Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik September 12, 2017 - 11:30 am

Learn Inuktitut in Montreal, appreciate “the genius of the Inuit language”

Information sessions on Sept. 18

Georges Filotas speaks Inuktitut to his students the Montreal Children’s Hospital in 2012. (FILE PHOTO)
Georges Filotas speaks Inuktitut to his students the Montreal Children’s Hospital in 2012. (FILE PHOTO)

If you want to learn Inuktitut, now you can—right in the heart of downtown Montreal, thanks to courses offered by Inuktitut expert Georges Filotas.

The 10-week courses, set to start this month at at Nunavik’s Avataq Cultural Institute, will be split into two levels, with one geared to beginners, the other for those who already have some basic knowledge of Inuktitut, such as proper pronunciation as well how to build words and phrases.

Filotas, a former general manager of the Fédération des co-opératives du Nouveau-Québec, is a fluent speaker of Inuktitut. He learned to speak the language in Kangirsuk nearly 50 years ago, in the early 1970s.

During his first session with beginner language-learners, Filotas said he tries to give them a good picture of what he calls “the genius of the Inuit language” and how it differs from English and French.

Filotas said he hopes his students will leave his courses knowing how to read, write and speak Inuktitut—and not in just little pieces.

To help them achieve that, Filotas provides grammatical tables, prepares exercises and introduces texts which demonstrate the best Inuktitut language that he can find.

“You have to bring the students into contact with a spoken or written text which is of very good quality,” said Filotas, who sources contemporary and older materials for his courses.

As well, Filotas often prepares glossaries for the materials—because some of the words used can’t be found in the available Inukitut dictionaries.

During the courses, students build up three binders, containing the teaching materials that Filotas has developed in his quest to “put together a better understanding and a better appreciation for the teaching of Inuktitut.”

On that, there’s no consensus yet, said Filotas, who has taught Inuktitut courses for years, most recently at John Abbott College and the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Filotas is also helping to develop teaching materials for the new Montreal-based college program for Nunavik Inuit—Nunavik Sivunitsavut, which will celebrate its official launch Sept. 20.

You can learn more about the courses offered by Filotas at information sessions Sept. 18 at Avataq’s Montreal offices located at 4150 Ste. Catherine St. W., Suite 360 in Westmount (Atwater metro, facing Westmount Square.)

Each weekly class runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the cost for the 10-week session set at $250.

Depending on the numbers of students, there could be two sections of the introductory level, Filotas said.

For more information, you can contact Filotas directly by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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