Origin of Inuktitut

The Inuktitut syllabary was adapted from the Cree syllabary in the late 19th century by John Horden and E. A. Watkins, missionaries from England. Edmund Peck promoted the use of the syllabary across the Canadian Arctic, and also translated the bible into Inuktitut, and wrote an Eskimo Grammar and an Eskimo-English Dictionary.

In 1976 the Language Commission of the Inuit Cultural Institute approved two standardized writing systems for Inuktitut in Canada: one using the syllabary and the other using the Latin alphabet.

Today the Inuktitut syllabary, which is known as titirausiq nutaaq or qaniujaaqpait , is used mainly in Canada, especially in the territory of Nunavut, the population of which is 85% Inuit, and in Nunavik , Quebec. The Latin alphabet, known as qaliujaaqpait is used in other parts of Canada, Alaska and Greenland, while in Siberia the Cyrillic alphabet is used.

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