Ynsee Gaelg

I have blogged a few times on matters relating to Scottish Gaelic but let us not forget that Gaelic is spoken in Mann, equally as close to home. I want to highlight the excellent ‘learn manx’ website – learnmanx.com.

The site includes lessons, achives of native speech, a dictionary, literature, folklore, news, games and other information, a veritable one stop shop. It is incredible that no equivalent exists for Irish or Scottish Gaelic, despite the superior resources available to them.

Call in, it will do you no harm! Here the basic phrases for those interested.

Gaelg, ‘the Manx language’
Failt (Fáilt’), welcome
Laa mie (lá maith), good-day
Kys t’ou? (cio[n]as tá thú?), how are you
Moghrey mie (móra maith), good morning
Fastyr mie (Feastar maith), good evening
Oie vie (Oidhche mhaith), good night
My saillt (Más áil leat?), please
Gura mie ayd (go rabh maith agad), thank you
Gura mie eu (go rabh maith ‘aiú), thank you
Cre’n ennym t’ort? (Crén ainm tá ort?), what is your name
Cre’n ennym t’erriu? (Crén ainm t’oraiú?), what is your name
Mish… (mise), I am …
Slane lhiat (Slán leat), good bye
Slane lhiu (Slán liú), good bye (pl.)
Cre shoh? (Cré seo), what is this?
Slaynt (Sláint’), cheers

  • Eddie

    Manx website well worth a look – has audio ‘n all!

    The approach seems fun – not like Irish and Ulster-Scots bore-the-arse-off-you politicised propagandists who’ve put me off their languages for life (aaaaargh!)

  • Just passing by

    This is great! The cartoon character on the home page, a hybrid Viking/Celt/Saxon kills me! I guess the Manx are a true cross-section of all tribe that hit and (over)ran through these Islands.

    Most importantly, it’s very useful for Manx folk, particularly those of us in America.

  • dewi

    Away from home on handheld (Rugby..) But Manx always looks easier on the eye to a Welsh speaker – I seem to recall (will research later) that a Welsh bishop designed the written language (Bishop Phillips?) – got a Manx medium school in Douglas I believe?

  • Douglas Ramsey-Peel

    Surprisingly similar to Irish…..

    Manx for 5,6,7,8,9,10.

    Queig,Shey,Shiaght,Hoght,Nuy,Jeih.

    Excellent wee site.

  • PaddyReilly

    There is more Gaelg on the House of Keyes website than there is on the Stormont one!

    I love the way some of the words are spelt: Oik for Oifig (Oifhig, I suppose).

    Unfortunately English speakers have their own idea of what an oik is.

  • Dewi
  • Dewi

    That didn’t seem to work but on Wiki search for Manx and John Phillips and you’ll get there….Nods Da

  • Dewi

    That didn’t seem to work but on Wiki search for Manx and John Phillips and you’ll get there….Nods Da

  • Danny

    Ned Maddrell.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Maddrell

    1878-1974. Regarded as the last cradle-to-grave speaker of Manx.

    After 1962, he was the only native speaker left, although it’s interesting to note that at the time of his own death, there were dozens of fluent speakers who had been speaking Manx for many decades.

    In recent years, a new generation of native/neo-native speakers have appeared. Small numbers of children are being raised through Manx and attending Bunscoill Ghaelgagh.

  • GGN

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunscoill_Gaelgagh

    http://www.bunscoill.iofm.net/

    Must try and find out more about the school.

    There was an article in Lá a while back in Manx reporting on a ‘fact finding mission’, must hunt it out.

  • OC

    In 1990, I had a chance to attend the International Celtic Festival in Lorient, Brittany, France.

    Met many fine folks there, including Celtic League types who spoke Manx. (And Cornish, too.)

    “The cartoon character on the home page, a hybrid Viking/Celt/Saxon kills me! I guess the Manx are a true cross-section of all tribe that hit and (over)ran through these Islands.”

    Except the Brythonic element, of course.

  • RG Cuan

    Listening to Ned Maddrell on the site it’s an awful pity that aul eejit had to put Welsh spelling on Manx Gaelic instead of Irish or Scottish spelling. If they spelt it the same way that’d be far better off.

    Great site all the same.

  • dewi

    “Except the Brythonic element”…..ever heard of Merfyn Frych??

    RC Cuan – should they have stuck to Ogham? Isn’t the Welsh spelling more phonetic? Do you think it might make the learning process easier for Manx English only speakers?

  • OC

    “ever heard of Merfyn Frych??”

    Can’t say I had. Learn something new every day!

  • CW

    It’s just like Irish with the endings lopped off (maybe it’s something to do with the cats they have over there)and a few Y’s thrown in for good measure.

    I’ve never been to the Isle of Man, but hope to go there soon. According to the song, the crack’s 90 over there.

  • GGN

    Dewi,RG,

    Whilst the spelling may facilitate the intial stages of learning I think it can hamper understanding later, it doesnt explain ‘why’ if you know what I mean.

    In addition, it can be very confusing, the -ey ending for example is not /i/ but a schwa.

    Most Manx Gaels however love the spelling system as it is the most ‘manx thing about it’!

    That said, some are dismissive of it and a few would like to see a paralell system of spelling at least.

    The thing is, on a practical level, you can chose to be a part of a language with a few hundred speakers or one with tens of thousands of speakers and I think that the manx are held back by the spelling, which unlike the classical Irish system, founded on Latin and Greek in the old Irish period and having evolved ever since manx is based on one person’s efforts.

    If they could read Gaelic spelling then most Scottish Gaelic material and much of Irish material would be immediately accessabile to them and vice-versa.

    If they want manx to survive it is a choice they will have to make.

  • dewi

    Ggn – fascinating. On a general point am alaways astonded at how relatively little divergence has happened in Goidelic cf Brythonic…better sea links I suppose?

  • GGN

    “On a general point am alaways astonded at how relatively little divergence has happened in Goidelic cf Brythonic…better sea links I suppose?”

    Perhaps, but the thing is that the classical language survived to Culloden and beyond, keeping the languages together particularly at the higher levels.

    The spelling system, despite some recent changes in the same in Ireland and Scotland.

    In addition, Gaelic speakers tended and tend to see themselves as one people, divided only slightly but modern geographical identities.

    I dont get the feeling that Bretons, Cornish and Welsh see themselves as Britons in a contempory context, but you are more aware of this than I, and I must admitt that I do not really go in for ‘identity’ politics.

    For example, in Irish the normal word for Irishman is Gaedhal / Gael. (now this translation is a whole other kettle of fish in today’s Ireland). The word Éireannach also exists but it is a newish term which wouldnt make much sense in native Irish).

    In Scottish Gaeilc ‘highlander’ translates Gaidheal (pron. Gael).

    A manx speaker is a Gael.

    Likewise, all of the terms for ‘Gaelic language’ evolve from the Classical Irish Gaodheilg.

  • GGN

    RG,

    Would you advocate the classical spelling / Scottish spelling for Manx or a ‘standardised’ system as in Ireland?

    I.e. “Ynsee Gaelg” > ionnsachaidh Gaedhalg or > ionnsaí Gaelg

    Which form is truely the clearer?

  • picador

    Could anyone direct me to a resource that explains the difference between Irish and Scottish Gaelic orthography (if that’s the correct term). When did the two diverge in terms of the way the language is written down?

  • ggn

    Pic,

    A major spelling reform was carried out in Ireland in the fifties.

    In Scotland the latest spelling tweaks occured just a few years ago.

    http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/Gaelic Orthographic Conventions.pdf

    See …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differences_between_Scottish_Gaelic_and_Irish

  • picador

    Go raibh maith agat GiGi

    I knew about the standardisation of Irish. Was wondering if prior to this the two were written the same. Will check out those links.

  • Dewi

    Five week course on the languages and culture of the Isle of Man Run by California State University – the detailed schedule looks fascinating.

  • dewi

    “Not consider themselves Britons”
    Probably true and a good point – strangely enough the same (tune) National Anthem.
    I’m not sure about the influence of the classical spelling business – after all the vast majority of Gaels illiterate till certainly mid 1800s yet the vernacular still surprisingly similar – whilst the diversion in the structure of speech between Breton and Welsh is significant.I can’t get the drift even of conversation – reading easier but still a struggle – I’d say a similar difference between English and German whilst Irish and Scots Gaelic more like the difference between English and Scots? Is that fair?

  • GGN

    “whilst Irish and Scots Gaelic more like the difference between English and Scots? Is that fair?”

    I think that would be a fair enough comparison.

    How do you get on with Cornish?

  • OC

    Bro Goth Agan Tasow – Cornish National Anthem

    National Anthem of Brittany – Bro Gozh ma Zadoù – Bretagne

  • OC

    “more like the difference between English and Scots?”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differences_between_Norwegian_Bokmål_and_Standard_Danish

    English and Scots are two separate languages IMO, albeit closely related.

    Whether Scots is still in common use anywhere today is a different question.

  • GGN

    OC,

    I was refering to Scots Lite really.

  • GGN

    http://www.mannin.info/MHF/index2.htm

    Online Manx Bible for those so inclined.

  • Dewi

    “How do you get on with Cornish”
    I’m a little reluctant to answer because we don’t really know exactly what it sounded like….However the tidal stuff between us and Cornwall not great so since about 677 AD interaction difficult…. great stuff happening there though:
    http://www.magakernow.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=38586

    Lots of primary schools teaching Cornish

  • déaglán

    “whilst Irish and Scots Gaelic more like the difference between English and Scots? Is that fair?”

    i would, unlike GGN, not go that far.the difference between irish gaelic and scottish gaelic is more akin to the dfferences between spanish and catalan. it is VERY widely accepted that spanish and catalan are two different languages, in the same way that scottish gaelic and irish gaelic are VERY widely accepted as being two different languages. the scots/english senario is far more hazed, especially in what has been termed “modern scots”.

  • Dewi

    “Bro Goth Agan Tasow – Cornish National Anthem
    National Anthem of Brittany – Bro Gozh ma Zadoù – Bretagne”

    I couldn’t even understand the anthem titles. I’ve looked them up and both mean:

    “Old land of our(my in Breton) fathers” So anthem title the same in all languages Welsh would be:

    “Hen wlad fy nhadau”

    “Bro” as land /country OK we still have that in Welsh but used “(G)wlad” instead. Tasow/Zadou/Tadau = Fathers OK not to different.

    Goth/Gozh/Hen = old – now that makes little sense to me – you would have thought that “old” would have been one of the early emerging words in any linguistic development. Monosyllabic and simple – why on earth would these diverge so radically?

  • Dewi

    “irish gaelic and scottish gaelic is more akin to the dfferences between spanish and catalan”

    I know a few Catalans and one of the advantages they have had in producing a bilingual society is how straightforward it is for Castillian speakers to learn Catalan = both Romance languages with many similarities. Basque is much more difficult as are the Celtic languages for English speakers.

  • Gael gan Náire

    “scottish gaelic and irish gaelic are VERY widely accepted as being two different languages”

    That is quite true but some do disagree and are entitled to.

    Ultimately, it is a political question rather than strictly linguistic.

    In addition, many Irish language learners have a cut off point beyond which all Gaelic is considered debased and unworthy of study.

    In my experience this cut of point is normally Croilí Bridge in Donegal.

  • picador

    Can you explain your last comments GGN?

  • Kensei

    Dewi

    Basque is much more difficult as are the Celtic languages for English speakers.

    Basque is a language isolate which means it’s probably hard for everyone. I find the fact it even survived as fascinating, though

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_language

  • Gael gan Náire

    Pic,

    Often you will meet Irish speakers who are dismissive of the Gaelic spoken in Gaoth Dobhair, Clochaneely etc. in favour of the dialect spoken in the Rosses area of Donegal.