Inuktitut Project

Writing System


Click on the Inuttitut words to hear them


Labrador Inuttitut Vowels
a angutik man [a]
i inuk person [i]
u umiak boat [u]
â atâtak father [aa]
e ijet eyes [ii]
o kok river [uu]


Labrador Inuttitut Single Consonants
p pualuk mitten [p]
t talik arm [t]
k kulluk thumb [k]
g atâtaga my father [γ]
K Kimmik dog [χ]
s sua what? [s]
l ulu woman’s knife [l]
m mannik egg [m]
n niuk leg [n]
ng angutik man [ŋ]
h âhailâ certainly [h]
j Kajak kayak [j]
v Kanuivet how are you? [v]


Labrador Inuttitut Double Consonants
pp Kauppat tomorrow [pp]
tt Inuttitut Labrador Inuttitut [tt]
kk nikkuk dried caribou [kk]
gg aggak hand [xx]
kK pisukKaujuk he/she walked [kχ]
ts angutitsiak a good man [ts]
ll ulluk day [ll]
mm immuk milk [mm]
nn annak woman [nn]
ng, ng, ngng paungak blackberry [ŋŋ]
dj, tj, jj adjinguak photo [j]
ff, bv, gv uffalu or [ff]

tl, dl




black bear

lake trout



While the Labrador Inuttitut writing system is consistent for most sounds, there are a few sounds that have several possible spellings.

ff, bv, gv - The spelling ff is used most frequently now, but the spellings bv and gv are still used by some speakers.

ng, ng, ngng – The spelling ng corresponds to two different Inuttitut sounds: the ‘single’ sound found in angutik ([ŋ]), and the ‘double’ or geminate sound found in paungak ([ŋŋ]). In some dialects of Inuktitut, these two sounds are distinguished in writing as ng for the single sound and nng for the double sound. In Labrador Inuttitut, the double sound is usually distinguished from the single sound as ngng or as ng. Currently, the school board is using ng and Torngâsok Cultural Centre is using ngng. However, some speakers write both single and double sounds as ng.

tl, dl – Like ng, the spelling tl also corresponds to a single sound, as in itlok 'lake trout' ([ł]), and a double sound, as in atlak 'black bear' ([tł]). As well, the spelling tl alternates with dl. As with ng, the double sound could be made distinct from the single sound by writing it as tl, but this is not currently done by speakers.

tj, dj, jj – The spelling tj is the most common. However, it is sometimes spelled dj. As well, as this sound is the double form of j, it is sometimes spelled jj.

g The Inuktitut sound g is softer than the English g, as you can hear in the word atâtaga ‘father’ above. Many dialects of Inuktitut also have the sound r [r], which is similar to the Parisian r (rather than the English r). It is generally thought that the sounds g [γ] and r [r] have collapsed into a single sound g [γ] in Inuttitut, and so the letter r has been dropped from the Inuttitut writing system (except for in older texts, such as the Bible). However, some speakers have r sounds in some words like those that can be found in other dialects. For example, the Inuttitut word sugusik ‘child’ is sometimes pronounced with the Parisian r sound by some speakers of Labrador Inuttitut, as in the Nunavik word surusiq ‘child.’ However, the word atâtaga ‘father’ is always pronounced with a g, as it is in all dialects.

The law of double consonants

The law of double consonants is a Labrador Inuttitut sound rule involving words that have two or more consonant clusters (consonants that are next to each other). This rule requires any consonant cluster that follows another must be reduced to a single consonant. For example, the postbase -tsiak, meaning "good, well," begins with a
consonant cluster, the sequence ts. In the word annasiak, meaning "a good woman," the t in the sequence disappears; this is due to the double consonant nn that appears before it. Compare this to the word angutitsiak, meaning "a good man"; the ts sequence remains because there is no consonant cluster appearing before it.

This rule only applies when the consonant clusters are separated only by vowels. For example, in the word ânniaKaungilanga, meaning "I was not sick today," the nn that appears in the word causes the past tense marker -kKau to become just -Kau because there are only vowels in between them. However, the double consonant ng in the negative marker -ngi is not reduced to a single consonant, in spite of the nn in the word, because the single consonant K appears between them. This rule only affects consonant clusters that are separated from the clusters before them by vowels; if there is a single consonant between two consonant clusters, the rule will not apply.