Friday, June 7, 2013

Northern Living Tip: How to pronounce "Nunavut"

Sitting in our training session this week, our facilitators, who flew up from the south, naturally mentioned the word Nunavut quite a few times. They were quickly corrected in their pronunciation of the territory name, and it made me realize that many southerners probably don't know how to pronounce it correctly.

So! I'm going to help you and you can wow all the northerners with how correct you are when you say it! :)

Ready? I'll sound it out for you:

Many (and I fell into this category before I moved here too) southerners pronounce it as: None-a-vut (rhymes with "rut"), which is incorrect.

The correct way? New-na-voot (rhymes with "boot"), or alternatively, Noon-na-voot (the first and second syllable share the "n" sound so it runs into each other).

Now, I don't think anyone's going to be offended you pronounced the name of the territory incorrectly - unlike some words where if you have one syllable wrong it turns into a whole different word - but now you know!

How about you? Were you saying it correctly? :)


  1. I definitely was more None-of-it! Glad to know the correct pronunciation...thanks ;)

  2. I've had quite a few chuckles over how many people I've heard butcher the pronounciation of Iqaluit. It was even worse when I lived in Qikiqtarjuaq.

  3. I don't even think I can pronounce Qikiqtarjuaq from looking at it! And I've tried to say Iqaluit properly but apparently my q sounds too much like a k and it comes out wrong.

    Thankfully you can't really mess up Baker Lake. :)

  4. brother thinks it's funny the way I pronounce Iqaluit. (I finally have the proper pronunciation of it, but to southern ears it sounds weird!) Qikiqtarjuaq is one that I can 'almost' do..but those Q's are hard! it just takes time! :)

  5. You do not pronounce "New-na-voot"! "Noon-na-voot" sounds correct.

    1. Thanks for the clarification! The connecting N sound does make it sound more correct now that I'm practicing it!

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I’m a pre-service teacher and just now I was thinking about how my teachers in southern Ontario always pronounced “Newfoundland” incorrectly (people often say new-FOUND-land but it’s NEW-fin-land). As a kid I only knew that because I was from Atlantic Canada. Then I realied they might not have known how to pronounce Nunavut either, which became a territory when I was in grade 4. So I had to look it up, and it turns out they got the first part right and the last part wrong. Now I’ll be able to say it correctly when I’m in their shoes! ��