Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Montreal September 14, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Learn Inuktitut … in Montreal

Courses are starting up for children and adults

JANE GEORGE
If you want to encourage your children's Inuktitut skills, you can register for free classes at the Native Montreal friendship centre, whose logo, shown here, incorporates a First Nations tent and an Inuit igloo.
If you want to encourage your children's Inuktitut skills, you can register for free classes at the Native Montreal friendship centre, whose logo, shown here, incorporates a First Nations tent and an Inuit igloo.

If you want to learn Inuktitut, you can do that once again this year—in the heart of downtown Montreal, thanks to courses offered by Native Montreal and at Nunavik’s Avataq Cultural Institute’s offices.

Native Montreal is now accepting registrations for its Inuktitut for children program offered every Sunday afternoon.

If you want to encourage your children’s Inuktitut skills, you should register as soon as possible for these free courses at the Native Montreal friendship centre, whose logo, shown here, incorporates a First Nations tent and an Inuit igloo.

The courses in Inuktitut and other Indigenous languages in Quebec come thanks to yet another round of federal funding given to the Native Montreal friendship centre.

The languages offered include Innu, Mohawk (Kanien’keha,) Cree, Algonquin (Anishnabe, anicinabe,) Atikamekw, Wendat and Inuktitut.

It’s the fourth year that Native Montreal has offered the language courses, which have become so popular that right now the only course that still has any openings is the Inuktitut class for children.

The Inuktitut classes for children, aged five to nine years, will take place on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Native Montreal centre, 3183 rue St-Jacques, third floor, near the Lionel Groulx metro station, with Sarah Nayome, originally from Tasiujaq, as the teacher.

Then 12 weeks of classes for adults are set to start again this month at Nunavik’s Avataq Cultural Institute.

These will be split into two levels. One is 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.

The teacher, Georges 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.

So far Filotas said he has received about 50 requests for the courses planned for this autumn, and many from his last year’s group have told him they are eager to take the course again.

For his courses, Filotas provides grammatical tables, prepares exercises and introduces texts that demonstrate the best Inuktitut that he can find.

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

You can learn more about the courses offered by Filotas at information sessions at 6 p.m. on Sept. 17 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 8:30 p.m., with the cost for the 12-week session set at $250. Students can enroll in introductory classes, which will take place either on Monday or Tuesday, while the more advanced students will meet on Thursday.

The cost includes everything except dictionaries.

For more information, you can contact Filotas at gfilotas@videotron.ca.

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