skip to primary navigation skip to content

Bringing Greenlandic to Britain

Bringing Greenlandic to Britain

How many words are there in Greenlandic for "changing weather patterns"?

The Scott Polar Research Institute is organising a ten-day intensive introductory course in Greenlandic from April 18-29. This will be the first time that a British university has offered formal tuition in an Arctic indigenous language. This will advance the Scott Polar Research Institute's research projects about circumpolar governance, indigenous health, and climate change, as well as museum exhibitions.

The instructor, Klaus Georg Hansen, is Assistant Professor at the Sisimiut Language Centre in Greenland. His course comprises 70 hours of small-group teaching and draws on the Language Centre's e-learning techniques to meet the needs of Cambridge University researchers and staff. "By using e-learning we can travel around the world building on the same language laboratory," says Klaus Georg Hansen.

Johan Meyer, Director of the Greenlandic Language Centre, remarks that this collaboration with Cambridge "lays out some very exciting perspectives for the future of teaching in Greenlandic." The Greenlandic language is closely related to the other Inuit family of languages in northern Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Greater proficiency in Greenlandic provides a platform for learning the language in all of these regions. Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director, describes the initiative as "placing the Institute at the heart of contemporary circumpolar research in the social sciences".

Contact: Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute