The Full Wiki

Manx language: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Manx language

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

yn Ghaelg, yn Ghailck
Pronunciation [ɡilk], [ɡilɡ]
Spoken in Isle of Man
Total speakers Extinct as a first language in 1974; subsequently revived and now with about a hundred competent speakers[1][2], including a small number of children who are new native speakers[3],
and 1,689 people (2.2% total population) professing some knowledge of the language[4] (2001)
Language family Indo-European
Official status
Official language in Isle of Man Isle of Man
Regulated by Coonseil ny Gaelgey (Manx Gaelic Council)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 gv
ISO 639-2 glv
ISO 639-3 glv

Manx (native name Gaelg or Gailck, pronounced [ɡilk] or [ɡilɡ][5]), also known as Manx Gaelic, is a Goidelic language spoken on the Isle of Man. The last native speaker, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974, but in recent years it has been the subject of language revival efforts, and it is now the medium of education at the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh, a primary school for four- to eleven-year-olds in St John's.[6]



Manx is a Goidelic language, closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Its orthography is unlike that of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, both of which use closely related and modernised variants of the orthography of Classical Gaelic, the language of the Gaelic educated elite of both Ireland and Scotland until the mid-1800s. These orthographies in general show both word pronunciation and word derivation from the Gaelic past. The Manx orthography was developed by people who were unaware of traditional Gaelic orthography, only having been taught literacy in Welsh and English (the initial development in the 1500s), then only English (later developments). Therefore, the orthography shows the pronunciation of words mainly from the point of view of early Modern English 'phonetics', and to a small extent Welsh, rather than from the Gaelic point of view.[7] The result is an inconsistent and only partially phonetic spelling system in the same way that English orthographic practices are inconsistent and only partially phonetic.

Foreign loan words are primarily Norse, English or French. Manx-language books were not printed until the beginning of the eighteenth century, and there was no Manx-English dictionary until the nineteenth century. Except for a few ballads composed in the sixteenth century, there is no history of a written literature in the Manx language.[8]

The word Manx is frequently spelled as Manks in historical sources, particularly those written by natives of the island. The origin of the form Manx (= Mannish) is the Norse Mannisk. The name of the island, Man, is frequently spelled as Mann, and is sometimes accompanied by a footnote explaining that it is a two syllable word with the stress on the first syllable, "MAN-en". In Manx Gaelic the name is of two syllables, thus Manin.

Classification and dialects

Manx is one of the three descendants of Old Irish (via Middle Irish and early Modern Gaelic), and is closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. It shares a number of developments in phonology, vocabulary and grammar with Irish and Scottish Gaelic (in some cases only with dialects of these), but also shows a number of unique changes. In addition, Manx itself can be divided into two dialects, Northern Manx and Southern Manx.[9]

Manx shares with Scottish Gaelic partial loss of contrastive palatalisation of labial consonants; thus while in Irish the velarised consonants /pˠ bˠ fˠ w mˠ/ contrast phonemically with palatalised /pʲ bʲ fʲ vʲ mʲ/, in Scottish Gaelic and Manx, the phonemic contrast has been lost to some extent; these languages have only simple /p b f v m/.[10] A consequence of this phonemic merger is that Middle Irish unstressed word-final [əvʲ] (spelled -(a)ibh, -(a)imh in Irish and Gaelic) has merged with [əw] (-(e)abh, -(e)amh) in Manx; both have become [u], spelled -oo or -u(e) in Manx. Examples include shassoo ("to stand"; Irish seasamh), credjue ("religion"; Irish creideamh), nealloo ("fainting"; Early Modern Irish (i) néalaibh, lit. in clouds), and erriu ("on you (plural)"; Irish oraibh).[11]. However, Manx is further advanced in this than is Scottish, where the verb ending -ibh second person plural is consistently [-ivʲ], as it is in the second plural pronoun sibh.

Like northern dialects of Irish (cf. Irish phonology) and most dialects of Scottish Gaelic, Manx has changed the historical consonant clusters /kn ɡn mn tn/ to /kr ɡr mr tr/. For example, Middle Irish cnáid ("mockery") and mná ("women") have become craid and mraane respectively in Manx.[12] The affrication of [tʲ dʲ] to [tʃ dʒ] is also common to Manx, northern Irish, and Scottish Gaelic.[13]

Also like northern and western dialects of Irish, as well as like southern dialects of Scottish Gaelic (e.g. Arran, Kintyre), the unstressed word-final syllable [iʝ] of Middle Irish (spelled -(a)idh and -(a)igh) has developed to [iː] in Manx, where it is spelled -ee, as in kionnee ("buy"; cf. Irish ceannaigh) and cullee ("apparatus"; cf. Gaelic culaidh).[14]

Another property Manx shares with Ulster Irish and some dialects of Scottish Gaelic is that /a/ rather than /ə/ appears in unstressed syllables before /x/ (in Manx spelling, agh), for example jeeragh ("straight") [ˈdʒiːrax] (Irish díreach), cooinaghtyn ("to remember") [ˈkuːnʲaxt̪ən] (Gaelic cuimhneachd.[15]

Similarly to Munster Irish, historical [vʲ] (spelled bh and mh) has been lost in the middle or at the end of a word in Manx either with compensatory lengthening or vocalisation as u resulting in diphthongisation with the preceding vowel. For example, Manx geurey ("winter") [ˈɡʲeurə], [ˈɡʲuːrə] and sleityn ("mountains") [ˈsleːdʒən] correspond to Irish geimhreadh and sléibhte (Southern Irish dialect spelling and pronunciation gíre ([ˈɟiːɾʲə]) and sléte ([ˈʃlʲeːtʲə])).[16] Another similarity to Munster Irish is the development of the Old Irish diphthongs [oi ai] before velarised consonants (spelled ao in Irish and Scottish Gaelic) to [eː], as in seyr ("carpenter") [seːr] and keyll ("narrow") [keːl] (spelled saor and caol in Irish and pronounced virtually the same in Munster).[17]

Like southern and western varieties of Irish and northern varieties of Scottish Gaelic, but unlike the geographically closer varieties of Ulster Irish and Arran and Kintyre Gaelic, Manx shows vowel lengthening or diphthongisation before the Old Irish fortis and lenis sonorants. For example, cloan ("children") [klɔːn], dhone ("brown") [d̪ɔːn], eem ("butter") [iːb̆m] correspond to Irish/Scottish Gaelic clann, donn, and im respectively, which have long vowels or diphthongs in western and southern Irish and in the Scottish Gaelic dialects of the Outer Hebrides and Skye, thus western Irish [klˠɑːn̪ˠ], Southern Irish/Northern Scottish [klˠaun̪ˠ], [d̪ˠaun̪ˠ]/[d̪ˠoun̪ˠ], [iːmʲ]/[əimʲ]), but short vowels in northern Irish, Arran, and Kintyre, [klˠan̪ˠ], [d̪ˠon̪ˠ] and [imʲ].[18]

Another similarity with southern Irish is the treatment of Middle Irish word-final unstressed [əð], spelled -(e)adh in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. In nouns (including verbal nouns), this became [ə] in Manx, as it did in southern Irish, e.g. caggey ("war") [ˈkaːɣə], moylley ("to praise") [ˈmɔlə]; cf. Irish cogadh and moladh, pronounced [ˈkɔɡə] and [ˈmˠɔl̪ˠə] in southern Irish.[19] In finite verb forms before full nouns (as opposed to pronouns) [əð] became [əx] in Manx, as in southern Irish, e.g. voyllagh [ˈvɔləx] ("would praise"), cf. Irish mholfadh, pronounced [ˈvˠɔl̪ˠhəx] in southern Irish.[20]

Dialect map of Manx (boundaries are approximate)

Linguistic analysis of the last few dozen native speakers reveals a number of dialectal differences between the northern and the south-western parts of the island. Northern Manx is reflected by speakers from towns and villages from Maughold in the northeast of the island to Peel on the west coast. Southern Manx is used by speakers from the Sheading of Rushen.

In Southern Manx, older á and in some cases ó have become [eː]. In Northern Manx the same happens, but á sometimes remains [aː] as well. For example, laa ("day", cf. Irish ) is [leː] in the south but [leː] or [laː] in the north. Old ó is always [eː] in both dialects, e.g. aeg ("young", cf. Irish óg) is [eːɡ] in both dialects.[21]

In Northern Manx, older (e)a before nn in the same syllable is diphthongised, while in Southern Manx it is lengthened but remains a monophthong. For example, kione ("head", cf. Irish ceann) is [kʲaun] in the north but [kʲoːn] in the south.[22]

In both dialects of Manx, older ua and in some cases ao have become a sound spelled eay in Manx. In Northern Manx, this sound is [iː], while in Southern Manx it is [ɯː], [uː], or [yː]. For example, geay ("wind", cf. Irish gaoth) is [ɡiː] in the north and [ɡɯː] in the south, while geayl ("coal", cf. Irish gual is [ɡiːl] in the north and [ɡyːl], [ɡɯːl], or [ɡuːl] in the south.[23]

In both the north and the south, there is a tendency to insert a short [d] sound before a word-final [n] in monosyllabic words, as in [sled̆n] for slane ("whole") and [bed̆n] for ben ("woman"). This phenomenon is known as pre-occlusion. In Southern Manx, however, there is also pre-occlusion of [d] before [l] and of [ɡ] before [ŋ], as in [ʃuːd̆l] for shooyll ("walking") and [lɔɡ̆ŋ] for lhong. These forms are generally pronounced without pre-occlusion in the north. Preocclusion of [b] before [m], on the other hand, is more common in the north, as in trome ("heavy"), which is [t̪rob̆m] in the north but [t̪roːm] or [t̪roːb̆m] in the south.[24] This feature is also found in Cornish.

Southern Manx tends to lose word-initial [ɡ] before [lʲ], while Northern Manx usually preserves it, e.g. glion ("glen") is [ɡlʲɔd̆n] in the north and [lʲɔd̆n] in the south, and glioon ("knee") is [ɡlʲuːn] in the north and [lʲuːd̆n] in the south.[25]




The consonant phonemes of Manx are as follows:[26]

Manx consonant phonemes
  Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Palato-
Velar Labio-
Plosive p b             ɡʲ k ɡ        
Fricative     f v     s   ʃ       ɣʲ x ɣ     h  
Nasal   m       n                 ŋ        
Trill               r                        
Approximant                       j           w    
Lateral           l                          

The voiceless plosives /p k/ are pronounced with aspiration. The dental, postalveolar and palato-velar plosives /t̪ d̪ tʲ dʲ kʲ/ are affricated to [t̪͡θ d̪͡ð t͡ʃ d͡ʒ kʲ͡ç] in many contexts.

Manx has an optional process of lenition of plosives between vowels, whereby voiced plosives and voiceless fricatives become voiced fricatives and voiceless plosives become either voiced plosives or voiced fricatives. This process introduces the allophones [ð z ʒ] to the series of voiced fricatives in Manx. The voiced fricative [ʒ] may be further lenited to [j], and [ɣ] may disappear altogether. Examples include:[27]

Voiceless plosive to voiced plosive
  • /t̪/[d̪]: brattag [ˈbrad̪aɡ] "flag, rag"
  • /k/[ɡ]: peccah [ˈpɛɡə] "sin"
Voiceless plosive to voiced fricative
  • /p/[v]: cappan [ˈkavan] "cup"
  • /t̪/[ð]: baatey [ˈbɛːða] "boat"
  • /k/[ɣ]: feeackle [ˈfiːɣəl] "tooth"
Voiced plosive to voiced fricative
  • /b/[v]: cabbyl [ˈkaːvəl] "horse"
  • /d̪/[ð]: eddin [ˈɛðənʲ] "face"
  • /dʲ/[ʒ]: padjer [ˈpaːʒər] "prayer"
  • /dʲ/[ʒ][j]: maidjey [ˈmaːʒə], [ˈmaːjə] "stick"
  • /ɡ/[ɣ]: ruggit [ˈroɣət] "born"
Voiceless fricative to voiced fricative
  • /s/[ð] or [z]: poosit [ˈpuːðitʲ] or [ˈpuːzitʲ] "married"
  • /s/[ð]: shassoo [ˈʃaːðu] "stand"
  • /ʃ/[ʒ]: aashagh [ˈɛːʒax] "easy"
  • /ʃ/[ʒ][j]: toshiaght [ˈt̪ɔʒax], [ˈt̪ɔjax] "beginning"
  • /x/[ɣ]: beaghey [ˈbɛːɣə] "live"
  • /x/[ɣ]: shaghey [ʃaː] "past"

Another optional process of Manx phonology is pre-occlusion, the insertion of a very short plosive consonant before a sonorant consonant. In Manx, this applies to stressed monosyllabic words (i.e. words one syllable long). The inserted consonant is homorganic with the following sonorant, which means it has the same place of articulation. Long vowels are often shortened before pre-occluded sounds. Examples include:[28]

  • /m/[b̆m]: trome /t̪roːm/[t̪rob̆m] "heavy"
  • /n/[d̆n]: kione /kʲoːn/[kʲod̆n] "head"
  • /nʲ/[d̆ʲnʲ]: ein /eːnʲ/[eːd̆ʲnʲ], [ed̆ʲnʲ] "birds"
  • /ŋ/[ɡ̆ŋ]: lhong /loŋ/[loɡ̆ŋ] "ship"
  • /l/[d̆l]: shooyll /ʃuːl/[ʃuːd̆l] "walking"

The trill /r/ is realised as a one- or two-contact flap [ɾ] at the beginning of syllable, and as a stronger trill [r] when preceded by another consonant in the same syllable. At the end of a syllable, /r/ can be pronounced either as a strong trill [r] or, more frequently, as a weak fricative [ɹ̝], which may vocalise to a nonsyllabic [ə̯] or disappear altogether.[29] This vocalisation may be due to the influence of Manx English, which is itself a non-rhotic accent.[30] Examples of the pronunciation of /r/ include:

  • ribbey "snare" [ˈɾibə]
  • arran "bread" [ˈaɾan]
  • mooar "big" [muːr], [muːɹ̝], [muːə̯], [muː]


The vowel phonemes of Manx are as follows:[31]

Manx vowel phonemes
  Short Long
Front Central Back Front Central Back
Close i   u  
Mid e ə o  
Open (æ) a   (æː)  

Tha status of æ and æː as separate phonemes is debatable, but is suggested by the allophony of certain words such as ta "is", mraane "women", and so on.

Manx has a relatively large number of diphthongs, all of them falling:

Manx diphthongs
  Second element is /i/ Second element is /u/ Second element is /ə/
First element is close ui   iə • uə
First element is mid ei • əi • oi eu • əu  
First element is open ai au  

There is evidence that open-mid /ɛː/ and /ɔː/ were originally separate phonemes from close-mid /eː/ and /oː/, but by the twentieth century the pairs merged. When stressed, /ə/ is realised as [ø].[32]


Stress generally falls on the first syllable of a word in Manx, but in many cases, stress is attracted to a long vowel in the second syllable.[33] Examples include:

  • buggane /bəˈɡeːn/ "sprite"
  • tarroogh /t̪aˈruːx/ "busy"
  • reeoil /riːˈoːl/ "royal"
  • vondeish /vonˈd̪eːʃ/ "advantage"


Manx nouns fall into one of two genders, masculine or feminine. Nouns are inflected for number (the plural being formed in a variety of ways, most commonly by addition of the suffix -yn [ən]), but usually there is no inflection for case, except in a minority of nouns that have a distinct genitive singular form, which is formed in various ways (most common is the addition of the suffix -ey [ə] to feminine nouns). Historical genitive singulars are often encountered in compounds even when they are no longer productive forms; for example thie-ollee "cowhouse" uses the old genitive of ollagh "cattle".[34]

Manx verbs generally form their finite forms by means of periphrasis: inflected forms of the auxiliary verbs ve "to be" or jannoo "to do" are combined with the verbal noun of the main verb. Only the future, conditional, preterite, and imperative can be formed directly by inflecting the main verb, but even in these tenses, the periphrastic formation is more common in Late Spoken Manx.[35] Examples:

Manx finite verb forms
Tense Periphrastic form
(literal translation)
Inflected form Gloss
Present ta mee tilgey
(I am throwing)
I throw
Imperfect va mee tilgey
(I was throwing)
I was throwing
Perfect ta mee er tilgey
(I am after throwing)[36]
I have thrown
Pluperfect va mee er tilgey
(I was after throwing)[36]
I had thrown
Future neeym tilgey
(I will do throwing)
tilgym I will throw
Conditional yinnin tilgey
(I would do throwing)
hilgin I would throw
Preterite ren mee tilgey
(I did throwing)
hilg mee I threw
Imperative jean tilgey!
(Do throwing!)

The future and conditional tenses (and in some irregular verbs, the preterite) make a distinction between "independent" and "dependent" forms. Independent forms are used when the verb is not preceded by any particle; dependent forms are used when a particle (e.g. cha "not") does precede the verb. For example, "you will lose" is caillee oo with the independent form caillee ("will lose"), while "you will not lose" is cha gaill oo with the dependent form caill (which has undergone eclipsis to gaill after cha). Similarly "they went" is hie ad with the independent form hie ("went"), while "they did not go" is cha jagh ad with the dependent form jagh.[37] This contrast is inherited from Old Irish, which shows such pairs as beirid ("(s)he carries") vs. ní beir ("(s)he does not carry"), and is found in Scottish Gaelic as well, e.g. gabhaidh ("will take") vs. cha ghabh ("will not take"). In Modern Irish, the distinction is found only in irregular verbs (e.g. chonaic ("saw") vs. ní fhaca ("did not see").

Like the other Insular Celtic languages, Manx has so-called inflected prepositions, contractions of a preposition with a pronominal direct object. For example, the preposition ec "at" has the following forms:

Inflections of ec "at"
  Singular Plural
First person aym ("at me") ain ("at us")
Second person ayd ("at you") eu ("at you")
Third person Masculine echey ("at him") oc ("at them")
Feminine eck ("at her")


Manx IPA[38] English Irish
Scottish Gaelic
[eːn], [oːn], [uːn]
one aon [eːn], [iːn], [ɯːn] aon [ɯːn]
two [doː], dhá/dá [ɣaː]/[daː]
(people only) dís [dʒiːʃ]
, beirt [bʲertʲ]
dithis [dʒiːiʃ]
tree [t̪riː] three trí [t̪riː] trì [t̪riː]
kiare [kʲeːə(r)] four ceathair, ceithre [kʲahirʲ], [kʲerʲhʲi] ceithir [kʲe.irʲ]
queig [kweɡ] five cúig [kuːɡʲ] còig [kʰɒːɡʲ]/[kʰɒːkʲ]
shey [ʃeː] six [ʃeː] sia [ʃiə]
shiaght [ʃaːx] seven seacht [ʃaxd] seachd [ʃexk], [ʃjaxk]
hoght [hoːx] eight ocht [oxd] (dialect hocht [hoxd]) ochd [oxk]
nuy [nɛi], [niː] nine naoi [neː], [niː] naoi [nɯi], [nei]
jeih [dʒɛi] ten deich [dʲeh], [dʒei] deich [dʒeç]
nane jeig [neːn dʒeɡ] eleven aon déag [eːn dʲiaɡ], [iːn dʲeːɡ], [iːn dʒeːɡ] aon deug/diag [ɯːn dʒeːɡ], [ɯːn dʒeːk], [ɯːn dʒiək]
daa yeig [d̪eiɡʲ] twelve dó dhéag, dhá dhéag, dá dhéag [doː jiaɡ], [doː jeːɡ], [ɣaː jeːɡ], [daː jeːɡ] dà dheug/dhiag [daː jeːɡ], [taː jeːk], [taː jiək]
tree deig [t̪ri dʒeɡ] thirteen trí déag [t̪ʲrʲiː dʲiaɡ], [t̪ʲrʲiː dʲeːɡ], [t̪ʲrʲiː dʒeːɡ] trì deug/diag [t̪ʲrʲiː dʒeːɡ], [t̪ʲrʲiː dʒeːk], [t̪ʲrʲiː dʒiək]
feeid [fiːdʒ] twenty fiche [fʲihʲi], [fʲiçə]; fichid [fʲihʲidʲ], [fʲiçidʒ] (dative) fichead [fʲiçəd]/[fʲiçət]; fichid [fʲihʲidʒ] (dative)
keead [kiːəd] hundred céad [kʲiad], [kʲeːd] ceud/ciad [kʲeːd], [kʲeːt], [kʲiət]

Initial consonant mutations

Many places, such as Douglas, sport bilingual welcome signs. Note here the consonant mutation of Doolish (Douglas) to Ghoolish.

Like all modern Celtic languages, Manx shows initial consonant mutations, which are processes by which the initial consonant of a word is altered according to its morphological and/or syntactic environment.[39] Manx has two mutations: lenition and nasalisation, found on nouns and verbs in a variety of environments; adjectives can undergo lenition but not nasalisation. In the late spoken language of the 20th century the system was breaking down, with speakers frequently failing to use mutation in environments where it was called for, and occasionally using it in environments where it was not called for.

Lenition and nasalisation in Manx
Unmutated consonant Lenition Nasalisation
/p/ /f/ /b/[* 1]
/t̪/ /h/, /x/ /d̪/
/tʲ/ /h/, /xʲ/ /dʲ/[* 1]
/kʲ/ /xʲ/ /ɡʲ/[* 1]
/k/ /x/, /h/ /ɡ/
/m/[* 1]
/mw/[* 1]
/d̪/ /ɣ/, /w/ /n/[* 1]
/dʲ/ /ɣʲ/, /j/ /nʲ/
/ɡʲ/ /ɣʲ/, /j/ /ŋ/?[* 1]
/ɡ/ /ɣ/ /ŋ/?[* 2]
(no change)
/v/[* 1]
/w/[* 1]
(no change)
/ʃ/ /h/ , /xʲ/ (no change)
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Not attested in the late spoken language (Broderick 1984–86, 3:66)
  2. ^ In the corpus of the late spoken language, there is only one example of the nasalisation of /ɡ/: the sentence Ta mee er ngeddyn yn eayn ("I have found the lamb"), where ng is pronounced /n/. However, it is possible that the verbal noun in this case is not geddyn, which usually means "get", but rather feddyn, which is the more usual word for "find" (Broderick 1984–86 2:190, 3:66).


Like most Insular Celtic languages, Manx uses Verb Subject Object word order: the inflected verb of a sentence precedes the subject, which itself precedes the direct object.[40] However, as noted above, most finite verbs are formed periphrastically, using an auxiliary verb in conjunction with the verbal noun. In this case, only the auxiliary verb precedes the subject, while the verbal noun comes after the subject. The auxiliary verb may be a modal verb rather than a form of bee ("be") or jannoo ("do"). Particles like the negative cha ("not") precede the inflected verb. Examples:

subject direct
Hug yn saggyrt e laue urree.
put-pret. the priest his hand on her
"The priest put his hand on her."[41]


subject main
Va ny eayin gee yn conney.
were the lambs eat-v.n. the gorse
"The lambs used to eat the gorse."[42]


subject main
Cha jarg shiu fakin red erbee.
not can you-pl. see-v.n. anything
"You can't see anything."[43]

When the auxiliary verb is a form of jannoo ("do"), the direct object precedes the verbal noun and is connected to it with the particle y:

subject direct
Ren ad my choraa y chlashtyn.
did they my voice particle hear-v.n.
"They heard my voice."[44]

As in Irish (cf. Irish syntax#The forms meaning "to be"), there are two ways of expressing "to be" in Manx: with the substantive verb bee, and with the copula. The substantive verb is used when the predicate is an adjective, adverb, or prepositional phrase.[45] Examples:

t' eh agglagh
is it awful
"It is awful."


t' eh dy mie
is he well
"He is well"


t' eh ayns y thie-oast
is he in the ale house
"He is in the ale house."

Where the predicate is a noun, it must be converted to a prepositional phrase headed by the preposition in ("in") + possessive pronoun (agreeing with the subject) in order for the substantive verb to be grammatical:

t' eh ny wooinney mie
is he in-his man good
"He is a good man" (lit. "He is in his good man")[46]

Otherwise, the copula is used when the predicate is a noun. The copula itself takes the form is or she in the present tense, but it is often omitted in affirmative statements:

Is /
Manninagh mish
copula Manxman me
"I am a Manxman."[47]


Shoh 'n dooinney
this the man "This is the man."[44]

In questions and negative sentences, the present tense of the copula is nee:

Cha nee mish eh
not copula me him
"I am not him."[44]


Nee shoh 'n lioar?
copula this the book
"Is this the book?"[44]


Manx vocabulary is predominantly of Goidelic origin, derived from Old Irish and closely related to words in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. However, Manx itself, as well as the languages from which it is derived, borrowed words from other languages as well, especially Latin, Old Norse, French (particularly Anglo-Norman), and English (both Middle English and Modern English).[48]

The following table shows a selection of nouns from the Swadesh list and indicates their pronunciations and etymologies.

Manx IPA[38] English Etymology[49]
aane [eːn] liver Goidelic; from Mid.Ir. ae < O.Ir. óa; cf. Ir. ae, Sc.G. adha
aer [eːə] sky Latin; from O.Ir. aer < L. aër; cf. Sc.G. adhar
aile [ail] fire Goidelic; from O.Ir. aingel "very bright"; cf. Ir., Sc.G. aingeal
ardnieu [ərd̪ˈnʲeu] snake Apparently "highly poisonous" (cf. ard "high", nieu "poison")
awin [aunʲ], [ˈawənʲ] river Goidelic; from the M.Ir. dative form abainn of aba < O.Ir. abaind aba; cf. Ir. abha/abhainn, dative abhainn, Sc.G. abhainn (literary nominative abha).
ayr [ˈeːar] father Goidelic; from M.Ir. athair, O.Ir. athir; cf. Ir., Sc.G. athair
beeal [biəl] mouth Goidelic; from O.Ir. bél; cf. Ir. béal, Sc.G. beul/bial
beishteig [beˈʃtʲeːɡ], [prəˈʃtʲeːɡ] worm Latin; from M.Ir. péist < O.Ir. bíast < L. bēstia
ben [bed̆n] woman Goidelic; from M.Ir and O.Ir. ben; cf. Ir., Sc.G. bean
billey [ˈbilʲə] tree Goidelic; from O.Ir. bile
blaa [bleː] flower Goidelic; from O.Ir. bláth, Ir. bláth, Sc.G. blàth
blein [blʲeːnʲ], [blʲid̆n] year Goidelic; from O.Ir. bliadain; cf. Ir. bliain, Sc.G. bliadhna
bodjal [ˈbaːdʒəl] cloud English/French; shortened from bodjal niaul "pillar of cloud" (cf. Sc.G. baideal neòil); bodjal originally meant "pillar" or "battlement" < E. battle < Fr. bataille
bolg [bolɡ] belly Goidelic; from O.Ir. bolg, Ir., Sc.G bolg
cass [kaːs] foot Goidelic; from O.Ir. cos, cf. Sc.G. cas, Ir.dialect cas, Ir. cos
çhengey [ˈtʃinʲə] tongue Goidelic; from O.Ir. tengae; cf. Ir., Sc.G. teanga
clagh [klaːx] stone Goidelic; from O.Ir. cloch; cf. Sc.G. clach, Ir. cloch
cleaysh [kleːʃ] ear Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative clúais "hearing"; cf. Ir., Sc.G. cluas, Ir. dialect cluais "ear", dative cluais
collaneyn [ˈkalinʲən] guts Goidelic; from O.Ir. cáelán; cf. Ir. caolán, Sc.G. caolan, derived from caol "thin, slender"
crackan [ˈkraːɣən] skin Goidelic; from O.Ir. croiccenn; cf. Ir., Sc.G. craiceann, dialect croiceann
craue [kreːw] bone Goidelic; from O.Ir. cnám; cf. Ir. cnámh, Sc.G. cnàimh
cree [kriː] heart Goidelic; from O.Ir. cride; cf. Ir. croí, Sc.G. cridhe
dooinney [ˈd̪unʲə] person Goidelic; from O.Ir. duine
dreeym [d̪riːm], [d̪rib̆m] back Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative druimm, nominative dromm; cf. Ir. drom, dialect droim, dative droim, Sc.G. drom, dialect druim, dative druim
duillag [ˈd̪olʲaɡ] leaf Goidelic; from O.Ir. duilleóg; cf. Sc.G. duilleag
eairk [eːak] horn Goidelic; from O.Ir. adarc; cf. Ir., Sc.G. adharc, Ir. dialect aidhearc
eayst [eːs] moon Goidelic; from O.Ir. ésca; cf. archaic Ir. éasca, Sc.G. easga
eeast [jiːs] fish Goidelic; from O.Ir. íasc; cf. Ir. iasc, Sc.G. iasg
ennym [ˈenəm] name Goidelic; from O.Ir. ainmm; cf. Ir., Sc.G. ainm
faarkey [ˈføːɹkə] sea Goidelic; from O.Ir. fairrge; cf. Ir. farraige, Sc.G. fairge
faiyr [feːə] grass Goidelic; from O.Ir. fér; cf. Ir. féar, Sc.G. feur,fiar
famman [ˈfaman] tail Goidelic; from O.Ir. femm; cf. Ir. feam, Sc.G. feaman
fedjag [ˈfaiaɡ] feather Goidelic; from O.Ir. eteóc; cf. Ir. eiteog "wing", Sc.G. iteag
feeackle [ˈfiːɣəl] tooth Goidelic; from O.Ir. fíacail; cf. Ir., Sc.G. fiacail
feill [feːlʲ] meat Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative feóil; cf. Ir. feoil, Sc.G. feòil
fer [fer] man Goidelic; from O.Ir. fer; cf. Ir., Sc.G. fear
fliaghey [flʲaːɣə] rain Goidelic; from O.Ir. flechud; cf. Ir. fleachadh "rainwater; a drenching", related to fliuch "wet"
folt [folt̪] hair Goidelic; from O.Ir. folt, Ir.folt, Sc.G. falt
fraue [freːw] root Goidelic; from O.Ir. frém; cf. Ir. fréamh, préamh, Sc.G. freumh
fuill [folʲ] blood Goidelic; from O.Ir. fuil, Ir.,Sc.G. fuil
geay [ɡiː] wind Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative gáith; cf. Ir., Sc.G. gaoth, dative gaoith
geinnagh [ˈɡʲanʲax] sand Goidelic; from O.Ir. gainmech; cf. Sc.G. gainmheach, Ir. gaineamh
glioon [ɡlʲuːnʲ] knee Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative glúin; cf. Ir. glúin, Sc.G. glùn, dative glùin
grian [ɡriːn], [ɡrid̆n] sun Goidelic; from O.Ir. grían; cf. Ir., Sc.G. grian
jaagh [ˈdʒeːax] smoke Goidelic, from M.Ir. deathach < O.Ir. ; cf. Sc.G. deathach
joan [dʒaun] dust Goidelic; from O.Ir. dend; cf. Ir. deannach
kay [kʲeː] fog Goidelic; from O.Ir. ceó; cf. Ir. ceo, Sc.G. ceò
keayn [kid̆n] sea Goidelic; from O.Ir. cúan; cf. Ir. cuan "harbor", Sc.G. cuan "ocean"
keeagh [kiːx] breast Goidelic; from O.Ir. cíoch; cf. Ir. cíoch, Sc.G. cìoch
keyll [kiːlʲ], [kelʲ] forest Goidelic; from O.Ir. caill; cf. Ir. coill, Sc.G. coille
kione [kʲaun], [kʲoːn] head Goidelic; from O.Ir. cend, dative ciond; cf. Ir., Sc.G. ceann, dative cionn
laa [leː] day Goidelic; from O.Ir. láa; cf. Sc.G. latha,
laue [leːw] hand Goidelic; from O.Ir. lám; cf. Ir. lámh, Sc.G. làmh
leoie [løi] ashes Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative lúaith; cf. Ir. luaith, Sc.G. luath
logh [laːx] lake Goidelic; from O.Ir. loch
lurgey [løɹɡə] leg Goidelic; from O.Ir. lurga "shin bone"; cf. Ir. lorga
maidjey [ˈmaːʒə] stick Goidelic; from O.Ir. maide, Ir.,Sc.G. maide
meeyl [miːl] louse Goidelic; from O.Ir. míol; cf. Ir. míol, Sc.G. mial
mess [meːs] fruit Goidelic; from O.Ir. mes; cf. Ir., Sc.G. meas
moddey [ˈmaːðə] dog Goidelic; from O.Ir. matrad; cf. Ir. madra, N.Ir. mada,madadh [madu], Sc.G. madadh
moir [maːɹ] mother Goidelic; from O.Ir. máthir; cf. Ir. máthair, Sc.G. màthair
mwannal [ˈmonal] neck Goidelic; from O.Ir. muinél; cf. Ir. muineál, muinéal, Sc.G. muineal
oie [ei], [iː] night Goidelic; from O.Ir. adaig (accusative aidchi); cf. Ir. oíche, Sc.G. oidhche
ooh [au], [uː] egg Goidelic; from O.Ir. og; cf. Ir. ubh, Sc.G. ugh
paitçhey [ˈpetʃə] child French; from E.M.Ir. páitse "page, attendant" < O.Fr. page; cf. Ir. páiste, Sc.G. pàiste
raad [reːd̪], [raːd̪] road English; from Cl.Ir. rót,róat < M.E. road; cf. Ir. ród, Sc.G. rathad
rass [raːs] seed Goidelic; from O.Ir. ros
rollage [roˈleːɡ] star Goidelic; from M.Ir. rétlu < O.Ir. rétglu + feminine diminutive suffix -óg; cf. Ir. réaltóg, Sc.G. reultag
roost [ruːs] bark Brythonic; from O.Ir. rúsc < Brythonic (cf. Welsh rhisg(l)); cf. Ir. rúsc, Sc.G. rùsg
skian [ˈskiːən] wing Goidelic; from O.Ir. scíathán; cf. Ir. sciathán, Sc.G. sgiathan
slieau [slʲuː], [ʃlʲuː] mountain Goidelic, from O.Ir. slíab; cf. Ir., Sc.G. sliabh
sniaghtey [ˈʃnʲaxt̪ə] snow Goidelic; from O.Ir. snechta; cf. Ir. sneachta, Sc.G. sneachd
sollan [ˈsolan] salt Goidelic; from O.Ir.,Ir.,Sc.G. salann
sooill [suːlʲ] eye Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative súil; cf. Ir. súil, Sc.G. sùil
stroin [st̪rud̆ʲnʲ], [st̪raid̆ʲnʲ] nose Goidelic; from O.Ir. dative sróin; cf. Ir. srón, dialect sróin, dative sróin, Sc.G. sròn, dative sròin
tedd [t̪ed̪] rope Goidelic; from O.Ir. tét; cf. Ir. téad, Sc.G. teud,tiad
thalloo [ˈtalu] earth Goidelic; from O.Ir. talam; cf. Ir., Sc.G. talamh
ushag [ˈoʒaɡ] bird Goidelic; from O.Ir. uiseóg "lark"; cf. Ir. fuiseog, Sc.G. uiseag
ushtey [ˈuʃtʲə] water Goidelic; from O.Ir. uisce; cf. Ir. uisce, Sc.G. uisge
yngyn [ˈiŋən] fingernail Goidelic; from O.Ir. ingen; cf. Ir., Sc.G. ionga, dative iongain, plural Ir. iongna, Sc.G. iongnan, etc.

See Celtic Swadesh lists for the complete list in all the Celtic languages.


The spelling of Manx, unlike that of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, does not represent the Classical Gaelic orthography, and is based on the Welsh and English orthographies. For example, \langle \rm{y} \rangle is used for [ə], as in Welsh (e.g. cabbyl [ˈkaːvəl] "horse"), and \langle \rm{ee} \rangle and \langle \rm{oo} \rangle are used for [iː] and [uː] respectively, as in English (e.g. tree [t̪riː] "three", coo [kuː] "hound").

If any distinctively Manx written literature existed before the Reformation, it was unidentifiable or lost by the time that widespread literacy was being seriously advocated, so when attempts were made (mainly by the Anglican church authorities) to introduce a standardised orthography for the language, a new system based partly on Welsh, and mainly on the English of the 1700s was developed. It is commonly supposed that it was simply invented by John Phillips, the Welsh-born Bishop of Sodor and Man (1605–33) who translated the Book of Common Prayer into Manx. However, it does appear to have some similarities with orthographical systems found occasionally in Scotland, also based on English orthographical practices. For example, the Book of the Dean of Lismore and the Fernaig manuscript are written in Scottish Gaelic using a similar system of spelling. However, it must be noted that the Book of the Dean of Lismore is based on the orthography of Scots, and not Southern English.


Manx began to diverge from Early Modern Irish in around the 13th century and from Scottish Gaelic in the 15th.[50] The language sharply declined during the 19th century and was supplanted by English. In 1848, J. G. Cumming wrote that "there are ... few persons (perhaps none of the young) who speak no English", and Henry Jenner estimated in 1874 that about 30% of the population habitually spoke Manx (12,340 out of a population of 41,084). According to official census figures, 9.1% of the population claimed to speak Manx in 1901; in 1921 the percentage was only 1.1%.[51] Since the language had fallen to a status of low prestige, parents tended not to teach the language to their children, thinking that Manx would be useless to them compared with English.

Following the decline in the use of Manx during the 19th century, Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (The Manx Language Society) was founded in 1899. By the middle of the 20th century only a few elderly native speakers remained (the last of them, Ned Maddrell, died on 27 December 1974), but by then a scholarly revival had begun to spread to the populace and many had learned Manx as a second language. The revival of Manx has been aided by the recording work done in the 20th century by researchers. Most notably, the Irish Folklore Commission was sent in with recording equipment in 1948 by Éamon de Valera. There is also the work conducted by language enthusiast and fluent speaker Brian Stowell, who is considered personally responsible for the current revival of the Manx language.

The first native speakers of Manx (bilingual with English) in many years have now appeared: children brought up by Manx-speaking parents. Primary immersion education in Manx is provided by the Manx government: since 2003, the former St John's School building has been used by the sole Manx primary school, the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (Manx language-medium primary school). Degrees in Manx are available from the Isle of Man College and the Centre for Manx Studies, while the University of Edinburgh offers an Honours course on the Culture, History, and Language of the Isle of Man.

Manx-language drama groups also exist, and Manx is taught as a second language at all of the island's primary and secondary schools and also at the Isle of Man College and Centre for Manx Studies. Manx is used as the sole medium for teaching at five of the Island's preschools by a company named Mooinjer Veggey,[52] which also operates the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh. The first film to be made in Manx - the 22-minute long Ny Kiree fo Niaghtey (The Sheep Under the Snow) - premiered in 1983 and was entered for the 5th Celtic Film and Television Festival in Cardiff in 1984. It was directed by Shorys Y Creayrie (George Broderick) for Foillan Films of Laxey, and is about the background to an early 18th century folk song.

In the 2001 census, 1,689 out of 76,315, or 2.2% of the population, claimed to have knowledge of Manx,[4] although the degree of knowledge in these cases presumably varied.

Manx names are once again becoming common on the Isle of Man, especially Moirrey and Voirrey (Mary, properly pronounced similar to the Scottish Moira, but often mispronounced as Moiree/Voiree when used as a given name by non-Manx speakers), Illiam (William), Orry (from the Manx King), Breeshey (also Breesha) (Bridget), Aalish (also Ealish) (Alice), Juan (Jack), Ean (John), Joney, Fenella (Fiona), Pherick (Patrick) and Freya (from the Norse Goddess) remain popular.

Although Manx is commonly used for written slogans by local businesses, and appears on departmental letterheads and promotional materials within the Isle of Man Government, it is not used as a spoken language within the business community, or spoken within the Government.

Manx is used in the annual Tynwald ceremony, with new laws being read out by Yn Lhaihder ('the Reader') in both Manx and English.

Manx is recognised under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It is also one of the regional languages recognised in the framework of the British-Irish Council.

Little secular Manx literature has been preserved. Arguably, no trace of written Manx survives from before the 1600s, however the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible were translated into Manx in the 17th and 18th centuries. A tradition of carvals, religious songs or carols, developed.


The following examples are taken from Broderick 1984–86, 1:178–79 and 1:350–53. The first example is from a speaker of Northern Manx, the second from Ned Maddrell, a speaker of Southern Manx.

Orthography Phonetic transcription Gloss
V'ad smooinaghtyn dy beagh cabbyl jeeaghyn skee as deinagh ayns y voghree dy beagh eh er ve ec ny ferrishyn fud ny h-oie as beagh ad cur lesh yn saggyrt dy cur e vannaght er. vod̪ ˈsmuːnʲaxt̪ən d̪ə biəx ˈkaːbəl dʒiːən skiː as ˈd̪øinʲax uns ə ˈvoːxəri d̪ə biəx e er vi ek nə ˈferiʃən fod̪ nə høi as biəx əd̪ kør leʃ ən ˈsaːɡərt̪ d̪ə kør ə ˈvanax er They used to think if a horse was looking tired and weary in the morning then it had been with the fairies all night and they would bring the priest to put his blessing on it.
Va ben aynshoh yn çhiaghtin chaie as v'ee laccal mish dy ynsagh ee dy gra yn Padjer yn Çhiarn. Dooyrt ee dy row ee gra eh tra v'ee inneen veg, agh t'eh ooilley jarroodit eck, as v'ee laccal gynsagh eh reesht son dy gra eh ec vrastyl ny red ennagh. As dooyrt mish dy jinnagh mee jannoo my share son dy cooney lhee as ren ee çheet aynshoh son dy clashtyn eh, as vel oo laccal dy clashtyn mee dy gra eh? və ˈbɛn əˈsoː ən ˈtʃaːn ˈkai as vai ˈlaːl ˈmiʃ ði ˈjinðax i ðə ˈɡreː in ˈpaːdʒər ən ˈtʃaːrn | d̪ot̪ i ðə ˈrau i ɡreː a ˈt̪reː vai iˈnʲin ˈveːɡ ax t̪e ˈolʲu dʒaˈrud̪ətʃ ek as vei ˈlaːl ˈɡʲinðax a ˈriːʃ san ðə ˈɡreː ə əɡ ˈvraːst̪əl nə ˈrið ənax | as ˈd̪ut̪ miʃ ðə ˈdʒinax mi ˈdʒinu mə ˈʃeː san ðə ˈkunə lʲei as ˈrenʲ i ˈtʃit̪ oˈsoː san ðə ˈklaːʃtʲən a as vel u ˈlaːl ðə ˈklaːʃtʲən mi ðə ˈɡreː a There was a woman here last week and she wanted me to teach her to say the Lord's Prayer. She said that she used to say it when she was a little girl, but she has forgotten it all, and she wanted to learn it again to say it at a class or something. And I said I would do my best to help her and she came here to hear it, and do you want to hear me say it?


  1. ^ Anyone here speak Jersey?
  2. ^ Fockle ny ghaa: schoolchildren take charge
  3. ^ Documentation for ISO 639 identifier: glv
  4. ^ a b Manx Gaelic revival 'impressive'. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  5. ^ Jackson 1955, 49
  6. ^ Bunscoill Ghaelgagh. Retrieved 24 September 2008.
  7. ^ Kelly 1870:xiii footnote in Spoken Sound as a Rule for Orthography, credited to W. Mackenzie.
  8. ^ Cumming 1848:315-316 Appendix M
  9. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:xxvii–xxviii, 160
  10. ^ Jackson 1955, 66. Jackson claims that northern Irish has also lost the contrast between velarised and palatalised labials, but this seems to be a mistake on his part, as both Mayo Irish and Ulster Irish are consistently described as having the contrast (cf. Mhac an Fhailigh 1968, 27; Hughes 1994, 621; see also Ó Baoill 1978, 87)
  11. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 77–82; Broderick 1984–86, 2:152
  12. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 22
  13. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 203
  14. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 57
  15. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 110; Jackson 1955, 55
  16. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 24; Broderick 1984–86 3:80–83; Ó Sé 2000:15, 120
  17. ^ Jackson 1955, 47–50; Ó Cuív 1944, 38, 91
  18. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 51; Jackson 1955, 57–58; Holmer 1957, 87, 88, 106; 1962, 41
  19. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 68; Broderick 1984–86, 2:56, 308
  20. ^ O'Rahilly 1932, 75
  21. ^ Broderick 1984–8,6 1:160
  22. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:161
  23. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:161–62
  24. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:162–63
  25. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:164–65
  26. ^ Thomson 1992, 128–29; Broderick 1993, 234
  27. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 3:3–13; Thomson 1992, 129
  28. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 3:28–34; 1993, 236
  29. ^ Broderick 1984–86; 3:17–18
  30. ^ Jackson 1955, 118; Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language, 1998, Isle of Man, retrieved 2008-09-28
  31. ^ Broderick 1993, 230–33
  32. ^ Broderick 1993, 232–33
  33. ^ Broderick 1993, 236
  34. ^ Thomson 1992, 118–19; Broderick 1993, 239–40
  35. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 75–82; 1993, 250, 271; Thomson 1992, 122
  36. ^ a b The particle er is identical in form to the preposition er "on"; however, it is etymologically distinct, coming from Old Irish íar "after" (Williams 1994, 725).
  37. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:92; 1992, 250; Thomson 1992, 122
  38. ^ a b Broderick 1984–86, vol. 2
  39. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:7–21; 1993, 236–39; Thomson 1992, 132–35
  40. ^ Broderick 1993, 276
  41. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:181
  42. ^ Broderick 1984–86, 1:179
  43. ^ Broderick 1993, 274
  44. ^ a b c d Thomson 1992, 105
  45. ^ Broderick 1993, 276–77
  46. ^ Broderick 1993, 277
  47. ^ Broderick 1993, 278
  48. ^ Broderick 1993, 282–83
  49. ^ Macbain 1911; Dictionary of the Irish Language; Broderick 1984–86, vol. 2
  50. ^ Broderick 1993, 228
  51. ^ Gunther 1990, 59–60
  52. ^ Mooinjer Veggey - Official site

See also


  • Broderick, George (1984–86). A Handbook of Late Spoken Manx (3 volumes ed.). Tübingen: Niemeyer. ISBN 3-484-42903-8 (vol. 1), ISBN 3-484-42904-6 (vol. 2), ISBN 3-484-42905-4 (vol. 3).  
  • Broderick, George (1993). "Manx". in M. J. Ball and J. Fife (eds.). The Celtic Languages. London: Routledge. pp. 228–85. ISBN 0-415-01035-7.  
  • Cumming, Joseph George (1848), The Isle of Man, London: John Van Voorst,  
  • Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714291.  
  • Gunther, Wilf (1990). "Language conservancy or: Can the anciently established British minority languages survive?". in D. Gorter, J. F. Hoekstra, L. G. Jansma, and J. Ytsma (eds.). Fourth International Conference on Minority Languages (Vol. II: Western and Eastern European Papers ed.). Bristol, England: Mulitilingual Matters. pp. 53–67. ISBN 1-85359-111-4.  
  • Holmer, Nils M. (1957). The Gaelic of Arran. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. ISBN 0-901282-44-8.  
  • Holmer, Nils M. (1962). The Gaelic of Kintyre. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. ISBN 0-901282-43-X.  
  • Hughes, Art (1994). "Gaeilge Uladh". in K. McCone, D. McManus, C. Ó Háinle, N. Williams, and L. Breatnach (eds.) (in Irish). Stair na Gaeilge in ómós do Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Maynooth: Department of Old Irish, St. Patrick's College. pp. 611–60. ISBN 0-901519-90-1.  
  • Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone (1955). Contributions to the Study of Manx Phonology. Edinburgh: Nelson.  
  • Kelly, John (1870), Gill, William, ed., A Practical Grammar of the Antient Gaelic, or Language of the Isle of Man, Usually Called Manks, Douglas: The Manx Society,  
  • Kewley-Draskau, Jennifer (2008). Practical Manx. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 1846311314.  
  • Kneen, John J. (1911). A Grammar of the Manx Language. Edinburgh: Ams Pr Inc. ISBN 978-0404175641.  
  • Macbain, Alexander (1911). An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (2nd ed. ed.). Stirling: E. Mackay. Reprinted 1998, New York: Hippocrene. ISBN 0-7818-0632-1.  
  • Mhac an Fhailigh, Éamonn (1968). The Irish of Erris, Co. Mayo. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. ISBN 0-901282-02-2.  
  • Ó Baoill, Colm (1978). Contributions to a Comparative Study of Ulster Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University of Belfast.  
  • O'Rahilly, Thomas F. (1932). Irish Dialects Past and Present. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. Reprinted 1976, 1988 by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. ISBN 0-901282-55-3.  
  • Ó Cuív, Brian (1944). The Irish of West Muskerry, Co. Cork. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. ISBN 0-901282-52-9.  
  • Ó Sé, Diarmuid (2000) (in Irish). Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne. Dublin: Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann. ISBN 0-946452-97-0.  
  • Thomson, Robert L. (1992). "The Manx language". in Donald MacAulay (ed.). The Celtic Languages. Cambridge University Press. pp. 100–36. ISBN 0-521-23127-2.  
  • Williams, Nicholas (1994). "An Mhanainnis". in K. McCone, D. McManus, C. Ó Háinle, N. Williams, and L. Breatnach (eds.) (in Irish). Stair na Gaeilge in ómós do Pádraig Ó Fiannachta. Maynooth: Department of Old Irish, St. Patrick's College. pp. 703–44. ISBN 0-901519-90-1.  

External links

Manx language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simple English

The Manx language, (known in Manx as "Gaelg" or "Gailck"), is a language spoken in the Isle of Man.

It is a Celtic language of the Goidelic language family. It is in the same family as Scottish and Irish.

Manx is spoken mainly by people who learn it through interest. It died out as a natural community language in the 20th century. The last of the old native speakers died in 1974.


Manx was beginning to differ from Middle Irish in about 900 - 1600 AD, and it is called Yn Ghaelg / Yn Ghailck by Manx speakers. There became fewer and fewer Manx speakers during the 19th century and the language was replaced by English. In 1901, 9% of the people in the Isle of Man were said to speak Manx but in 1921 the number dropped to only 1%.

Today, Manx is used as the only language taught at five of the Isle of Man’s pre-schools. Manx is taught as a 2nd language at all of the Island's primary and secondary schools.

Manx today

There is now 1 school that teaches all of its lessons in Manx. The census of 2001 said that 2.2% of the population of the island could speak the language. There are currently 54 first language Manx speakers.



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address