Talk:Manx language

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I suggest removing the following sentence:

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.

This sentence is not backed up and is blatantly false. Obviously written by someone who does not understand the Manx spelling system. In fact there are very few inconsistencies. The majority of studies on the Manx language have concentrated on the dialect of the southern part of the island. But the orthography was designed in such a way as to include pronounciations from the north of the island. One of the main arguments is the spelling "-aan", vs. "-ane". But this exists for a good reason. "-aan" is pronounced like Irish "án" in both dialects, whereas when we see "-ane" it is pronounced "én" in the south and "án" in the North. Another "inconsistency" is the doubling of consonants. This is not inconsistent with pronounciation. A doubling of a consonant indicates a softening. E.g. bog ("soft") is pronounced /bɘg/ but the verb boggaghey is pronounced /ˈbɘɣɘxɘ/. Likewise boodeeys is pronounced /buːdiːɘs/ but the plural form boodeeyssyn is pronounced /buːdiːɘzɘn/. Please point out any inconsistencies to me and I will gladly show where they are not inconsistent with pronounciation. All languages have some spellings that are not consistent, Manx is no different, but where there are some they are few and far between.
This second sentence should be moved to the relevant section on orthography, as it is a criticism of it and not necessary for background material:

T. F. O'Rahilly has expressed the opinion that Gaelic in the Isle of Man has been saddled with a corrupt spelling which is neither traditional nor phonetic and that if the traditional Gaelic orthography had been preserved that the close kinship which exists between Manx Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic would be obvious to all at first sight.

Personally I don't agree with it (Manx orthography is phonetic and it never had a Gaelic orthography to preserve - it'd be like suggesting French should have preserved the Cyrillic orthography to show its similarities with Moldovan Romanian), but it is a criticism by an eminent scholar and so does deserve a place in the article. Just not in the background section. A simple line or two to describe the orthography should suffice in the Background section. --MacTire02 (talk) 16:34, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

It's a bit disingenuous to say Manx never had a Gaelic orthography to preserve; it's descended from a language that had a Latin-alphabet written tradition dating back to the 8th century, not to mention Ogham. It's more like Romanian, which was written with the Cyrillic alphabet until the mid-19th century, despite being descended from a language with a Latin-alphabet written tradition. +Angr 17:05, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
But then again, the vikings invaded Man round about the same time as the Irish monks started writing, and unlike the Western Isles of Scotland, Man was never reincorporated into a Gaelic administration -- it was part of Scotland for a brief while, but the language of court by then was early Scots. AFAIK, there is no evidence of Manx literature predating the Book of Common Prayer, so it cannot be said with any certainty that Manx ever had an orthography derived from the Irish monks' one. Prof Wrong (talk) 17:18, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
It's not disingenuous. The language we know as Manx never had a Gaelic orthography. The Gaelic orthography only exists in Scotland and Ireland. Never in the Isle of Man. Manx is only spoken in the Isle of Man and did not have any written tradition until the 17th century. From the moment a Gaelic language arrived on the island it was not written down until the 17th century. Therefore it did not have a Gaelic orthography. You cannot say that the separate but related language (through descent) of Irish used one orthography, therefore Manx lost that orthography. --MacTire02 (talk) 17:28, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
The spelling of the Manx tongue had remained unsettled till 1772, when the Manx Bible was first printed. That translation has been since recognised as the standard of orthography. "The Celtic language," observes the writer of an anonymous manuscript among Dr. Kelly's papers, "everywhere losing ground, had degenerated in Man in a ratio proportionate to its narrow territory, and the increased intercourse of its inhabitants with Britain. In the Manx dialect many terms were lost, many Anglicisms adopted, many corruptions introduced. The translators had now an opportunity to apply the remedy. By due attention to the orthography and structure of the language, the connexion between roots and compounds might have been preserved, and its original energy and purity restored. But the translators did not consult the structure of the language. By adjusting the orthography to pronunciation, roots are wholly lost. . . . It must, however, be allowed, agreeably to the argument of a learned friend of mine, who was one of the committee of correction and publication, that had not the words been written as they are pronounced, the body of the people must have continued uninstructed. The Irish orthography would have presented insurmountable difficulties; it would have been to the multitude an unknown tongue." Kelly's Manx Grammar - Editor's Introduction AJRG (talk) 23:28, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

'Never in the Isle of Man. Manx is only spoken in the Isle of Man and did not have any written tradition until the 17th century. From the moment a Gaelic language arrived on the island it was not written down until the 17th century.'

Really, I'd say that was unlikely, someone at some stage may have written even just a word! Bheadh an-iontas orm murar raibh sin i gceist! (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:49, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Cross-reference to "Manx literature"[edit]

There is an article on "Manx literature", which seems to be a slightly expanded version of the final paragraphs of the "History" section of the "Manx language" article.

The cross-reference to that article is buried in that history section, about 3/4ths of the way through an extremely detailed philological article.

I think it makes more sense to put such an xref either at the beginning (something like "Manx literature dates back to at least the 16th century" would serve) or in the "See also" at the end, as these are the obvious places someone would look for such.

Joe Bernstein (talk) 23:06, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

contributions to English[edit]

Are there any Manx contributions to English, such as a loanword or some such? What about in the English spoken on the island? What about in other area languages, such as Irish, are there any Manx words there?Chrisrus (talk) 20:25, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Good idea for a new section. I'm not entirely sure about Manx contribs to English, but there would be some Manx contribs to Manx-English. Regarding the other Gaelic languages - there are NO Manx contributions to be found in Scots or Irish Gaelic. However there are Irish and Scots contributions to be found in Manx such as anaase meaning "interest" (v'eh feer anaasoil, "that was very interesting"). This word is a direct borrowing from Scots Gaelic dating from the mid 20th century. There is an already existing word "sym" (similar to Irish "suim"), but this can also mean the interest you pay on an account as well as a "sum" of money. For the sake of clarity many have adopted the word anaase to distinguish from sym. There are other examples, but not off the top of my head. --MacTire02 (talk) 20:42, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

IPA for Manx[edit]

I just created Wikipedia:IPA_for_Manx_Gaelic and would welcome input/amendments. I was using Brodick, Manx not being my natural scene, but I felt the page was needed so we can use the {{IPA-gv| formatting to lead people to a more appropriate page than just the general IPA page. Looking at the main page though, might it not make sense to split the phonology off onto a Manx phonology page? It seems to be getting fairly large. Gura mie ayv! Akerbeltz (talk) 00:20, 20 October 2010 (UTC)


A lot of linguistic and phonetic "inkhorn" here, which is all well and good for those interested, but makes for a very "dry" article. I think that the history and literature sections could do with being expanded, so I'm going to tag them with "section-stub".

And please bear in mind that only a tiny minority of people in the world can read IPA competently. I recognise that it is "international", but also question its usefulness to the average reader.--MacRusgail (talk) 18:41, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

We've had that debate elsewhere. The compromise that seems to work best is to use IPA but to add .ogg sound files but I can't do those. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:00, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I know, and we'll likely never agree. I can't do IPA or ogg, so that's me scuppered for the both of them.
I'm trying to work on a major revamp of the article, but the lack of images isn't helping. --MacRusgail (talk) 19:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

By the way folks, I have been writing a lot of new material, but haven't chased down the references for all of it yet. I hope some people can help with that. Hopefully most of what I've written is accurate. Slan eu nish.--MacRusgail (talk) 13:53, 3 December 2010 (UTC)


Manx uses relatively few diacritics, but a cedilla is often (but not always) used to differentiate between the two pronounciations of "ch".
  • Çhiarn (ˈtʃaːrn) means "lord" and is pronounced with a hard "ch" (/tʃ/) as in the English "watch"
  • Cha' means "not", and is pronounced with a velar fricative, as in the correct pronounciation of the English "loch" (/ˈlɒx/ ), a sound which more commonly is represented by "gh" in Manzx [sic].

However, the usage of the cedilla is sporadic, and not consistent, e.g. Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh, which should contain it.

Just a couple of points on the above statement. The use of the cedilla in Manx is one of personal preference - there is no standard associated with its usage, although when listed alphabetically, <ch> is treated the same as <çh> and vice versa. You mention above that the usage of the cedilla is sporadic and not consistent. Well that just depends on who you are reading. The name "Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh" stems from a time when cedillas were quite rare on the keyboard. As such, the emblem of the society lacks the cedilla - indeed many members of the society do not use the cedilla. However, the cedilla is actually used, albeit not by all, when spelling the name of that society. The cedilla is gaining favour amongst the Manx speaking community, but it is still a matter of personal preference without any sanctioning for, or against, its usage.

Secondly, the <gh> in Manx more accurately represents the sound /ɣ/ or /h/, and not /x/. For example, the Manx word logh "lake" is pronounced /laːh/, magher "field" is pronounced /maː(ə)r/ or /maːhər/.

--MacTire02 (talk) 21:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, it's personal preference (I think it should be used personally, because Manx is confusing enough to most learners, i.e. the majority of users, with its mutation/lenition system, or however they refer to it these days).
A lot of my edits are quite tongue in cheek just now, and I've been plagiarising the Irish and Scottish articles too.
Regarding "gh", I have heard it as /x/, but then again, I don't do IPA. Too time consuming, and I usually get it wrong. (I have to cut and paste the symbols from elsewhere, and try and find the right examples, often off Wikipedia.)--MacRusgail (talk) 13:51, 3 December 2010 (UTC) p.s. I've caught the "Manzx" already. Therwe wil problaby be other tpypos.-
No problems regarding the "tongue-in-cheek" edits.
About the /x/ sound in Manx: this sound has all but disappeared in Manx, except for in certain words such as "cha", and in words where the initial /k/ sound has been lenited, either through the usage of preposition plus definite article, or simply because it's a feminine word. The /x/ sound is still to be heard in some words where it is represented by <gh> such as "beagh" /ˌbiːɘx/, but in most cases the /x/ sound has vanished, to be replaced by the sounds /ɣ/, /h/, or simply absent. Personally, I think this is as a direct result of the English language's impact on Manx; the only people to write the language down in the later parts of the 18th and through the 19th century tended to be mainland British clergymen or wealthy Anglo-Manx (by which I mean both Manx of English descent and native Manx who had developed English customs, accents, business links, etc.) with an interest in the language. These people were probably very insistent on speaking with a rather "English"/"RP" accent to emphasize their "Britishness", and I have a feeling it was this that creeped in and removed elements of the phonology of Manx. A similar process can be seen in Ireland today, where, for example, <r> technically speaking has three different pronounciations depending on the surrounding letters, although only two pronounciations are recognised by the Caighdeán - learners tend to pronounce all cases of the letter <r> the exact same as the Hiberno-English rhotic <r>, and this has already started to have an impact on the language of the native speakers, evident on TG4, or on any of the news programs on RTÉ television and radio.
Regarding the cedilla - the reason I questioned you on it was because you had written that "Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh [...] should contain it" - while I agree with you that the two sounds should be represented separately (i.e. with the /tʃ/ sound represented by the letters <çh> - certainly more appropriate as the letters <çh> actually better represents the <t> of the other Gaelics, whereas the /x/ sound in <ch> actually represents a lenited <k> or <c>), the fact is there is no body which sanctions, supports, prohibits, etc. the use of the cedilla - therefore Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh should not necessarily contain it - it should only contain it within the writing of a user who prefers the usage of the cedilla. --MacTire02 (talk) 08:54, 4 December 2010 (UTC)


"Gaelg or Gailck, which is cognate with the English word "Gaelic" - no it is not. The English word "Gaelic" is a direct borrowing or loanword from the Gaelic languages. It is not a cognate. A cognate is the name given to the phenomenon where two separate words, not necessarily of identical meaning, have developed "independently" (sometimes in different languages, sometimes within the same language), but find a common root in a single word distant in the linguistic past. The word Gaelic was simply taken from Irish/Scots Gaelic and repurposed to describe those languages in English because of the fact that no contemporary word was available in English at the time. --MacTire02 (talk) 13:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Fair point. If you can come up with some better phrasing, I'll be taking a break in around forty minutes.
I'm also unsure if "Erse" or Irish was ever used to refer to Manx, but it wouldn't surprise me.--MacRusgail (talk) 13:47, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't have any sources for that, but seeing as how both Irish and Scottish Gaelic were referred to as Erse, then I would imagine that Manx was too. But we do need sources for that. How about "Gaelg or Gailck, the Manx form of Irish "Gaeilge, from which the English word "Gaelic" stems"? A bit convoluted I'd say, but certainly more accurate. --MacTire02 (talk) 13:50, 3 December 2010 (UTC)


The following paragraph appears in the article:

Some religious terms originating in Latin, Greek and Hebrew e.g. casherick (holy), from the Latin consecrātus; mooinjer (people)
from the Latin monasterium (originally a monastery; agglish (church) from the Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklesia, literally meaning
assembly) and abb (abbot) from the Hebrew "אבא" (abba, meaning "father"). Many English loanwords also have a classical origin,
e.g. çhellveeish and çhellvane meaning television and telephone respectively.

I believe this to be slightly misleading. For a start there are no references provided. Secondly, each of these words have simply evolved from earlier Irish forms. Perhaps this should be acknowledged? These words can still be seen in their modern Irish counterparts as follows:

casherick1, v. Coisric.
casherick2, a. Coisricthe.
mooinjer, f. Muintir f.
agglish, f. Eaglais f.
abb, m. Ab m.

I understand that these words do have a classical origin, but the way it is phrased it would appear that these words were borrowed directly into Manx, which is not the case. --MacTire02 (talk) 09:13, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I totally agree. Especially the Hebrew link is nonsense, at least in a direct route. For Manx, unless someone can provide a ref for a direct borrowing it goes Some Language > Old(er) Irish > Manx Akerbeltz (talk) 11:54, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

No, they're not not necessarily direct borrowings (the English "cross" is a Latin loanword by an indirect route), but it would be nice to see something that discussed how words came into Manx from languages other than English.--MacRùsgail (talk) 11:42, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Census Results[edit]

I have updated the census figures of Manx speakers, as per the 2011 census - showing an increase of 134 people. This is also now reflected in the history section of the page. Dornálaíocht (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:23, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Manx language[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Manx language's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 22:22, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Hen-oast vs. Ben-oast[edit]

I nearly reverted the change of hen-oast to ben-oast, because the quoted source did indeed say "hen-oast". Then I figured it was probably an OCR error and looked up the Bible to check, and sure enough, it's "ben-oast" there too.

However, unless someone has a print version of the Jenner book to verify, we're still technically in the wrong by "correcting" something cited from an outside source. So can anyone verify this? Prof Wrong (talk) 15:01, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

  1. Not sure if this counts, but here you go. Mac Tíre Cowag 22:00, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Former contents of loanwords category[edit]

As of 13/3/2013 Category:Manx loanwords contained the articles listed below. The category is being deleted per Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2013_February_10#Category:Welsh_loanwords.

DexDor (talk) 21:42, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

However in recent years[edit]

Why not just say "In recent years"?

"However" is probably the most useless, pointless, meaningless and overused word in the English language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

It does however sound nice, in that it smooths the flow of the text and the transition from one statement to the next. Dusty|💬|You can help! 00:47, 12 July 2013 (UTC)


A new section (text boxes) has been added in to the orthography section regarding the first few lines of The Hobbit in Manx. This piece is not referenced and I can not find any reference to it online, other than backlinks to Wikipedia itself. The transliterated section is even more suspect and should definitely be removed. There is no traditional Gaelic writing system used for the Manx language and this one, in particular, doesn't even look like it was concocted created by a professional linguist. This piece of "transliteration" falls entirely into the realm of WP:OR and should be removed immediately unless it can be shown that it is not original research. I will leave this message here for 24 hours after which I will remove the piece in question. Mac Tíre Cowag 14:48, 1 June 2014 (UTC)