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Inuktut Keyboards for iPhone and iPad

16 June 2015

New Inuktut Keyboards for iPhone and iPad

Iqaluit (June 15, 2015) The Government of Nunavut and the Pirurvik Centre have launched Naqittautit, a set of new Inuktut keyboards that will make it possible for anyone to type in syllabics using an Apple iPhone and iPad. The keyboards are available as a download from Apple’s App Store.


"We are proud to partner with Pirurvik Centre to release these naqittautit, or keyboards as they are called in Inuktut," said George Kuksuk, Minister of Languages. "We hope they will help improve and facilitate the greater use of our language on popular mobile phones and tablets."


“For years, Inuktut speakers have been unable to type in syllabics using their iPad, iPhone and iPods,” says Leena Evic, Pirurvik’s President. “Naqittautit will help make Inuktut and syllabics much more visible in text messages, on Facebook and the World Wide Web.”


One of the keyboards, called Kiputtijjut, is an exciting innovation for Inuktut computing. Users will be able to type in roman orthography while the characters are automatically converted to syllabics on the screen. “Many Inuktut speakers are more comfortable typing Inuktut in roman but prefer reading their language in syllabics,” says Gavin Nesbitt who oversaw the development of the keyboards at Pirurvik. “Kiputtijjut is designed just for them. Now anyone can type quickly in syllabics on their iPhone or iPad, as long as they use correct spelling in roman,” he said.


There are two other Inuktut keyboards contained in the set. One is a standard syllabic keyboard with the same layout as has been used on Microsoft Windows for the past decade. The other is a roman Inuktut keyboard that includes the ł character for speakers of the North Qikiqtaaluk and Kivalliq dialects, and the š and ř characters for Nattilingmiutut.


As per Sivumut Abluqta, and as envisioned in the Inuit Language Protection Act, this is another example of the Government of Nunavut's commitment to enhance and strengthen the use of Inuktut in daily life across our territory.


The keyboards are Pirurvik’s latest achievement in Inuktut computing.  The company has also developed the Tusaalanga website and app for language learners, Inuktut interfaces for Microsoft Windows and Office, and syllabic fonts.