I’m currently in the Isle of Man for the Cooish, a festival of Manx language and traditional music from the Isle of Man, Ireland and Scotland. Last night I went to an excellent concert in Peel which included the Arrane son Mannin (Song for Man) competition, and there’s a lecture in Manx (Leaght y Ghaaue) this evening.
Yesterday I met a Manx-speaking friend on the boat coming over and we talked Manx throughout the crossing. Well actually she did most of the talking and I contributed to the conversation whenever I could. It was the longest conversation I’ve ever had in Manx and I was pleased to find that I could understand almost everything, and even got the jokes.
My Manx tends to get mixed up with Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and even Welsh sometimes, but my friend is fluent in Irish, and speaks some Scottish Gaelic and Welsh, so this didn’t matter so much. We did try to stick to Manx most of the time though.
One of the things we were discussing was false friends between the Gaelic languages. For example, daoine means people in Irish, while in Manx dooiney means men, and the word for people is sleih, mooinjer or pobble. In Scottish Gaelic people is poball or sluagh, and men is daoine.
We also tried to translate Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody into Manx, though couldn’t remember all the words in English and weren’t sure of the Manx equivalents of some of the words we could remember.