Language - Manx

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Manx is closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic and came to the island in the 4th and 5th centuries AD with Irish monks and traders. By the 15th century, the Isle of Man had come under English administration and with official documentation in Latin or English, Manx remained an unwritten language.

Use of the language continued to decline and Manx as a first language became extinct with the death of the last native speaker in 1974. However, like other Celtic languages, the second half of the 20th century saw efforts to revive Manx.

The Manx Language Unit was formed in 1992 and a few years later Manx was recognised under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Efforts to promote the language have intensified, particularly with the establishment of the government-funded Culture Vannin. Many schools now teach Manx and adult learning classes are increasingly popular.

Ability in the language hit a low point in the 1960s, but it is estimated that around 1,800 people – just over 2% of the population – now have some ability in the language.

Some words to get you started:

Isle of Man Ellan Vannin
Hello Moghry t’ou
How are you? Kys t’ou?
Goodbye Slane Ihui
Please Cur taitnys da
Sorry My saillt
Thank you Gura mie ayd

Culture Vannin
Manx Language Network