Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Some suggested Inuktitut terms for math concepts

I'm a translator/linguist/student of Inuktitut. I was assigned translation work recently on documents that have to do with math curriculum. Below are a list of terms that I started doing up that I wanted to share with my readers and hopefully initiate discussion on what the Inuit Language Authority should be doing to create lexicons and technical glossary of terms that are structured in such a way as to be grammatically productive (ie, phrases that aren't just constructs that try and describe something, but start with noun and verb stems that can attach morphemes, and case/mood endings without losing their grammatical/conceptual integrity such as what proper Inuktitut phrases do naturally).

Fractions = ᐃᓗᐃᑦᑐᒥᑦ ᐊᒡᒍᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ = divided from a whole

Trigonometry = ᑲᐃᕙᓪᓛᔪᓕᕆᓂᖅ = (measurement/science of) rotation*

hypotenuse = ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓ (slope)

adjacent = ᑐᓐᖓᕕᖓ (base)

opposite = ᐳᖅᑐᓂᖓ (height)

*I try and make the term as general/analytical as possible – at least, more general than the “science of triangles” – at the first instance because it goes beyond “triangles”, and has deep connections to other math concepts. To quote a Wikipedia entry: “Sumerian astronomers introduced angle measure, using a division of circles into 360 degrees. They and their successors the Babylonians studied the ratios of the sides of similar triangles and discovered some properties of these ratios, but did not turn that into a systematic method for finding sides and angles of triangles. The ancient Nubians used a similar methodology. The ancient Greeks transformed trigonometry into an ordered science. Classical Greek mathematicians (such as Euclid and Archimedes) studied the properties of chords and inscribed angles in circles, and proved theorems that are equivalent to modern trigonometric formulae, although they presented them geometrically rather than algebraically.”

ᐃᓚᒋᐊᕈᑎ = addition

ᐃᓚᓐᖓᐃᔾᔪᑎ = subtraction

ᐱᕈᕆᐊᕈᑎ = multiplication

ᐊᒡᒍᐃᔾᔪᑎ = division

ᓈᓴᐅᑏᑦ ᓈᓴᐃᔾᔪᑏᑦ = integers = counting numbers

ᓈᓴᐅᑏᑦ ᓴᓂᒧᑦ ᐃᓚᒋᐊᕈᑎᓖᑦ = decimals = numbers whose parts are represented horizontally

ᓈᓴᐃᑏᑦ ᖁᕝᕙᕆᐊᕈᑎᖏᑦ = exponents = raising numbers

ᖁᐊᔾᔪᓕᒃ = triangle

ᓈᓴᐃᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐃᓕᐅᖅᑲᐃᔾᔪᑏ = equations = places to input numbers

ᓴᓂᒧᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑐᑭᒧᑦ ᓈᓴᐅᑎᓕᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᑭᑉᐹᕆᒃᑐᖅ = Cartesian plane

ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓᑕ ᐳᖅᑐᓂᖓ = sine

ᑐᓐᖓᕕᖓᑕ ᑕᑭᓂᖓ = cosine

ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓᑕ ᓄᕗᖓ = tangent

ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓ ᑐᖔᓃᑦᑐᖅ = acute angle = the hypotenuse below the right angle

ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓ ᑐᑭᒨᖓᓪᓗᐊᖅᑐᖅ = right angle = the hypotenuse at exact right angle

ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓ ᐅᖓᑖᓃᑦᑐᖅ = obtuse angle = the hypotenuse over the right angle

ᐅᕕᖓᓂᖓ ᑲᐃᕙᓪᓚᐃᓐᖏᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅᑐᖅ = reflex angle = the hypotenuse that doesn’t quite rotate the whole 360º

I hope the Inuktitut syllabics show... The point here is not to create unilaterally but to initiate a starting point for serious discussions on terms/concepts to agree upon (ie, "standardize") and strike conventions for nomenclature in a logically productive way. -you'll notice that most of these terms have to do with "trigonometry"...


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