Name the language

Here’s a sign in a mystery language.

Sign in mystery language

Can you guess which language it is and where it’s spoken?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

17 Responses to Name the language

  1. N says:

    Manx? (which is the Isle of Man, of course)

  2. nomad says:

    Gee… Manx/Gailck, Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin).

  3. joe mock says:

    Looks like Manx but I can’t relate the words to any Gaelic I know.

  4. Yenlit says:

    Yep, it’s Manx and I was also surprised at its apparent unGaelic similarity.
    The no smoking signs in my workplace are written in an impressive 15 languages:
    1. No Smoking
    2. Espace non fumeur
    3. Rauchen verboten
    4. Vietato fumare
    5. Prohibido fumar
    6. Dim ysmygu
    7. Palenie zabronione
    8. Ndalohet duhani
    9. (Chinese)
    10. (Hindi)
    11. (Punjabi)
    12. Fajcenie zakázané
    13. Sigara içilmez
    14. Verboden te roken
    15. (Arabic)

  5. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    As always, others have got there before me, but I was also going to suggest Manx: it looks vaguely like Irish, but not nearly enough like it to _be_ Irish, and it certainly isn’t Welsh or Breton.

  6. Jurčík says:

    I think that it is a Celtic language.

  7. Jurčík says:

    Is it Manx Gaelic?

  8. Yenlit says:

    I think the reason why ‘meelowit’ looks so atypical of any Gaelic related word is that it’s a Manx prefix ‘mee-‘ (un-, dis-) tagged onto an English loan word ‘lowal’ (Eng. allow) so meelowal is ‘disallow’ and meelowit ‘disallowed’.

  9. Simon says:

    Gary – no, that’s not where I found it.

  10. Andrew says:

    I actually know a tiny bit about the Isle of Mann because Jeremy Clarkson lives there and I’m a huge Top Gear fan, but the language is not one of them. Hmm, interesting.


  11. Christopher Miller says:

    I thought at first that it looked like Somali but realised there was something not quite right about the gh. Google, of course, revealed the secret of the sign…

  12. michael farris says:

    I guessed Manx before googling it and finding out I was right. Yay me!

  13. Simon says:

    The answer is Manx (Gaelg), which is spoken mainly in the Isle of Man

    The sign was put up recently in the Strand Shopping Centre in Douglas, Isle of Man. According to this article, some people who were asked about it didn’t recognise the language and thought it was Polish.

    The literal meaning of Jaaghey Meelowit is “smoking prohibited”. Other ways to say “No Smoking” in Manx include Gyn Toghtaney (without smoking),Toghtaney Neulhiggit (smoking forbidden), Ny Ceau Tombaacey (don’t consume tobacco), which is simliar to the Irish Ná Caith Tobac.

  14. Jurčík says:

    Gary, and if it is him source, what’s the matter?

  15. goofy says:

    Manx “jaagh” is “smoke”, presumably cognate with Irish Gaelic “deathach” and Welsh “dywy”.

  16. Gary says:

    @Jurčík I put meelowit into google and the sign popped up as the first item, with a clear statement that it was Manx. There was no need to guess, even for somebody without wide linguistic knowledge. So I wanted to say that maybe the puzzle was too easy. I suppose I could have added a smilie to make that clearer.

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