Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ll be using manicules (those pointing finger symbols) to direct your attention to something I’m pondering that delights or interests me. Each entry is somehow related to an unusual, obscure, or simply charming to me word.
N is for…
This word is from the Greenlandic language Kalaallisut, a language in which one word can mean an entire phrase. Nipangerpoq means “he is silent, he is heard no more, or, a pain is assuaged.”
I was introduced to this word, which, no, I cannot pronounce, through a beautiful artist book created by Nancy Campbell. Campbell is an artist and writer, and the artistbook she created is How to Say ‘I Love You’ in Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet.
It’s an exquisite creation composed of cards, representing 12 words of the Greenlandic language with their definition, and each card contains a graphic outline of a glacier.
It is a tribute to the Greenlandic language which is so beautifully evocative and so precisely nuanced in its expression of the Arctic ecosystem. Greenlandic, an Inuit language, has been declared in danger of extinction, with only 57,000 living speakers.
The book is also call to environmental action – the disappearing ice and glacial landscape is at a critical point. 2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenlandic ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season than it gained during the winter.
Campbell’s book was originally issued as a handprinted edition of 50. After that, another edition of 175 copies was printed by Miel in 2014, and I’m delighted to have one of those copies. It is truly a special treasure.
While you can usually count on me to have a great deal to say on any subject I’m musing on, I’m going to keep it short today. It would delight me if you took an additional two minutes and check out a very short video with Nancy Campell showing her book and talking about it. Here’s the link
So what do you think? Do you know how to say I love you in a language other than your mother tongue? Ever seen glaciers? Have a special book you treasure? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
“A pain is assuaged” — I love this phraseal definition!
To answer your questions: I am fluent in two languages. “I love you” is pretty simple in both. “Fall in love,” on the other hand, has a lot of different connotations and therefore many ways to be expressed.
And yes, I have seen glaciers. 🙂 Where I live, I am surrounded by mountains that are topped by glaciers. I’ve hiked them, so I’ve seen the base of the glaciers up close and personal. I’ve also been to Alaska, and had the unique experience of witnessing a glacier calving. It sounded like elongated booming thunder. Approximately 12 stories of ice dropped into the ocean. It was an awesome sight.
Oh how fabulous about your glacier hikes! And your Alaskan experience sounds incredible. My brother is traveling to Alaska later this year, and I’m already looking forward to tales of his adventures.
Good point about falling in love. The idiom itself is curious to me, but I imagine different languages don’t use that particular idiom at all. Just goes to show, love is complicated. 🙂
Ya lyublyu tevya
mujhe tumse pyaar hai
…and of course, Je t’aime!
That’s Russian, Hindi and the language of love (we’re told), French.
I have never had the opportunity to visit a glacier in person… and have many books that I treasure. For today’s purpose, I will mention Life On Earth, the full hard-cover original version, which I had the great honour of getting signed in person by the mighty David Attenborough, the absolute Guru of the natural world and how we learn about it (as far as I’m concerned!). Quite literally last night I sat and watched in awe as he narrated the tale of the recent dinosaur ‘day of death’ discovery and how the message of climate change could still be conveyed after 66 million years… YAM xx
How fabulous you know so many ways to say I love you! And what a delight you have a signed copy of Attnenborough’s book. During the sequestering part of the pandemic, various of his documentaries and series were on our watch list. Until that time, I had no idea how prolific he was.
I do know many ways to say ” I love you.” That language intrigues me with its very detailed word meanings. I’ve seen many glaciers and am extremely concerned about their shrinking and the environment conditions that are causing that.
The loss of our glaciers is profoundly important and yet gets very little attention.
There is a Tamil movie song which goes with the word for love in different languages of tge world … i can speak 4 languages alp that i learnt growing up…now i want to learn more … but its so much tougher once you are an adult …
I think it’s wonderful you can speak four languages! But, it’s true children’s brains aquire language skills with greater ease.
Do you know how to say I love you in a language other than your mother tongue?
At least a handful. Hey, I live in Switzerland and have five neighbor countries 😉
Ever seen glaciers?
As I was saying, I live in Switzerland, we have many glaciers in our Alps.
Have a special book you treasure?
“Homo Faber” by Swiss author Max Frisch. It’s about an engineer who does not believe in destiny and ends up meeting (and falling in love) with his daughter he didn’t know existed.
Glaciers and so many surrounding languages – Switzerland has a lot of wonderful things to enjoy! The book sounds lovely as well.
nipangerpoq. Sounds great. Loving. Musical. I can say I love you in 4 languages. 👍
Loving and musical – yes! Four languages is so wonderful.
Thank you for sharing the video Deborah. What a gem the Greenlandic language is. One word to describe someone who’s trying hard not to sneeze!! What! How often would that’ve happened before they decided it needed a word — As you can see–I’m going down this rabbit hole willingly:)
LOL – indeed Arti, one has to wonder about that! Rabbit holes can be such fun to fall into.