Manx/Abbyrlhit as Coraaghey

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Abbyrlhit as Fockley-magh
Alphabet and Pronunciation

We begin with the basic building blocks of Manx, the alphabet and some fundamentals of pronunciation. Though it has existed since the 13th century as a distinct language, Manx was not set down in written form until 1610. John Phillips, the Bishop of Sodor and Mann, translated the „Book of Common Prayer“ into Manx using Welsh orthography. Since 1985, the Coonceil ny Gaelgey (or Manx Gaelic Advisory Council) has been regulating the orthography and spelling of Manx.

The Manx alphabet is the same Latin alphabet that English uses, minus the two letters „x“ and „z“, which can still occasionally be found in loan words. The letters all have traditional names in Manx. Since it is a fair assumption that everyone who can speak Manx can speak English as well, you do not need to worry about learning the traditional Manx names of the letters. Still, if you truly want to learn the language, taking the time to learn the letters' names is well worth it.

Abyrlhit 'sy Ghaelg (Manx Alphabet)[edit]

Letter Traditional Name
A aittyn
B beih
C couyll
D darragh
E eboin
F faarney
G guilckagh
H hibbin
I iuar
J juys
K keirn
L lhouan
M malpys
N neaynin
O onnane
P pobbyl
Q quinsh
R rennaigh
S shellagh
T tramman
U unjin
V vervine
W wooshlagh
Y yiarn

The Manx alphabet is slightly easier than the English one, as there are only 24 letters.

There is also one diacritic in Manx, the cedilla (¸), which is only found applied to the initial 'c' in the vowel combination ch to indicate that it is pronounced in the English manner.

Fockley-magh (Pronunciation)[edit]

Pronunciation in Manx is rather easier than the other Celtic languages. Manx is a phonetic language, meaning that it is spoken the same way it is written. There are though some vowels that tend to be silent which can be found in diphthongs. Since the orthography of Manx was greatly influenced by English, we tend to see very similar pronunciation rules in Manx as we would see in English.

Corockleyn (Consonants)[edit]

The consonants are pronounced the same as they are in English. There are, however, a few differences. Let's have a look at those consonants and combinations which differ from English.

Consonant English sound English example
c k computer
cc g magma (middle of word)
ch kh scottish loch *
çh ch change
dd, tt th thing (middle of word)
g g garage
gh ch scottish loch *
ght ch scottish loch + t *
qu k Iraq
rr r trilled
ss z zebra
th t today

* The sounds, CH, GH, and GHT are guttural sounds and common within the Celtic languages. This type of sound is also encountered in Arabic, Hebrew, German Germanic languages like German, Dutch and Afrikaan and Slavic languages like Polish and Russian.

Breeocklyn (Vowels)[edit]

The vowels in Manx are exactly the same as those in English with the addition of y. The vowels are A E I O U and Y.

Daaghooaghtyn (Diphthongs)[edit]

Diphthongs might be the only real challenge in Manx pronunciation. A diphthong is a new sound made by combining two vowels, and the results are occasionally unpredictable.


Diphthong English example
aa, ea Manx
ee peace
oo moon
ae, ai rain
ay, ei Manx
aew sound
eu music
ia yonder
ie lie
oi ear
ou sound
ui liquid

Yindyssagh! You have taken your first steps toward learning Manx. This guide should be referred to frequently when trying to read Manx on your own to learn how to pronounce words and get a better understanding of the language.

Before we move on to our first lesson, it is important to know the name of the language you are beginning to study. The name of Manx is Gaelg. Can you try to say this? Actually, if you say it quickly, it should sound like a word you have heard many times before!



Flag of the Isle of Mann.svg ManxToshiaght | Abbyrlhit as Coraaghey | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | Resources