GREENLANDIC LOAN WORDS
Greenlanders are always delighted when visitors try to speak at least a few words of the local language. To make it easy, you can start by learning the words “hello”, which is called “aluu”, or “goodbye”, which is simply “baaj” – and thus are reminiscent of English.
These words are loan words that were probably introduced when the Americans came to Greenland during the Second World War.
A DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE
As is the case for all languages, Greenlandic continues to evolve, and when loan words are not used, new, highly descriptive words are created.
The word ‘computer’ is ‘qarasaasiaq’ in Greenlandic, which directly translated means ‘artificial brain’, whilst ‘potato’ is called ‘naatsiiat’ – which actually means ‘something for which one waits for a long time to grow up’.
The written language and pronunciation are something else again and can be read about in several of the books on the Greenlandic language that are available on the Internet.