Monday, February 16, 2009

Inupiaq Class

So at heart I am really an anthropologist. I just can't stop. I am supposed to be learning the incredibly hard language of Inupiaq. Inupiaq is a guttural language with lots of sounds coming from your throat. What is more fasinating to me then trying to speak it is looking at all of the interesting cultural tidbits that you can learn. For example there is no "he" or "she" in inupiaq. You can just say "fishing" and that means that someone (you are just expected to know who it is) is out fishing. They also have no the, a, an, or at. What they do have is an extraordinary amount of words that describe places. As an example there is a word that means up when you are in a house and talking about something in the room with you. Then there is a word for up when it is in the house but not in the room with you. There is an up word for something outside while you are inside, a word for up in the house while you are outside. Then outside there is a word for up is you can see it and up if you can't. Up if you are talking up river and up if you are talking out on the ocean. It is amazing. Now what does it mean, you have to ask yourself, if your culture is so specific on directions but not on gender? Ahhhh now you are thinking like an anthropologist!

Here is a picture from Isa's birthday party. I just love it that Isa is friends with 6-12 year olds. We had a great time. Friends were supposed to go at 3:00 and no one left until after 5:00. I suppose that means it was a success!

1 comment:

BIG PANCHO said...

Hi Wendy:

Loved your essay on Inupiaq language. And the wonderful pic of all the kids. Does Isa go to their houses also?

Hope this note gets through.


David Bagnard