Manx language enjoys revival

Manx Gaelic, an off-shoot of Old Irish, thought to have died out in the 19th century, is being revived thanks to the efforts of Manx scholar Jennifer Kewley Draskau, who has published "Practical Manx, a guide to the grammar and morphology of the language."

Draskau produced her book by using such varied sources as modern poetry, conversations with locals on the Isle of Man, 15th century texts, and an 18th Century Manx Bible. Today, over 600 people claim to speak the language, a rebirth of sorts.

practical Manx

What a lot of misconceptions.

Manx died out AS A COMMUNITY LANGUAGE in the 19th century.Edward 'Ned' Maddrell and other native speakers were not monoglot speakers.

It is well known that the Revival started before the death of the last native speakers, where enthusiasts recorded their conversations. This is why we may speak of an 'unbroken chain' in Manx.

The resurgence is by no means due to my efforts; such a claim would be ridiculous. My work merely documented certain aspects of the language, in the hopes of consolidating previous work and providing a frame of reference for the future. 

Nor am I a Revivalist per se. All the true leaders of the Revival were widely consulted in the compilation of Practical Manx. All generously made helpful suggestions, pointed out deficiences, and gave it their blessing.

It is difficult to assess the number of speakers, not only for reasons of relative fluency but also ideology. To include the handful of people learning and speaking Manx Gaelic outside the Isle of Man would really not be feasible. Shall we say - plus half a dozen??

Just a couple of points: Manx

Just a couple of points:

Manx Gaelic, an off-shoot of Old Irish, thought to have died out in the 19th century

This is incorrect. The Manx language had 190 monoglot speakers and 12,340 bilingual speakers in 1871, 31 monoglot speakers and 2,351 bilingual speakers in 1911, 355 bilingual speakers in 1951 and the last native, albeit bilingual, speaker, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974, by which stage there was already a revivalist movement underway.

...revived thanks to the efforts of Manx scholar Jennifer Kewley Draskau

While Ms Kewley Draskau's efforts are highly commendable (indeed I have a copy of her Practical Manx), she is far from being the only person to have exerted a lot of efforts in reviving Manx. Other noteable persons involved in the movement include Brian Stowell, Phil Gawne, Phil Kelly, etc.

Today, over 600 people claim to speak the language, a rebirth of sorts.

According to the 2001 IOM census there were 1,689 speakers of Manx, although the census does not specify the degree of fluency. However there are likely more speakers than that - I myself am a fluent speaker of Manx although I have lived in Ireland all my life and was therefore never counted among the statistics, and likewise I also have an acquaintance in England who has never been included in the Manx statistics but who is also a fluent speaker.