Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Give it a rest . . .

Pop quiz. Can anyone tell me what the below blurb says? What it’s trying to communicate? Even what gawddamn language it’s in?

RAAUE: S’preevaadjagh yn çhaghteraght post-l shoh chammah’s coadanyn erbee currit marish as ta shoh coadit ec y leigh. Cha nhegin diu coipal ny cur eh da peiagh erbee elley ny ymmydey yn chooid t’ayn er aght erbee dyn kied leayr veih’n choyrtagh. Mannagh nee shiu yn enmyssagh kiarit jeh’n phost-l shoh, doll-shiu magh eh, my sailliu, as cur-shiu fys da’n choyrtagh cha leah as oddys shiu.
Cha nel kied currit da failleydagh ny jantagh erbee conaant y yannoo rish peiagh ny possan erbee lesh post-l er son Rheynn ny Boayrd Slattyssagh erbee jeh Reiltys Ellan Vannin dyn co-niartaghey scruit leayr veih Reireyder y Rheynn ny Boayrd Slattyssagh t’eh bentyn rish.

You could be forgiven for thinking it’s nerdy speak (Klingon, or an Elvish interpretation of a Monty Python sketch). But no. It’s Manx. A new initiative by the government has this warning tagged onto the end of all emails. Obviously to show how really up our arses us Manxies can crawl. The translation is as follows:

WARNING: This email message and any files transmitted with it are confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. You must not copy or deliver it to any other person or use the contents in any unauthorised manner without the express permission of the sender. If you are not the intended addressee of this e-mail, please delete it and notify the sender as soon as possible.
No employee or agent is authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of any of the Departments or Statutory Boards of the Isle of Man Government with any party by e-mail without express written confirmation by a Manager of the relevant Department or Statutory Board.

I’m all for yer basic, honest to goodness, bit of pride in your country. Serve in the Army. Support a Rugby colour. Drink Blighty’s best bitter. But do not, under any circumstances, start to drag up ancient and forgotten trivia and parade it as pride.

The Manx language is a dead language. Ok – there has been resurgence over the past decade. Manx snippets on the radio and a bit in the Primary schools where Good Morning and Good Bye is parroted away with much joy. But don’t try to pretend that it has any value in todays Manx society other than to reinforce nationalistic feelings. Jumper wearing beardies may rant down the Rovers Return that it should be brought back and has a place in modern Manx society. It shouldn’t. And it doesn’t.

At least Welsh, a truly phlegmatic and obscure language, is still widely spoken in Wales (this has only been possible through the wide spread hatred of the English and their language, ‘English’) and does serve a purpose. World War Two and Welsh radio communications confounded the Germans and was considered ‘the unbreakable code’. So yay. Not even Nicholas Cage could fuck up a movie based on that premise! And it does make for amusing UK movies (see Evil Aliens for a good slasher flick with good use of Welsh). But Manx? As a modern language?

Give it a rest.

1 comment:

car01 said...

See, Welsh is only fairly widely spoken in Wales these days because of the Welsh language act which means that all signs and dealings with the public have to be bilingual as well as teaching it as a second language at school.

I'm all for preserving culture and whatnot, but as far as I can see (a British person living in Wales for 15 years), there's no flippin' culture to preserve anyway.