Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Saving Inuktitut by COLIN CAMPBELL

On the dusty streets of Iqaluit, Nunavut, stop signs read in two languages: English and the squiggly syllabic characters of Inuktitut. So do signs at the post office, bank and grocery store. Inuktitut is the first language for 70 per cent of the territory's 30,000 residents, and by some measures appears one of the healthiest indigenous languages in the country. But here in the capital, a town of about 3,600, English is the language of choice among young Inuit. Children wear SpongeBob SquarePants T-shirts, and buy the latest CDs by 50 Cent and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Internet use is widespread, as is satellite TV. The result: Inuktitut is a language under siege, and assuring it survives, even flourishes, has become a priority. more..


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