Last Saturday I went to a study day about the Isle of Man put on by the Centre for North-West Regional Studies at Lancaster University. One of the talks was about the Manx language and used quotes from my dissertation – it was great to be recognised like that, and the speaker was quite surprised when I introduced myself to him afterwards.
As well as touching on the decline and revival of the language, he also looked at the linguistic landscape of Manx – i.e. the ways Manx is appears on signs and on printed material. What he demonstrated was that Manx translations are often smaller than the English ones, and/or in a different font. The most common fonts are in the Irish uncial style, or An Cló Gaelach. This gives the impression that Manx is less important than English, he suggested.
Here are some examples:
There are more examples on Flickr.
He compared the Manx signs with bilingual signs in Wales, on which both languages are usually the same size and font, and with the Welsh usually first.
He also mentioned that in Quebec the French is usually twice as big as the English, or other language, on signs.
If you live in an area where there are bilingual or multilingual signs, what is the linguistic landscape like?