Dedicated to the Gaelic Language of the Isle of Man
Imraaghyn Features

Gaelg as mish

Well.... The first time I remember thinking that being Manx was different was when I was about 6.  I was at Braddan School and ran to tell Mrs Nicholson that I had been stung by a waaasp.  The other teachers started sniggering but Mrs Nicholson put her arms around me and whispered “They don’t know how to say waaasp properly like us!” Our year 6 teacher was a fluent Manx speaker and he introduced weekly Manx lessons.

When I had my children, they all went to Mooinjer Veggey nursery at Braddan.  It was a great environment and the girls all started singing in Manx in no time.

A few years later I decided it was time that I upped my game on the Manx language front and enrolled for night classes at the college with Brian Stowell.  The man is a legend!  His classes were fun and his sense of humour is fabulous.  I still feel privileged to have been taught by him.

My youngest daughter Lilee goes to the Manx Language school in St Johns, Bunscoill Ghaelgagh.  She is only 10 years old and is almost fluent which is amazing.  The kids are all happy and look out for each other inside school and out.  Bunscoill has great community spirit and bags of Manx culture.

I decided that I wanted to know what Lilee and her friends were talking about in the back of the car.   Adrian Cain was starting up conversational Manx classes in Greens, not a stuffy classroom, so I gave it a go.  It was a great decision!!  Adrian’s classes are informal but structured and very funny using current real life situations.  We talk about all sorts of things from nights out at The Baltic to meeting the Dalai Lama!  We focus on speaking Manx rather than writing stuff down and practice by talking to the kitchen wall!  You need to realise that it’s not the end of the world to get it wrong and a bit of true Manx grit helps to keep you going when you have a tough week.  We are all in the same boat and all want to learn Manx, for many different reasons.  I have met lots of new friends and would highly recommend it but this recommendation does come with a warning...it’s very addictive...  but good for your soul.

For me Manx is an escape and although I am by no means fluent, I have made great progress – well at least my kitchen wall has stopped rolling its eyes at me now.

For a living, I teach people how to drive trucks amongst other things, and I try to pass on the odd Manx word like “Yindyssagh” (wonderful) or “Feer vie” (very good).  I am very proud to be Manx its language and vibrant culture is definitely something to be celebrated.

Why put off until tomorrow what you could do today?  Give Adrian a shout and get started!  There are so many ways to learn…fun classes, apps for your phone, learnmanx.com and even skype so there is no excuse!

Sarah Fox, Forsdal, 2017