Basic verbage without the rulage

In my previous posts I’ve used “learn”, “ynsaghey” and learning “gynsaghey”. There are some further verbs that are regularly used and knowledge of which can help you get by in conversation or basic tweets.

For “to go”, in English you would use “go” as the verbal-noun and imperative. That is it is both an instruction “Go to bed!” and a statement “I go to bed early”. The infinitive being “going”, such as “I am going to bed”. Obviously in Manx, this all changes.

In Manx, the same verb “goll” is used for both the verbal-noun and infinitive. So “Ta mee goll dys lhiabee”, “I go to bed” could also mean “I am going to bed”. The imperative, or commanding form, is “immee”. Therefore, “Immee dys lhiabee!”. Of course, there is no simple rule between goll -> immee as there is in English go -> going. So, learning is necessarily by rote.

The nine key verbs most often seen are below. The exclamation marks are my own to try and help distinguish the use of the word as an instruction from the original noun.

Verbal noun and infinitive Imperative
(Statement of fact or “-ing” form) (Instruction!)
çheet come, coming tar come!
goll go, going immee go!
coyrt or cur give, giving or put, putting cur put!
goaill take, taking gow take!
gra say, saying abbyr say!
jannoo do, doing jean do!
clashtyn hear, hearing clasht hear!
fakin see, seeing jeeagh see! look!
feddyn or geddyn get, getting fow get!

In “çheet” we see the first appearance of the cedilla. This “çh” form has the same sound as in English “church”. This is as opposed to the Manx “Cha”, which is “ha”.

So examples of the use of these verbs:

  • Gow my leshtal” – Take my excuse (“sorry”) (Note that this is instructive, not aggressive, despite my exclamations)
  • “Vel o goll?” – Are you going? Equally …
  • “Nagh ren uss goll dys Doolish?” – Didn’t you go to Douglas? And …
  • Immee dys Doolish nish!” – Go to Douglas now!

I have a great little book with these verbs in and I regularly just stop and quiz myself on them. I’m using Goodwin’s “First lessons in Manx”. You could also print this page out and test yourself.

Manx in Social Media

When I started learning (then abandoned) Manx in 2006 I struggled because it was not in everyday use, and it was quite difficult to stretch my muscles outside of “I like this”, “I did that”, etc.

So in this renewed effort of learning I’m using Social Media to create that environment. By using similar sentence structures, it’s easy to tweet feelings, thoughts and actions. For example:

  • Ta mee skee – I am tired
  • Ta mee feer skee – I am very tired
  • Ta mee goll dy valley – I am going home
  • Ta feme aym er jough! – I need a drink!

These are pushed into my Twitter feed and my Facebook wall, probably annoying many of my followers and friends.

In addition to this, I try and stretch myself out of these standard sentences by creating sentences from film quotes, famous songs, etc. I have been known to make some disastrous mistakes, particularly the quote from Breakfast at Tiffany’s; “I am a very stylish girl” which I rendered as “Ta mee fashanagh mooar ben“. Unfortunately, due to synonyms/translation differences, that could also mean “I dress up as a big lady”. This caused much amusement to a couple of Manx learning tweeps :/ .

To my surprise, I found a definite interest in my tweets! Both by professional Manx speakers, experienced speakers and equally importantly, learners and people who want to learn but are unsure of how to make the leap.

Adrian Cain, the Manx Language Officer, has also started to add #manx and #gaelg hashtags on to his Manx tweets. This has set a precedent, with others using the same tags to help aggregate Manx tweets by interest (#manx) and language (#gaelg). Using these tags, and the retweets that using such tags generates, I’ve gained a few additional followers of Manx and Scottish Gaelic speakers.

So despite some complaints by friends and followers about my Manx tweets, I’m going to continue to tweet, learn and spread the word. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you use the #manx (for Manx interest) and #gaelg (for Manx language) hashtags.