Eilean Mhanainn / Ellan Vannin

I just listened to the first in a series of programmes on Radio nan Gàidheal on the Isle of Man (Eilean Mhanainn in Scottish Gaelic, and Ellan Vannin in Manx), which focuses on the Manx language. I found it very interesting, and was pleased to find that I could understand almost all the Scottish Gaelic, as well as the Manx.

Interestingly, when they were talking to Manx speakers, all but one of whom spoke in Manx, they translated their words into Scottish Gaelic, probably assuming that speakers of Scottish Gaelic would have difficulty understanding the Manx. This doesn’t tend to happen when Scottish Gaelic speakers are interviewed on Irish language radio or vice versa. While there is a fair bit of mutual intelligibility between the Gaelic languages, it seems to take speakers of each one a while to become sufficiently familiar with the others to be able to understand them – perhaps this is more the case with Manx as Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers rarely hear it.

This entry was posted in Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic.

5 Responses to Eilean Mhanainn / Ellan Vannin

  1. Tocasaid says:

    Glè inntinneach. Tha mi cinnteach gun cuala mi pàirt dheth cuideachd. Ge-tà, chan fhaigh mi seachad air cho neonach sa tha litreachadh na Manainnis!

  2. James says:

    Bha seo uamhasach inntinneach, tapadh leat Simon. Chord e rium.


  3. Cate says:

    I wonder if this ‘mutually intelligible’ claim is sometimes overestimated. Supposedly Norwegians/Swedes/Danes can all understand each other but I know Danes and Swedes and Norwegians and Swedes who cannot understand each other and converse in English instead.

    I clicked on the link-alas it has timed out. It seems interesting so I will try to track it down some other way.

  4. Simon says:

    The link should work, but episode 1 of the programme is no longer available on the BBC iPlayer. I’m not sure if it’s available elsewhere. Episode 2 of the programme is currently available.

  5. Cate says:

    Thanks, I’ll give it a ‘listen’ later. I haven’t started to learn Manx (yet) but I do enjoy this strange little Manx cartoon I once discovered, which appears to be aimed at people learning Manx. Not sure if you know it but I’ll share the link anyway as it’s quite amusing.

%d bloggers like this: