Yupik love poem
Taugaam cukangnaqluten tayimciquq
Kiing'an pik'aqa "Kenkamken"
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Inuit woman and her language
For this woman around by her tribe, my love poem into yupik, the inuit language of yupik peoples from central Alaska. She will read it in her igloo.
The word Eskimo rapidly falling into disuse, is derived from the cree language, spoken to the south in the area of Hudson Bay, and mean "eaters of raw flesh". The preferred term today is Inuit, the word for "people" in their language. There are many dialects for eskimo, but it's remarkable, considering its enormous range, that they fall into only two major groups. Inuit, which accounts for over 95% of the total number of speakers, is spoken in Greenland, Canada, and Northern Alaska.
In Greenland it is known as Greenlandic, in Canada as Inuktitut, in Alaska as Inupiaq. The other dialect Yupik is spoken in southern Alaska, including St Lawrence Island, and also in Siberia. The line dividing the two extends across central Alaska, reaching Norton Sound on the west coast between the towns of Unalakleet, where Inuit is spoken, and St Michael, which is Yupik speaking.
The Yupik dialects are Naukanski, Central Siberian Yupik, Central Alaska Yupik and Sugpiaq. All these dialects according to the zones where they are, have borrowed to Russian or English.
The only language related to Eskimo is the Aleut language of the Aleutian Islands. The two are not mutually intelligible, but there are sufficient similarities to indicate that they were a single language several thousand years ago. The writing of Eskimo date as far back as 1721 when Protestants missionaries brought the Roman alphabet to Greenland. In Canada a syllabic system was introduced in 1876, the same one that had been developped earlier for the Cree Indians and still used by them. Igloo and Kayak are two eskimo words that have entered our languages.
It is estimated, that there are 20,000 speakers for this Eskimo-Aleut language. The Yupiks of Central Alaska (Yupiaqs) are the descendants of the Eskimo peoples settled in this region. They are American citizens who mix traditions and modernity.