Saturday, May 06, 2006
Lessoon Jeih / Lesson Ten
If you worked you way through all the lessons 1-10 you will have noticed some things about Manx that perhaps need a little bit of explaining.
- There are fewer verbs in Manx than in English. For example, there is no verb 'to have', to say 'I have a book' you say 'Ta lioar aym' - '(there) is (a) book at me'.
- There are Gaelic versions of many English names. Some Manx speakers are known by two names - the English version and the Manx version. This can be useful as you can know what language to use by the name the person addresses you by!
- The Manx orthography (writing system) differs a lot from Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and from English and Welsh. It has elements of all of these, but you will find it more systematic than English, but much easier than the other Gaelics. Once you get used to it you will find it is extremely easy to use. Some Manx speakers would like to switch to either the Scottish or Irish orthography, and many Irish and Scottish Gaelgeyryn wish we would. The great advantage of the Manx writing system is that it preserves the Manxness of the language.
- Manx grammar is very different to English grammar.
- The first letters of words can change depending on the words around it. This is called 'mutation' or 'ceaghley' in Manx. For a beginner it seems very difficult. In time you will find that it is part of the beauty of the language, and come to love it.
- There are many ways of saying the same thing in Manx. Of course this is true in most languages (eg 'Hi!', 'Hello', 'Good Day', 'Awright', etc. in English) but you will find the variety of nuances you can build into your Manx, the rythmic sound options, the 'ceaghley' etc make it an extremely expressive language with a huge scope for poetry and word play.
- It really isn't a difficult language at all.