Written communications in Inuktitut have evolved enormously since the first
syllabic typewriters were developed thirty years ago. Today, it is possible to
use syllabics on all of the most popular computer software. The Government of
Nunavut is at the forefront in developing new tools to help Inuktitut speakers
work more easily and reliably on computers. These efforts are making an
important contribution to establishing Inuktitut as the working language of the
Unicode is a new worldwide computer standard that supports virtually all
languages and writing systems commonly used in the world today. The previous
widespread standard, called ASCII, could only reliably support English. While
ASCII syllabic fonts, such as ProSyl were a great achievement when they were
first developed, they caused many headaches for Inuktitut speakers. Using
Unicode makes writing syllabics as reliable and trouble-free as typing in
English. It is for this reason that the Government of Nunavut now requires
Unicode-based fonts, including Pigiarniq, in its Inuktitut communications.
To type in Pigiarniq, or other Unicode syllabic fonts you will need the font
itself and a keyboard driver to produce the syllabic characters.
The Pigiarniq font can be downloaded from the GN web site at: Inuktitut Fonts
Using Inuktitut Fonts (PDF)
Installing Unicode fonts and their keyboard (PDF)
Nunavut Utilities is a package of Microsoft Office tools to make working in the
Inuit language easier. It contains the following features: A syllabic font
converter to switch text between Unicode fonts and older syllabic fonts; A
transliterator to convert text from roman orthography to syllabics, or vice
versa; and orthographic rules checkers for syllabics and roman orthography that
detect many common mistakes made when writing the Inuit language.
All of these features currently work through Microsoft Word. A version for
Microsoft Excel is also under development.
Nunavut Utilities (PDF)
Technical Guide (PDF)