How’s your Inuktitut?

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at
Wed Jul 7 10:24:42 CDT 2021

Yesterday evening I received a private email with the title

How’s your Inuktitut?

I have permission from the sender to mention the email and to quote its 
content here.

The email contained the following, and nothing else.

ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᑕᐱᕇᒃᑯᑦ ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐊᖏᔪᒻᒪᕆᐊᓗᖕᒥᒃ ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒍᔾᔨᕗᑦ ᒥᐊᕆ ᓴᐃᒪᓐᒥᒃ, ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐸᐅᓪᓗᓂ 
ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᕐᓯᒪᔫᓪᓗᓂ ᑯᐃᓐᒧᑦ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᕐᑎᒋᔭᐅᓕᕐᓂᖓᓄᑦ!

All I knew about Inuktitut at that time was that it is to do with Canada 
and that I remembered that it had been mentioned in the Unicode public 
mailing list and that someone had mentioned producing a font to support 

I searched on the web and found the following.

So I went to

and, using copy and paste from the email to Bing Translator, I obtained 
the following translation.

> Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami celebrates Mary Simon, Canada's first 
> Aboriginal Governor General!

I found the following.

I decided to try to reply in Inuktitut as follows, using the Bing 

Thank you. That is very interesting.

I got the following.

ᓇᑯᕐᒦᒃ. ᑕᒪᓐᓇ ᑐᓴᕈᒥᓇᖅᑐᒻᒪᕆᐅᕗᖅ.

However, it is one thing to translate using machine translation from a 
language that I do not know into English, English being my native 
language, in the hope of getting an idea of the meaning, and I often do 
that, yet it is quite another thing to translate using machine 
translation from English into a language that I do not know, as I have 
no way to know if the translation is correct or uses an idiom wrongly.

So I decided to then try to translate back to English.

So I did a copy to the clipboard, then pasted as a new go into Bing 
Translator and got the following.

Thank you. That's very good to hear.

So, it had not round tripped exactly, but the message was fine so I 
replied to the sender of the email.

Upon thinking of this today it occurred to me that the Inuktitut 
characters had all been displayed, there were no tofu boxes, so there 
seemed to be font support for Inuktitut on my computer.

So I pasted the original message into WordPad to try to find out which 
font is being used.

It appears to be named Gadugi.

As I have Windows 10 installed on my laptop computer, the font is 
available here.

I have found this to be an interesting learning experience.

William Overington

Wednesday 7 July 2021

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