What writing system(s) does this language use?
Unlike Irish, Manx Gaelic uses the traditional English alphabet with the exception of the letters 'x' and 'z'.
How many people speak this language?
According to the last Isle of Man census, around 2,000 people claim to be able to speak the language. In recent years the government has allowed students to study all subjects through the Manx language at primary and secondary schools.
Where is this language spoken?
Manx (or Manx Gaelic) is the native language of the Isle of Man, a small island in the middle of the Irish sea. It is only spoken on the Isle of Man, but emigrants to the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand know the language.
What is the history of this language?
Manx Gaelic originates from Old Irish. The first evidence of writing in Manx Gaelic dates back to 1610 when the Anglican Book of Common Prayer was translated from English. Other gaelic languages, closely related to Manx, are Irish and Scots Gaelic. Until recent times Manx Gaelic was spoken by the majority of people on the Isle of Man. From the eighteenth century the language started to decline. From 1901 onwards the question of language was included in the Isle of Man census papers, providing an indication of how the decline proceeded: (1901) - 4,419, (1911) - 2,382, (1921) - 896, (1931) - 531, (1951) - 355, (1961) - 165, (1971) - 284. In 1941 and 1981 the language question was not included in the census paper. The most recent census of 2001 shows an increase to 1,689 people with a knowledge of Manx.
T.E. Brown (1830 – 1897) is the national poet. Most of his works were in Manx Gaelic and a selection can be found here.
What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
- Good morning - Moghrey mie
- Good evening - Fastyr mie
- Thank you - Gura mie ayd
- Water - Ushtey
- Church - Kirk
- GoodBye - Slane lhiu
- Mother - Ven
- Father - Ayr
- Morning - Maddin
- Isle of Man - Ellan Vannin
- (Manx) Gaelic - Gaelg
What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
Introduction • Glossary • Authors and Contributing • Print Version