As of January 2013, The Watchtower magazine had been published in Greenlandic for 40 years. Greenlandic is an Inuit language spoken by just 57,000 people.
There are only about 150 of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Greenland, but the Greenlandic Watchtower has a circulation of 2,300. This means that most of the readers of Napasuliaq Alapernaarsuiffik, the Greenlandic name of the magazine, are non-Witnesses.
In a television interview, the overseer of the translation office in the town of Nuuk explained: “Many Greenlanders are very interested in the Bible, and that is why they read Napasuliaq Alapernaarsuiffik.”
When the interviewer asked one of the native Greenlandic translators what she liked about the magazine, she replied: “I have personally benefited from reading the magazine. It showed me, for example, how to live a good healthy life. I used to smoke a lot, even though I knew how unhealthful it was. But the Bible tells us that if we want to live a healthy life, we need to keep our body clean.”
The broadcast also mentioned that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been active in Greenland since the mid-1950’s and have published books and brochures in Greenlandic. The translation is done by volunteers, both Danish and Greenlandic, and their goal has always been to make the Greenlandic translation sound both natural and original.
A longtime Witness in Greenland said: “For 25 years I have witnessed among the Greenlandic people and have seen the value of having our literature in their language. In some of the remote settlements, which can only be reached by boat a few months out of the year, there are people who love to read our magazines, so in between our rare visits, we regularly send them letters and literature.”
Since January 2013, the Greenlandic Watchtower has been published with a regular study edition and a public edition. These editions can also be read and downloaded on the “Publications” tab of jw.org by choosing the language name Greenlandic and clicking “Search.”