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

Manx receives an international boost

Tue, 19 Jan 2021

The protection and promotion of Manx Gaelic was strengthened by the confirmation that Part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages will be applied to the language in the Isle of Man.

The European Charter protects and promotes regional and minority languages in Europe in order to maintain and develop Europe’s cultural traditions and heritage. It recognises the need for promotion, facilitation and encouragement of the use of minority languages in public and private life. It covers the fields of: education; justice; administrative authorities and public services; media, cultural, economic and social activities; and international cooperation.

Although Manx is relatively small in terms of its number of speakers, its impact on worldwide efforts to protect and promote endangered languages is huge. In 2018, a panel of experts from the Council of Europe visited the Isle of Man and was impressed and delighted by the revitalisation of the Manx language, seeing it as a potential model for other minority languages around the world. This success would not have been possible without well-organised community based initiatives, coupled with targeted Isle of Man Government support.

The Manx Language Network, Jeebin, worked closely with the Cabinet Office to prepare the submission. Jeebin is made up of language professionals from: the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, including the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh and Manx Language Unit; Mooinjer Veggey; and Culture Vannin, who work in conjunction with the language community.

The Manx language is one of the Island's most important cultural assets and is available for all ages to enjoy, within nurseries, schools, adult classes and the wider community. It is also a unique identifier for the business community and for the Isle of Man as a whole..

Chair of Culture Vannin, Chris Thomas MHK, said: “By adopting Part III of the Charter, the Isle of Man is showing its commitment to our language and culture, and taking proactive steps to protect and promote this.”

For more information, see the Council of Europe’s media release.