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!
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.