How do you describe a hockey game in Innu?

The exercise of translating hockey terms was not easy, according to radio host Charlotte McKenzie.

Journalists in Uashat-Maliotenam update lexicon with sports terminology

René Pothier (right) helped CKAU journalists like Joyce Dominique (left) develop the new terms. ( Nicolas Lachapelle-Plamondon/Radio-Canada)

Providing commentary on a hockey game in the Innu language has been a challenge for journalists from an Indigenous community radio station in Uashat-Maliotenam along the northeast coast of Quebec.

The group of journalists have been waiting for years to be able to host the game and use sports glossary in their own language, even if it's only partially.

Recently, with the help of journalist and sports commentator René Pothier, they were able to update their lexicon with the relevant sports terms they needed. 

Community radio journalists in Uashat-Maliotenam. (Nicolas Lachapelle-Plamondon/Radio-Canada)

The exercise of translating hockey terms was far from easy, according to CKAU radio host Charlotte McKenzie.

Some words, such as puck, were especially difficult. In the end, they decided to stick with the English word.

"It was better that way, people were used to it," said McKenzie.

CKAU journalist Joyce Dominique broke the ice on Friday afternoon at the Uashat-Maliotenam arena.

She would be one of the first women to comment on a hockey game in Innu.

Some key terms

  • Team = mamu ka metuet
  • Goal = uatik
  • Assist = kauitshiaushit
  • Goalie = katshipikapausht
  • Arena = kashushkuateutshuap
  • Puck = tuan or nepak
  • Forward = nikan ka metuet
  • Defence = utat ka metuet
  • Blue line = ka uashehkunat
  • Time out = kuishkushtatshenanu​​
  • Left winger = unashpatshiunit ka taniti
  • Jersey = (kashushkuateu-)patshuianish kashipissipaniukup
  • Coach = kashuhkuateu-tshishkutamatshesht
  • Players' bench = kashushkuateishiht utetapuakanuau
  • Penalty shot = minakanu tshetshi kutshipanitat tshetshi pituteik usham anuenimakannua nenua kueshte kametueshiniti

With files from Radio-Canada's Alix-Anne Turcotti