Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Greenland
Phrasebooks > Greenlandic phrasebook

Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) is the main and since 2009 the sole official language of Greenland. It is an Eskimo–Aleut language, closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada such as Inuktitut.

There are quite big differences between dialects. The name Kalaallisut can refer either to the language or to the main variety, Western Greenlandic. Tunumiit oraasiat or East Greenlandic and Inuktun or Polar Eskimo are the other main varieties, the latter especially close to Inuktitut.

Greenlandic is a polysynthetic language that allows the creation of long words by stringing together roots and suffixes. Inflection is quite complex. Greenlandic usually constructs new words made from Greenlandic roots, by the very rich derivative mechanisms, but Greenlandic also has many loans from Danish and English.

Pronunciation guideEdit

VowelsEdit

  • A
  • E
  • I
  • O
  • U

Vowels for loanwords and namesEdit

  • Æ
  • Ø
  • Å
  • Y

ConsonantsEdit

  • F
  • G
  • H
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • V

Consonants for loanwords and namesEdit

  • B
  • C
  • D
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Common diphthongsEdit

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Hello.
Haluu. ( )
Hello. (informal)
Kutaa. ( )
How are you?
Qanoq ippit?( ?)
Are you well/good?
Ajunngilatit? ( )
Fine, thank you.
Ajunngilanga, qujanaq. ( )
It's good/fine.
Ajunngilaq. ( )
What is your name?
Qanoq ateqarpit? ( ?)
My name is ______ .
______-mik ateqarpunga . ( _____ .)
Nice to meet you.
. ( )
Please.
. ( )
Thank you.
Qujanaq. ( )
You're welcome. (you too)
Illillu. ( )
Yes.
Aap/Aappi/Suu. ( )
No.
Naa/Naamik. ( )
Maybe.
Immaqa. ( )
Right?
Ilaa? ( )
Excuse me. (getting attention)
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
. ( )
I'm sorry.
Utoqqatserpunga. ( )
Goodbye
Baaj/Baj/Baabaj ( )
See you!
Takuss!( )
I can't speak Greenlandic [well].
. ( [ ])
Do you speak English?
Tuluttut oqaluttarpi? ( ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
? ( ?)
Help!
Ikiu! ( !)
Look out!
Mianersorit! ( !)
Good morning.
Kumoorn. ( )
Good afternoon
. ( )
Good evening.
. ( )
Good night.
Kunaat. ( )
Good night (sleep well, to one person)
Sinilluarit. ( )
I don't understand.
Paasinngilanga. ( )
Where is the toilet?
Anartarfik sumiippa? ( ?)

ProblemsEdit

NumbersEdit

Cardinal NumbersEdit

In Greenland only 1–12 in Greenlandic are used. This is caused by a system of numerals used in the past where the toes and fingers were used to count to 20 which would be inuk naallugu or a complete human. 79 would be four complete humans minus one.

0
nuulu, noor'lu (NOO-loo, NOR-loo)
1
ataaseq (at-AR-sek)
2
marluk (MAR-look)
3
pingasut (PEEN-ga-soot)
4
sisamat (SEE-sa-mat)
5
tallimat (TAL-li-mat)
6
arfineq (when counting and with time), arfinillit (when counting objects) (AR-feen-ek, ar-FEEN-eel-lit)
7
arfineq marluk (AR-feen-ek MAR-look)
8
arfineq pingasut (AR-feen-ek PEEN-ga-soot)
9
(Northern Greenlandic) qulingiluat (counting/time), qualaaluat (objects) (kwel-LING-il-yoo-at, kwal-AA-loo-at)

(Southern Greenlandic) qulaaluat (kwul-AA-loo-at)

10
qulit (kwulit)
11
aqqaneq (counting/time), aqqanillit (objects) (AK-kan-ek, ak-KAN-eel-lit)

(Northern Greenlandic) isikkaneq (counting/time), isikkanillit (objects) (ISI-kan-ek, isi-kan-EEL-lit)

12
aqqaneq marluk (AK-kan-ek MAR-look)

(North Greenlandic) isikkaneq marluk (ISI-kan-ek MAR-look)

The numerals after 12 are Danish now but 13–20 in old Greenlandic are underneath as well as 100 and 1000:

13
aqqaneq pingasut (AK-kan-ek PEEN-ga-soot)
14
aqqaneq sisamat (AK-kan-ek SEE-sa-mat)
15
aqqaneq tallimat (AK-kan-ek TAL-lee-mat)
16
arvirsanillit (arv-ER-san-eel-lit)
17
arvirsani marluk (arv-ER-san-ee MAR-look)
18
arvirsani pingasut (arv-ER-san-ee PEEN-ga-soot)
19
arvirsani sisamat (arv-ER-san-ee SEE-sa-mat)
20
arvirsani tallimat (arv-ER-san-ee TAL-lee-mat) or inuk naallugu (een-ook narl-loogoo)
100
untriti (un-TREE-tee)
1000
tuusinti (too-SEEN-tee)

Ordinal NumbersEdit

first
siulleq (SEE-oo-leek)
second
aappaa (ARP-par)
third
pingajuat (peen-GA-joo-at)
fourth
sisamaat (SEE-sa-mart)
fifth
tallimaat (tal-LEE-mart)
sixth
arvirnat (arv-ERN-at)
seventh
arviniq aappaat (ARV-in-ik ARP-part)
eighth
arviniq pingajuat (ARV-in-ik peen-GA-joo-at)
ninth
qulingiluaat (Northern), qulaaluaat (Southern) (kwoo-LEENG-eel-yoo-art, KWOO-lar-loo-art)
tenth
qulingat (kwoo-LEENG-at)
eleventh
aqqarnat (ak-KAR-nat)
twelfth
aqqaneq aappaat (AK-kan-ek ARP-part)

Numbers over 12th are Danish loan-numerals such as tretteniat is 13th and tyviat is 20th.

TimeEdit

yesterday
ippassaq ( )
the day before yesterday
ippassaani ( )
today
ullumi ( )
tomorrow
aqagu ( )
the day after tomorrow
aqaguagu ( )
morning
ullaaq ( )
day
ulloq ( )
evening
unnuaq ( )
year
ukioq ( )
spring
upernaq ( )
summer
aasaq ( )
fall/autumn
ukiaq ( )
winter
ukioq (same as year, )

Clock timeEdit

DurationEdit

North Avannaq / South Kujataa / East Kangia / West Kitaa /

DaysEdit

Monday
ataasinngorneq ( )
Tuesday
marlunngorneq ( )
Wednesday
pingasunngorneq ( )
Thursday
sisamanngorneq ( )
Friday
tallimanngorneq ( )
Saturday
arfininngorneq ( )
Sunday
sapaat ( )

MonthsEdit

January
Januaari ( )
February
Februaari ( )
March
Marsi ( )
April
Apriili ( )
May
Maaji ( )
June
Juuni ( )
July
Juuli ( )
August
Aggusti ( )
September
Septembari ( )
October
Oktobari ( )
November
Novembari ( )
December
Decembari ( )

Writing time and dateEdit

ColorsEdit

West Kitaa /

white
qaqortoq ( )
black
qernertoq ( )
red
aappalaartoq ( )
green
qorsoq ( )
blue
tungujortoq ( )
yellow
sungaartoq ( )

TransportationEdit

car
biili ( )
bicycle
sikkili ( )
boat (small, personal)
umiatsiaq ( )
boat (traditional, for women)
umiaq/umiak ( )
boat (big)
umiarsuaq ( )
kayak
qajaq ( )
dog sled
qimusseq ( )

Bus and trainEdit

bus
bussi ( )

DirectionsEdit

forward
siumut ( )

TaxiEdit

taxa
tarssa ( )

LodgingEdit

house
illu/illoq ( )
room
ini ( )
apartment
inissiaq ( )

MoneyEdit

money
aningaasat ( )
Danish Kroner
koroonit ( )
Danish Øre
oorit ( )

EatingEdit

BarsEdit

ShoppingEdit

DrivingEdit

AuthorityEdit

police
politii ( )
doctor
nakorsaq ( )
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