The Language Secretariat of Greenland

Personal Names

About the work of Greenlandic personal names

Personal names became Language Councils responsibility in August 2016

‘Greenlandic personal names’ published in 2015, form the basis of Councils work.

Councils work is based on the existing rules of the Danish Name Law. ‘Greenlandic personal names’ consists of Greenlandic and original European names in Greenlandic form, and can be used in naming and in baptsims.

NOTE: Regarding questions relating to last names, these questions should be forwarded to the High Commissioner of Greenland or the Danish Family Ministry.

Guidelines in naming:

The current legislation regarding the Language Concils approval of Greenlandic personal names is Inatsisartutlov nr. 5 af 1. juni 2017 om Grønlands Sprognævn, §2, cf. 4: approve first names of Greenlandic origin in the Act on Personal Names as brought into force for Greenland by Royal Decree.

Oqaasiliortut aternik akuersisarnerminni najoqqutassatut makku akuersissutigaat:

        1. Personal names shall be written after the orthography principles. Dialects can be used. Endings traditionally used on names are approved (-nnguaq etc. for example).
        2. Names following the previous naming method (in culture and history) can be approved.
        3. Monikers and nicknames can be approved.
        4. Personal names of foreign origin altered to follow the Greenlandic orthography principles can be used.
        5. In regards to names of non-Greenland origin, we refer to the principles used in the Danish Name Law. Such enquiries should be sent to the Family Ministry in Denmark.
        6. Personal names not listed in the register can only be assigned as names following prior consent. A written application must be submitted at latest 10 days prior to naming to the Language Council.
        7. Names are not expected to be approved:
          • Names and endings, which can be feared to be a burden to the bearer.
          • Words that are associated with religious and spiritual customs must be respected.
        8. It is recommended that a child not be named with more than five names (hyphenated names are to be considered as two).
        9. Guidelines in naming from December 14th, 2016 are hereby repealed.

Oqaasiliortut/Language Council Nuuk, February 26th, 2020

About personal names

Kalaallisut atsiiniarpit? (gl)
Personal names minutes (2008-2014)
Oqaasiliortut_ikon nutaaq
Language Council minutes