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.