Extinct language stages a revival

In February 2009, UNESCO declared Manx Gaelic extinct. It was then changed to “critically endangered” following protests from the Isle of Man.

The language has been revived by a community keen to keep their culture alive. If you visit the Isle of Man today, there are signs in both English and Manx.

Image from http://geographicallyyourstoo.blogspot.co.uk

Image from http://geographicallyyourstoo.blogspot.co.uk

Dr. Brian Stowell presents a show on Manx Radio every Sunday which promotes the language. He is also author of The Vampire Murders, the first novel to be published and written entirely in Manx. The two local newspapers regularly publish articles in the local language.

The Manx Language Society even organises an annual event, the Cooish Inter-Gaelic Festival, which celebrates Manx language and music, and is held in October/November.

Manx has been taught in schools on the island since 1992; but now there is a Manx language primary school, Bunscoill Ghaelgagh in St.Johns, which 69 pupils currently attend, in which all subjects are taught in the language. Manx is also taught in in other schools across the island. The school has won an award for its efforts promoting the preservation of the language.

Last year an app was developed and made available for adults hoping to brush up on their language skills. The free Learn Manx app features 10 learning modules and is available to download on iTunes and GooglePlay.