Manx: There’s an App for That

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Want to learn Manx? There’s an app for that! Last year, the Manx Heritage Foundation released an app designed for Manx language learners. At the time, Manx Language Development Officer Adrian Cain told the BBC that  “Increasing numbers of people are showing an interest in the language both on the island and around the world. We felt it was a great opportunity to use modern technology to help its revival.”

It appears he was correct, as one year later, the app has been downloaded by more than 4,000 people, according to the BBC. It is available on iTunes and Google Play, and has excellent reviews on both marketplaces. According to the app’s description on Google Play

The app will benefit anyone wishing to start using Manx as well as those who understand some of the language but who would like to refresh their language skills. With its voice-recording and playback function, the exercises encourage you to speak the language by answering questions orally and comparing your answers to model responses.

There are ten units for users to work through, and the  Isle of Man TT Races are used as a theme to make studying more interesting.

When Ned Maddrell, the last native speaker of Manx, died in 1974, many people believed that the Manx language would die with him.  UNESCO even declared it “extinct.” In recent years, however, Manx has “come back from the dead,” experiencing an astonishing revival, and the response to this app is more evidence of that.

In fact, the Manx Heritage Foundation just released another app for smartphones and tablets. This one is perhaps geared more toward children, and features traditional Manx songs and nursery rhymes along with some instruction on how to count in Manx.