Correct use of Inuit and Inuk

Linguistic Recommendation

To standardize the use of Inuit and Inuk in the federal public service, the Translation Bureau recommends the following:

Singular noun

English - Singular noun

  • Inuk is the singular noun. It is always capitalized:
    • the first Inuk to play in the NHL

French - Singular noun

  • Inuit is the masculine noun. It is always capitalized:
    • Un Inuit du Nord canadien
  • Inuite is the feminine noun. It is always capitalized:
    • L'œuvre d'une Inuite

Note: Inuk is no longer used in French.

Plural noun

English - Plural noun

  • Inuit is the plural noun. It is always capitalized:
    • Inuit enjoy the arrival of spring.

    Note: Because Inuit means "the people," do not use the or people with Inuit:

    • Inuit use traditional hunting methods.
      (not The Inuit or The Inuit people)

French - Plural noun

  • Inuit and Inuite both take an "s" in the plural form. They are always capitalized:
    • les Inuits qui vivent au nord du 60e parallèle
    • les Inuites et les autres femmes autochtones

Adjective

English - Adjective

  • Inuit is the adjective. It is always capitalized:
    • Storytelling is an Inuit tradition.

French - Adjective

  • The adjective inuit agrees in both gender and number with the noun it modifies. It is never capitalized:
    • la culture inuite
    • des chanteuses inuites
    • des artistes inuits

Linguistic Recommendation reference number

REC-6/2008-06

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Linguistic Recommendations and Reminders
Correct use of Inuit and Inuk (REC-6/2008-06) - Comments

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