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Duo goes to Nunavut/Duo ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒨᖅᑐᖅ

Duo was ready to head off to another exciting place. This time he was headed to Nunavut, the largest and newest territory in Canada. Founded in 1999, Nunavut means “Our land” in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit that live there.

First, Duo decided to head to Iqaluit, the capital of the territory and its only city (the rest of the communities are hamlets).

ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ (iqaluit)/Iqaluit/“Place of many fish”

As the capital and most populous settlement of Nunavut, Iqaluit is full of things to do. Duo first went to have a look at the nature, going along the Road to Nowhere – a road that leads out away from the city before abruptly ending, with beautiful scenery along the way. Later, during the night, he saw the beautiful northern lights, known in Inuktitut as ᐊᖅᓴᕐᓃᑦ (aqsarniit). Iqaluit is called the “place of many fish” because it has been used as a fishing area for thousands of years.

Next, Duo headed to Igloolik. Despite being able to fly, Duo decided to travel by plane, due to the frigid cold up in the Canadian arctic.

ᐃᒡᓗᓕᒃ (iglulik)/Igloolik/“Place of igloos”

In Igloolik, Duo watched people dog sledding on a ᖃᒧᑏᒃ (qamutiik) – the traditional Inuit sled – and went dog sledding himself. He also went on a tour to the floe edge, where wildlife such as walruses, seals, polar bears, and beluga whales gather. Igloolik is called the “place of igloos” in reference to the sod houses that used to be there, with ‘igloo’ referring to houses, not snow igloos.

After Igloolik, Duo travelled to Rankin Inlet.

ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᖅ (kangiqłiniq)/Rankin Inlet/“Deep inlet”

In Rankin Inlet, Duo went kayaking with other tourists. He also went and visited the Inukshuk in the community. The Inukshuks are stone cairns that appear all across the arctic, and the one in Rankin Inlet is well-known. Rankin Inlet is called the “deep inlet” due to its location in a large inlet.

Next, Duo went to Gjoa Haven.

ᐅᖅᓱᖅᑑᖅ (uqsuqtuuq)/Gjoa Haven/“Place of plenty blubber”

In Gjoa Haven, Duo watched a game of street hockey, and after that, watched an igloo being built and later slept in one during the short night. It was surprisingly cozy, but Duo definitely prefers his nest. Gjoa Haven is called the “place of plenty blubber” in reference to the large amount of sea mammals in the waters nearby.

Duo’s final stop was Resolute.

ᖃᐅᓱᐃᑦᑐᖅ (qausuittuq)/Resolute/“Place with no dawn”

Resolute is one of the northernmost communities in Nunavut, second only to Grise Fiord. This far north, Duo was able to see the midnight sun, where the sun is above the horizon for 24 hours, including at midnight! Resolute is called the “place with no dawn” in Inuktitut because during the winter months it experiences the polar night, the opposite of the midnight sun. During this period of around 3 months, the sun never rises, with only a bit of light to the south on the horizon at noon. Duo also visited an old Thule whale bone house in Resolute.

Duo would have loved to visit more communities in Nunavut, but unfortunately he only had time to visit those five. However, he had an amazing experience, and also picked up a bit of the Inuktitut language. Working with Inuit he’d met during his voyage, he developed an Inuktitut course to share the language with the world.

ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕈᒪᕕᐅᒃ? (Do you want to learn Inuktitut?)

If so, you can check out this Memrise course: Inuktitut (South Baffin)

“Duo Goes ...” series directory

May 1, 2017



Well, I may have to try it when it is finished!


Thank you for this wonderful voyage! I will try to contact StrapsOption, so that we will get your post into directory. :)


Awesome story! I just might try that! Thanks


Given how few Inuktitut resources are available, this would be incredibly valuable if made


Where can I find this course? Is it still in development?


The purpose of the Duo goes series is to introduce cultures and languages on Duolingo. Most of the posts - like this one - are requests for Duo asking new languages to be added on Duolingo. Click on the link at the bottom of this post and you will find more posts like this. :)


I've usually seen qamutiik written with a long vowel in the last syllable (thus ᖃᒧᑏᒃ in syllabics) -- I think that's common in the dual number (which is used here, I think, from the two runners of the sled).


That's possible. I got the word from here - http://nunavuttourism.com/things-to-see-do/dogsledding - where they've listed it as "qamutik":

The rugged yet flexible arctic sled, perfected in design by the Inuit for towing people, gear, supplies and big game animals behind their dog teams, is known as a ‘qamutik’ in Inuktitut, English and French. The plural is ‘qamutiit’ in Inuktitut.

Also, ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑑᓲᖑᕖᑦ?


I spent a bit of time looking at the language quite a while ago, but not actively learning -- so some of it has stayed by "osmosis" but not a whole lot.

It's on the long list of languages I'm interested in and might like to know better one day.


You were correct, btw. I've changed it :)




I would love to learn Inuktitut! Here is a cool link that inspired me (Click on the Inuit Video): http://www.staralliance.com/en/culturalexperiences

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.