities so that, with the right knowledge, you can get by in a large number of places. Inuit is characterised by a varied grammar so that words can be conjugated in many different ways. This is how the myth arose that the speakers of these languages have a very large number of different words for snow. It only seems that way for people who don’t speak the language due to all the different forms in which it can be rendered.

Doing business in Greenland, Canada, and Alaska

Flag of Greenland button

The inhospitable regions in which the speakers of Inuit live might not seem immediately attractive for doing business, but there are opportunities for those who are courageous enough to embark on the endeavour. A booming oil industry in these regions is just one example. Of course, doing business somewhere remote is very different. The costs are always higher and various necessities are not always immediately available. There are also the cultural differences. It is advisable to learn about these before you embark on any undertakings in these regions. The Inuit are not used to authority and hierarchy, for instance, so it is very important to treat your business partners as equals. People are also not used to direct requests, which they regard as impolite. It is therefore better to make your wishes known in a more subtle way.

How we can help you

There are various challenges to doing business with the Inuit but we will gladly help you overcome the language barrier by taking care of the necessary translation work. If you’re interested, get in touch with us to discuss any or all of the options. You can also ask for a quotation by emailing the document to be translated to us.

2017-02-03T11:34:37.2946012Z

Ingrid Verhees
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