Manx, the Celtic native language of the Isle of Man is experiencing a revival. Much like Welsh in Wales, when visiting the Isle of Man you will notice Manx road signs, radio shows and mobile phone apps. This wasn’t always the case though.

“If you spoke Manx in a pub on the island in the 1960s, it was considered provocative and you were likely to find yourself in a brawl,” recalls Brian Stowell, a 76-year-old islander who has penned a Manx-language novel, The Vampire Murders, and presents a radio show on Manx Radio promoting the language every Sunday.

Amazingly in the 1860s there were people on the Isle of Man who couldn’t speak any English. Immigration to England for work purposes spread English across the island. Gradually the Manx language fell out of favor and people who still spoke Manx were seen as backwards and were even sometimes physically assaulted. Things became so dire for the language that ‘Unesco pronounced the language extinct in the 1990s.’

The current revival is down to lottery and government funding which have made a remarkable impact upon the languages status in the last 20 years.

Now there is even a Manx language primary school in which all subjects are taught in the language, with more than 60 bilingual pupils attending. Manx is taught in a less comprehensive way in other schools across the island.

via: BBC News