After learning Irish and Scottish Gaelic, I decided to have a go at Manx, to complete the set, so to speak. I'm also interested in seeing the similarities and differences between these three languages.
To learn Manx I've used Eurotalk's Talk Now! Manx, Brian Stowell's Manx courses: Abbyr Shen! (Say that!), Bun-Choorse Gaelgagh (Basic Manx Course), and Y Coorse Mooar (The Big Course), and the online Manx lessons at www.gaelg.iofm.net and Ynsee Gaelg (Learn Manx). The On-line Manx Dictionary is also useful.
In June 2006 in Glencolmcille, Donegal, Ireland, there were a number of Manx speakers at the féile cholmcille, a festival of Gaelic music and culture featuring performers from Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland. Unfortunately I wasn't aware that this event was happening until I arrived in Glencolmcille, by which time it was almost over. So I missed some talks on the Manx language and culture, and some Manx lessons, but I did hear the excellent Manx band Skeeal playing - they sing in Manx, Scottish Gaelic and Irish, and some of the members speak Manx fluently. You can hear a few of their tunes on MySpace.
In 2009 I wrote a dissertation for my MA in Linguistics on the revival of Manx. This spurred me to brush up my Manx, and in June 2009 I spent two weeks in the Isle of Man talking with Manx speakers, which really helped me language, as did writing in Manx to these people to arrange meetings. I can now understand, read and write quite a bit Manx, and can have a basic conversation.
In November 2009 I went back to the Isle of Man for Y Cooish, a festival of Gaelic languages and culture, and had quite a few opportunities to hear, speak and sing Manx.
In July 2011 I spent a week in the Isle of Man at Yn Chuinnaght, a celebration of Manx and Celtic music and culture. I heard, spoke and sang plenty of Manx, and found that my Manx had improved sufficiently to have relatively detailed conversations. All the other Celtic languages could also be heard, and I got to speak Welsh and Irish, as well as French. So it was a very enjoyable experience and I plan to return every year, if possible.
Information about Manx | Phrases | Numbers | Colours | Family words | Colours | Time | Proverbs | Terms of endearment | Comparison of Celtic languages | Celtic cognates | Songs | Tower of Babel | The decline and revival of Manx | My podcast about Manx | Links | Learning materials
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