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> Manx Language Is Extinct
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Sìmeag 
  Posted: 26-Feb-2009, 04:09 PM
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Source: Agence Bretagna Presse.

MANX — Some people on Mannin/Isle of Man may not use the Manx language (Gaelic) from one week to the next, but for others, it is an integral part of their daily life. Very few people these days on the Island would argue that the language is dead, when it is seen and heard all around - on the radio, in newspapers, on signs, used on the street and learnt by hundreds of children at school – and growing on a scale not known for over a hundred years.

However, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the Manx language is extinct and it is not the only Celtic language on list. On Thursday (19th February) UNESCO's 'flagship activity' the Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger was updated, which attributed an 'extinct' status to both the Manx and Cornish languages.

The Celtic League has written to UNESCO's Director-General, Koichiro Matsuura, to complain about this misrepresentation. The League's General Secretary (GS), Rhisiart Tal-e-bot argued in his letter that for the UN to say that Manx and Cornish languages are extinct, year in, and year out could potentially have a damaging effect on these languages. The GS went on to suggest that if the Manx and Cornish languages don't fit into the current categories in the Atlas, then a new category should be created. The full text of the letter can be found below.

The status of the other Celtic languages in each Celtic country, according to UNESCO, can be found below. The categories used run from 'unsafe' to 'definitely endangered' to 'severely endangered' to 'critically endangered'.

Alba (Scottish Gaelic): definitely endangered Briezh (Breton): severely endangered Cymru (Welsh): unsafe Éire (Irish): definitely endangered Kernow: Extinct Mannin: Extinct [/url].

Interactive Map of World's Languages in Danger.
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Source: Breathing life into the Manx language

The opposite of the stuffy academic, Jennifer Kewley Draskau is the horse-jumping, bungee jumping, parachuting linguist putting Manx back on Britain’s language map. Peter Elson reports

SHE’S just galloped back to her ancient cliff-top Manx house, on a German horse called Gingerbread, and immediately reveals a clandestine life-time love affair to me.

Dr Jennifer Kewley Draskau’s long-felt passion has burned in spite of a long marriage to her Danish husband, Frederic.

“I have to confess that I love grammar. I know a lot of people don’t, but I love the way languages are put together and work,” murmurs Jennifer.

“I’m quite interested in the mechanics of cars, but I’d really rather drive them than look under the bonnet, and I know that most people feel like that about language.

“They’ll check the seat colours and the extras, but won’t get their hands dirty. Whereas, I’m a greasy mechanic, or a greasy biker of language. And I make no apology.”

This life-long dedication to language and a Manx family history dating back 1,000 years has merged to flower in her new book, called Practical Manx.

This is the first modern, comprehensive handbook in more than a century on Manx Gaelic, a language which almost died out in the mid-19th century as islanders switched to English for trading.

Jennifer, a senior research fellow at the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Manx Studies, Douglas, was faced with the paucity of records about Manx grammar and morphology.

Backed by the Manx Heritage Bureau, she created Practical Manx from aural sources and old translations of standard English works.

Her book’s cover features the island’s ancient standing stones’ depiction of a blackbird, as in Celtic mythology this bird represents the moment of discovery of a different language.

This, she believes, is very apposite as Manx, which was an off-shoot of old Irish Gaelic, has never been adequately described in book-form.

“It was because the first people who recorded it 100 years ago were enthusiastic amateur lexicographers, with no linguistic training,” she says.

“Not being grammarians, they attempted descriptions of the language and went to extraordinary lengths.

Article continues Source: here.


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Tha mi'n dochas gu bheil an eadar theangachadh ceart!
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