Ayns shoh ta mee cur reddyn 'sy Ghaelg ny myekione son ymmyd cadjin. S'treisht lhiam dy beagh ad ymmydoil da peiagh ennagh. Failt ort jannoo ymmyd jeh ny t'ayns shoh; my t'ou jannoo shen, cur fys aym my saillt. Ta'n duillag shoh currit da Baarleyderyn do nod ad toiggal ny t'ayns shoh as cre'n ynnyd-eggey t'ayn. Ta ny duillagyn elley son Gaelgeyryn son y chooid smoo, agh ta mee er chur stiagh beggan Baarle ayndaue.
Welcome to this website, where I have some resources in or concerning Manx for general use. I hope they'll be useful to someone. You're welcome to make use of the resources on this site; if you do so, please let me know. This page is for English speakers so they can understand what the site is and what is here. The rest of the site is largely, but not entirely, for the benefit of Manx speakers. However, I've put a small amount of information in English. Having trouble? Some pages now have a vocabulary link (click the question mark) on the bottom right corner. This will take you to the Wordlink project at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, which provides word-by-word vocabulary help. You can load the page in into Wordlink, then simply click the word you don't understand to get a quick and dirty translation. It is not a perfect solution (limited use with phrases, and lacking some terminology), but should help with the basics.
This website is about Gaelg, which is to say Manx Gaelic. Gaelg (also spelled Gailck) is the old language of the Isle of Man (Mannin), which lies neatly between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. At one time, Gaelic was the language of a whole swathe of Britain, and you could travel from Ireland, through Man to Scotland, and be understood all the way speaking Gaelic. Later the language diversified into three separate but related languages, although speakers can still understand each other to some extend.
Gaelic originated in Ireland, but a group of Irish Celts called Scoti (a Roman term) migrated across the sea, via the Isle of Man, to Scotland, where they mixed with the native Picts. Gaelic was spread across this area, forming a gaeltacht of mutually-comprehensible Gaelic communities.
Vikings began settling on Mannin around the 8th century AD, and eventually Mannin became part of the Norse kingdom of Godred Crovan (Ree Gorree Crovan). Possession later passed to Scotland (1266), to the English Stanley family, but was later sold on to the English crown.
Manx is close to the north-eastern form of Gaelic, but has influence from Old Norse, and has taken on a range of English words. Its modern orthography (written form) was not developed until 1610 when the Bishop of Sodor and Mann, John Phillips, had the Book of Common Prayer translated. For some reason, the translators did not use either of the existing Gaelic orthographies, but developed a new one based on English, with some apparent Welsh influence. As a result, written Manx looks very different to other Gaelic languages, causing some difficulty for speakers. It has also inherited some of the non-phonetic aspects of written English, and so pronunciation can be unpredictable.
Loss and revival
Due to economic changes, English took over in Man as elsewhere in Britain, and Manx was slowly driven out. The last of the old native Manx speakers (Ned Maddrell) died in 1974. However, enthusiasts kept up the language as a second language, and in recent years some children have been brought up as bilingual Manx-English speakers. The first Manx-language school opened in 2003 and the language is taught at schools throughout the island. Around 2% of the Manx population (roughly 1600 people) claim some knowledge of Manx. On the 14th of January 2008, the ISO code for Manx, gv/glv, was redefined as "Living". This reflects SIL International's agreement that Manx is a living language. SIL International is an important centre for linguistic study.
Linguistic features of Manx
This section is included for those interested in linguistics. I apologise if it is incomprehensible to other readers.
In technical terms, Manx is a Goidelic Celtic language of the Indo-European family. Many of its linguistic features are shared with other Celtic languages.
- Verb-Subject-Object word order
- Initial mutations, divided into lenition/aspiration and nasalisation
- Inflected prepositions
- Independent and dependent forms of verbs
- Simple past and future tenses, but no simple present tense
- Two forms of 'to be': the main verb ve and the copula she, sometimes realised as a prefix s'
- Copula not required in certain sentences
- Consonant epenthesis (excresence) before certain unstressed nasals in speech
This section is a quick overview of the site's contents, particularly for those who do not read Manx. The site consists of:
- Artyn (articles), currently divided into Thie (this page) Dy giare (brief, interesting articles translated into Manx) and Corrym rish? (a translation of a chapter on minority languages). I vaguely hope to add a Linguistics and Languages Articles section in the future.
- Edward Faragher, containing some writing of the late Manx speaker Edward Faraghar (Ned Beg Hom Ruy) transcribed from the book Skeealyn Aesop. It contains the forward to the book, the fables themselves, and various poems (in English).
- Skeealyn (stories), separated into Skeealyn (orignal Manx stories by myself and others), Skeealyn Saki (translations of stories by Saki) and Skeealyn Wodehouse (translations of short stories by PG Wodehouse).
- Mestit (miscellaneous), containing anything else. It includes the Abbyrlhit ny Gaelgey (Manx alphabet), Crogheydee ny Gaelgey (Manx affixes) Myn-hengaghyn (minority language information) and Mychione (about the site).
- Kianglaghyn (links), containing links to Manx resources, as well as anything else interesting I've found.
The pages Kianglaghyn/Links, Myn-hengaghyn, Mychione, Skeealyn Saki and Skeealyn Aesop are parallel Manx-English pages. The Abbyrlhit page is easily understood without knowing any Manx.