“Bussimi Naapinneq” A MEETING ON THE BUS
The exerpts below are about a Greenlandic woman who went to Copenhagen to live with a Danish lover, whose life there was less than happy though. Each extract is followed by vocabulary notes and in the case of the first three fragments, a suggested English translation.
Ullut ilaanni illoqarfimmi suliffinni inerama
pisiniaqattaalaasinnarlunga angerlarniarlunga Nørreportimut
ingerlavunga, taanna bussit assigiinngitsorpaaluit aqqutigisarmassuk
ilaanni: on one/some (of them)
-n-ni: at my
ini-: to be finished/to finish
-rama (/-gama): when (past tense) (/because) I ...
pisinia-: to go shopping (pi-: thing, -si-: buy, -nia- to go
and.../to intend to...)
-qattaa-: repeatedly/the whole time
-laar-: a little (also softens the tone)
-sinnar: after doing X (NB not to be confused with -sinnaa: can)
-lunga: while I ... / and I ...
angerlar-: to go home
Nørreport: a street in Copenhagen
-i- : epenthetic vowel to allow -mut ending to be added to foreign
word/word ending in a consonant
ingerla-: go (on foot)
-vunga: I ... (indicative)
-paaluit: a great many
aqqutigi-: travel along it (lit. to have it as a road)
-sar- (-tar-): tend to (frequentative)
-massuk: because (when) they...it
iki- : get on board
-artor-: to intend do/make an effort to
-figi: to have something as a place of...
-gaju(k)-: a lot
-kakku: because (when) I ... it
"One day, when I was finished at work in town, and I was heading
home after doing a bit of shopping, I walked to Nørreport, since I
often went there to catch a ride because of the many different buses
that passed by there."Aarimmi linie 5 tikiuppoq, tassungalu ikivunga, bussi taanna
angerlartillunga ilaaffigalugu pitsaanerpaat ilagimmassuk
The last wordlist was in order of the words appearing. This one is
in alphabetical order and I have omitted words/particles explained
in the previous list to make things less straightforward. If want to
try this without the translation don't look below the wordlist. If
you have difficulty with just this I give a breakdown and a
translation with some hints as to how to analyse the bits, the last
few words are quite tricky:
aarimmi: just as I thought!, as you can see!
-(f)figi- (-ffigaa): to have X as the place/object of my action
-gi-: to have X as...
iki-: to get on board (object takes -mut/nut case)
ilagi-: to have X as a part/as one of it
ilaa-: to be a passenger
linie 5: "line 5" i.e. the number 5 bus
-lunga: while [unstated subject] [verbs] me (NB note that in the
last sentence -lunga meant "while I [verb]". It has two meanings
intransitive where -nga means "I", and a transitive meaning where
the ending signifies the object, "me")
-nerpaaq: most(plural: -nerpaat)
tassunga: to this (=tassa+mut)
tikiu*-: to have arrived (cf tikippoq: to come)
-ti*: to cause
Word for word breakdown
"Just.as.I.thought line 5 has.arrived, to.this-and board-I, bus this
go.home-cause-while.me [i.e. taking me home] be.a.passenger-
have.as.place.of-while.it(object) [having it as my transport] good-
most(pl) [the best ones] part-have.as-because.they...it [because
they (the best ones) have it as part of them , as one of them i.e.
because it is one of the best]
"Just as I thought, the number 5 had arrived, which I boarded,
because this bus was one of the best to be taken home by (to go home
Ualeq aallartilaaginnarsimavoq, taamaammat angallatit suli
inoqaruluunngillat. Issiaviit sanileriittarissat ilaanni arnaq
kalaaliugunartoq kisimiilluni issiasoq takullugu sanianut
angallat: vehicle (plural -it)
-ginnar: only/just (same as -innar, -annar)
-gunar: apparently, seemingly
ingippoq: to sit down
ino-: stem of inuk: person
issiavik: seat (plural -[/k/]it)
issiavoq: to be sitting
kalaaleq: greenlander (stem: kalaali-)
-kiartor, iartor, jartor, riartor: to go [there] to ...
kisimiippoq: to be alone
-luni: while [subject of main verb] does X (kontemporativ 4ps)
-qa-: to have, to exist, there is, there are
-riaq: the place where... (plural -rissat)
-ruloor: hard, forcefully (ruluu- where final "r" is removed by
sanileriipput: to be next to one another, side by side
-sima-: perfective affix: similar to "to have X'd".
-soq/toq: nominal verb form: who does X, that does X.
taama: so, such;
taamaappoq: to be such;
taamaammat: because it was such= therefore
taku- : see
-tar-/-sar-: affix denoting a habitual/usual action
-ruluu- in this case I believe it expresses the fact that later in the
afternoon there would normally be a lot of people in the buses (but not
In this case the sitting down by her side is as a result of what she has
seen, so I would put that afterwards in the translation.
Sanianut = sani-a-nut > to her side.
sanileriit-ta-rissat: the places which were [habitually] side by side,
i.e. one of the row of double seats in a bus.
The subject of kisimiilluni agrees with issiasoq, which is the main verb
for that phrase of the sentence, so the rule isn't broken.
"The afternoon had only just begun, so there was not yet a great number
of people in the vehicles [buses]. Seeing a woman who appeared to be
Greenlandic sitting alone on one of the double seats, I went to sit down
next to her."
Igalaap killingani issiavoq silammut isigaluni. Paasivara
ilisarisimanngikkiga. Taamaattoq sanianut inginniarpunga
kalaaliusorilluinnarakku nalinginnaq oqaloqatigiissinnaagatta, soorlu
taamaakkajuttartugut. Aammami angallatini taamaattuni
ingerlarusaarluni oqaloqateqarluni ingerlaneq sivikinnerusutut
aammami: and indeed
-gatta/ratta/kkatta: because we...
igalaq : window (-ap: relative case)
ilisarisimavaa: know X
isigaaq: look (from "isigavoq")(isigaa: look at X)
-kaju*-: often (cf -gaju* in extract 1)
-kkiga/-giga/riga: transitive nominal mood, (that) I...her
killeq: edge/border (killinga: its edge/border)
-ki*: small/few > sivi-kip-poq: short lasting
-mat: because it...
nalinginnaq: general/one or other
-nar-: "be such as to". So in the example the
translation is along the lines of: "because travelling on a slow bus
having a chat with someone is such as to make the journey feel
oqaloqat: someone to speak with
oqaloqatigiip-put: they have a conversation (plural subjects only)
paasivaa: understand it/realise it
-qat: a fellow X
-rakku/gakku/kkakku: because I...her
-rusaar-: without hurry
silak: sky (silammut: outside)
sivisooq: long lasting
soorlu: just like, as if
-sori-: think that
-sutut: intransitive nominal mode -soq + "aequalis" case -tut.
taamaappoq: be such (nominal mode>taamaattuni: in such (plural))
taamaattoq: however (set phrase)
-tugut: intransitive nominal mode, (that) we...
-tut/-sut: "aequalis" case = as X (also used of languages:
kalaallisut oqarpunga - I speak as a Greenlander i.e. I speak
ingerlaneq "the travelling" - is the subject of misigisimanartarmat
sivikinnerusutut - is the sort of object of misigisima- "feel"
Lit. "like a shorter one"
-tut : like
-su-: one/that (which is)