Eskimo Writing Key

Browse Iñupiaq Words by Category

Browse Iñupiaq Words Alphabetically

Description InupiaQ English
Pictures
a is pronounced most frequently like the vowel in "fun" and "the". When next to "q" or "b" it sounds like "a" in "father". amaaq root
Double aa and any other double letter is held longer than a single letter. aatqan mitten
 
ch resembles "ch" in "church" natchiq seal
ch resembles "ch" in "church" ivgich grass
 
g before another consonant is like "g" in "go". aglaun pencil
Elsewhere it is pronounced much softer as a continued sound, not as a stopped sound. ivgun towel
 
b is similar to "g", but is spoken farther back in the throat. Between vowels it is sometimes very soft and easily missed. abviq whale
 
b is similar to "g", but is spoken farther back in the throat. Between vowels it is sometimes very soft and easily missed. tabbaq shadow
 
h resembles English "h". aahaaliq Old Squaw duck
 
i is pronounced like " i" in "police". Next to b and q it sounds like "i " as in "tin". ikun match
i is pronounced like "i " in "police". Next to b and q it sounds like "i " as in "tin". siilik pike
 
i is pronounced like "i " in "police". Next to b and q it sounds like "i " as in "tin". kukik fingernail
 
k sounds like "k" in "ski" or "skill". It lacks the puff of air that follows "k" in "kill". ukpik snowy owl
l resembles "l" in "leave". ulu woman's knife
l resembles "l" in "leave". qallun cup
 
j is like "l" in "cleave" only more "breathy". It is voiceless. pajuqtaq beaver
j is like "l" in "cleave" only more "breathy". It is voiceless. kamikjuuk pants
 
x is pronounced something like the letters "li" in "peculiar" or "million" (is the same as Spanish caballero). kixxiq cut
 
x is pronounced something like the letters "li" in "peculiar" or "million" (is the same as Spanish caballero). kixibniq knot
m sounds like English "m". mannik egg
 
n is pronounced like English "n". nanuq polar bear
 
e is pronounced like the letters "ny" in "canyon" (is the same as Spanish maeana). ieuk human being
 
e is pronounced like the letters "ny" in "canyon" (is the same as Spanish maeana). siqieiq sun
 
f is pronounced like the letters "ng" in "king". tifmisuun airplane
f is pronounced like the letters "ng" in "king". afun male being
 
p sounds like "p" in "spot". It is pronounced without the puff of air that accompanies "p" in "pot". papik bird's tail
p sounds like "p" in "spot". It is pronounced without the puff of air that accompanies "p" in "pot". putu hole
 
r sounds like "r" and "z" pronounced at the same time. argaich hand, fingers
r sounds like "r" and "z" pronounced at the same time. ugruk bearded seal
 
s is pronounced between English "s" and "sh". suluk wing feather
sr sounds like "r" and "sh" pronounced a the same time. Where Kobuk River people use "sr" between vowels, coastal Eskimos pronounce "s". siksrik ground squirrel
sr sounds like "r" and "sh" pronounced a the same time. Where Kobuk River people use "sr" between vowels, coastal Eskimos pronounce "s". iqsraq cheek
 
t is pronounced like "t" in "steam". It lacks the puff of air that follows "t" in "team". tuttu caribou
u sounds like "u" in "rule". Next to b and q it sounds like "u" in "pull" or "o" in "okay". uqaq tongue
u sounds like "u" in "rule". Next to b and q it sounds like "u" in "pull" or "o" in "okay". uuktuun a measure
 
v is pronounced somewhat like English "v" but with lips touching. nuviivak fly
 
y is pronounced like English "y" in "yes". nauyaq seagull
ai is pronounced like "ie" in "pie" and ia is pronounced like "ea" in "area" in North Alaska dialect. In Kobuk River dialect, they are pronounced alike, as in "air". aiviq walrus
ai is pronounced like "ie" in "pie" and ia is pronounced like "ea" in "area" in North Alaska dialect. In Kobuk River dialect, they are pronounced alike, as in "air". tifmiaq goose
au is pronounced like "ow" in "pow" and ua is pronounced like "wa" in "how about" in North Alaska dialect. In Kobuk River dialect, they are pronounced alike, as "au" in "caught". qauq forehead
au is pronounced like "ow" in "pow" and ua is pronounced like "wa" in "how about" in North Alaska dialect. In Kobuk River dialect, they are pronounced alike, as "au" in "caught". quaq frozen food
 
ui is pronounced like "ui" in "quick" in both North Alaska and Kobuk River dialects. qugruich swans
ui is pronounced like "ui" in "quick" in both North Alaska and Kobuk River dialects. siun ear
 
In some places where coastal dialects use a "k", Kobuk River people use a glottal spelled ( ' ). Ani'ami tautukkaa. As he went out, he saw it.
 
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