Inuinnaqtun and romanized Inuktitut added to Microsoft Translator

Addition comes as a part of Nunavut’s language month for Inuktut

Inuinnaqtun and Romanized Inuktitut have been added to Microsoft’s translation services. Inuinnaqtun is based in western Nunavut, including Cambridge Bay. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Inuinnaqtun and romanized Inuktitut have been added to Microsoft’s translation services as a part of the Nunavut government’s annual celebration of the Inuktut languages.

The territorial government has been celebrating the event, called Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, during the month of February with videos and social media posts that celebrate Inuit culture and languages.

“With our enhanced Inuktitut, and the introduction of Inuktitut Roman orthography and Inuinnaqtun, we can help increase visibility of the Inuktut language across the world,” says a news release from the Government of Nunavut about the translation services.

Inuinnaqtun will now be able to be translated through Microsoft translating apps, Office products, and its internet browser, according to Microsoft’s own news release.

The Government of Nunavut and Microsoft partnered on the project.

“It is an honour to continue supporting the Government of Nunavut in this important work,” said Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada, through the territorial government’s news release.

According to the Kitikmeot Heritage Society, there are fewer than 600 fluent Inuinnaqtun speakers in the world. Having such a small number of speakers puts the language, largely spoken in western Nunavut, on the United Nations list of endangered languages.

Romanized Inuktitut, which takes the syllabic spelling of Inuktitut and translates it to Roman characters, was added after Inuktitut was put into Microsoft’s translation services last year.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by John K on

    I think this is great news.

    I want to know how to speak my own language … but I’m not the smartest person in the world. Having better access to Inuktitut in an alphabet I’m already familiar with will be huge.

    I’m excited.

  2. Posted by Umingmak on

    This is awesome news. As someone who has always wanted to learn to speak Inuinnaqtun, this is one of the first things to finally offer the services other languages have always had.

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