Translating an Inuit tale: How many words does Marathi have for ice?

Kamik was wandering in the middle of a desert of ice and snow when a savage polar bear emerged out of nowhere to kill the dogs that had been pulling the sled of the group of hunters he was travelling with. The hunters decided that the bear must die.

So begins Harpoon of the Hunter, the first novel in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit in Canada. Written by an Inuit named Markoosie, the novel was originally published in a journal in 1969. It was a landmark book for many reasons, not least because it was the first time that an Inuit oral narrative in Canada had been formally published on paper.

Now imagine reading this rare work in Marathi or Hindi.

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