Welcome to the world of Wikibooks' language guide to learning the Manx language. You are here either because you have an interest in learning this wonderful ancient and modern language, you are either Manx or have Manx blood, you have a passion for Celtic languages, you are connected to the Isle of Man, you will take a trip there soon and want to search for some speakers, or you just want to learn a language for fun. Whatever the reason may be for wanting to learn the language, you are here now and we are here to help you learn the language. Failt erriu! (Welcome)
Manx is a very interesting language. As with the other Celtic languages, each Celtic language (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Welsh, and Breton) has faced a decline within the past few centuries, but are recovering today, some more than others (Welsh). The interesting thing about Manx is that instead of merely a decline, it actually become extinct and a recognised dead language in the 1970's. But don't let this stop you from learning the language. The language today is encouraged on and off the island and native speakers exist again. Thus, by you learning this language, you will definitely be appreciated by the natives who speak the language. You will read anywhere on the Internet and references that anyone who speaks Manx is proud of that fact and will definitely be eager to help you speak and practise the language.
Manx is the language of some 2000 people, about 60 of whom use it as a mother tongue and daily language. The first figure is about 2% of the population of the Isle of Man, which is actually higher than the percentage of the Irish speaking population in the Republic of Ireland. Those 60 whom have Manx as a mother tongue attend a Manx school and are instructed in the Manx language in subjects like mathematics, sciences, and others. Though it might be a challenge finding these native speakers to practise with, there are many people of the 2000 those of whom claim to know the language rather well. Some Manx might also be able to understand some of the language, and might even be able to recite to you Manx phrases and proverbs.
Manx has official language status in the Isle of Man, along with English. Though you will surely hear more English when traveling to Douglas (the capital of the Island), you can see bilingual signs in Manx Gaelic as well as English throughout the country. Imagine upon your journey to the beautiful Isle of Man reading the Manx signs instead of the English, what a remarkable feeling that would be. So whatever may be the reason for you learning the Manx language, all would most likely agree that it is one of the finest cultural achievements of the Isle of Man.
Read more about the history of Manx
How to use this book
This book is a free content open source guide in learning the Manx language. Though it can be edited by anyone, it is also being monitored by the authors and administrators of this book and Wikibooks, to assure you 100% accuracy. So do not be discourage about using this book as a primary or secondary reference in your language studies as this book is not giving you any false information.
The book is set up in step-by-step lessons which will introduce the language like a classroom setting and similar to a textbook style tutorial. It will commence with the basics of the language, and gradually introduce grammar aspects of the language, rather than give you a bunch of grammar explanations and a massive list of vocabulary to learn on your own. The book is set up accordingly so you can go at your own pace whether you are a fast learner or prefer to take your time.
Use the navigation header above to navigate to the next lesson, a previous lesson, or the pronunciation guide. Also at the top will be audio files for you to use at your discretion. These are very useful if you want to get a hold on hearing and speaking the language, rather than just learning how to read and write.
At the end of each lesson will be small little practise exercises to test yourself on the knowledge you've gain and accumlated in the previous lessons. Do not be tempted to skip over them! It is very easy to just say Oh! I have done enough, I know the answers, no problem at all. Try to work on each question and check yourself. This will only improve you knowledge on the language.
If you need help at any time, feel free to contact one of the tutors for a question in the tutors section of the book. You can also visit the Manx Gaelic edition of Wikipedia to practise reading in Manx. ManxRadio.org also has news in Manx Gaelic (under GaelicNews) and sometimes broadcasts in Manx. So there are many ways you can use the language. And remember, when you feel it becoming too hard and challenging to learn, don't give up! All languages are challenging, but when you master it then the feeling can be very rewarding! Good luck!