Greenlandic dialects

There are roughly four different dialects in Greenland – the Western Greenlandic (the main dialect), Southern Greenlandic, Northern Greenlandic and the Eastern Greenlandic.

Even though there are only about 56,562 people living in Greenland, because of the vast distances, dialects even differ from one town to another. Sometimes a completely different word is used for the same sentence, and other times the same word is used but pernounced differently.

In below videos, you might be able to hear the differences between the dialects of the Northern Greenlanders, so that if you are going to Northern Greenland one day, you’ll know what to say.

Scroll down for a crash course in Greenlandic dialects!

Hello

When you are greeting someone in Greenland, you can either use the word “Hello” or simply lift your eyebrows and nod your head.

What is your name?

When asking someone their name in Greenlandic you actually say “What name do you have?”

I am from

When you tell someone where you are from in Greenlandic you often use the name of your city as a noun. So if you are from Ilulissat, you would say “I am an iluliarmioq” – an Ilulissat person.

How are you?

When asking someone how they are, you can either say “Are you good?” or “How are you?”

I am doing well. How are you?

“Illimmi” also means “What about you?”

Really?

Yes and No

You can also say “Yes” by simply raising your eyebrows and open up your face. Or say “No” by wrinkling your nose.