Microsoft Corporation

02/01/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/01/2022 12:32

Microsoft Translator adds Inuinnaqtun and Romanized Inuktitut to growing list of languages

Today Microsoft Translator adds Inuinnaqtun and Romanized Inuktitut text translation to its growing list of languages. You can now translate between Inuinnaqtun or Romanized Inuktitut and any of over 100 supported languages and dialects in the Microsoft Translator apps, Office, and Translator for Bing. Using Azure Cognitive Services Translator you can add Inuinnaqtun and Romanized Inuktitut text and document translation to your apps, websites, workflows and tools. You can also use Translator with Cognitive Services such as Speech or Computer Vision to add additional capabilities such as speech-to-text and image translation into your apps.

Inuktitut is the primary dialect of the Inuktut language; it is spoken by approximately 40,000 Inuit across Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland in Northern Canada and used by 70 percent of Nunavut's residents. Inuinnaqtun, also a dialect of Inuktut is on UNESCO's list of endangered languages. Inuinnaqtun is the mother tongue of fewer than 600 people concentrated mostly in the Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay communities in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.

We added Inuktitut using the traditional syllabic script to Microsoft Translator in January 2021. Over the past year we have worked to update and significantly improve our Inuktitut translation models. By adding Inuinnaqtun and Romanized Inuktitut we further our commitment to break the language barrier. This includes working with language communities throughout the world to ensure endangered languages are preserved. There are close to 7,000 languages spoken around the world today. Sadly, every two weeks a language dies with its last speaker. It is predicted that between 50% and 90% of endangered languages will disappear by next century. The Government of Nunavut, Canada has worked proactively with Microsoft Translator and community groups such as the Kitikmeot Heritage Society to ensure that Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut are not among them.

Indigenous languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Here are a few useful phrases in Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut:

English Inuinnaqtun Romanized Inuktitut
Hello Halu Aingai
How are you? Qanuq ilvit? Qanurli?
I'm from … Uvanga … Nalauqsimavunga …
Pleased to meet you! Quviahukpiaqtutin katimaqatigigapkit! Alianaigusukpunga takujunnarassi!

Read more about this announcement and about the Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut languages from Microsoft News Centre Canada.

At home
Translate real-time conversations, menus and street signs, websites, documents, and more using the Microsoft Translator app for iOS and Android.  Learn more

At work
Globalize your business and customer interactions with customizable text and document translation using Azure Cognitive Services Translator.  Learn more

In the classroom
Create a more inclusive classroom for both students and parents with live captioning and cross-language understanding.  Learn more