Thursday, October 19, 2017
You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
Interceltique - celebrating celtic languages 9 May 2008

Celebrating the Celtic languages of Kernow, Mannin, Alba, Breizh, Eire, Asturies, Cymru and Galicia.

For the first time in its history, the Isle of Man Post Office will be attending the Interceltique Festival in Lorient, Brittany, held every August and is a huge celebration of all things Celtic. In addition Manx dancers, musicians and Manx fare will be representing the Isle of Man and an estimated 750,000 visitors are expected.

Over 2000 years ago Celtic languages were spoken very widely across Europe, from the Bay of Biscay and across into Asia Minor. The rise of the Roman Empire led to the extinction or near extinction of most of these languages, but two types of Celtic language did survive in the British Isles and Ireland. These types are called p-Celtic and q-Celtic. From p-Celtic came Welsh, Breton and Cornish, and from q-Celtic came Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx, making up the six present day Celtic languages. This ‘p and q’ business came about because if you change the letter ‘p’ in a lot of p-Celtic words to ‘c’ (sounds like ‘q’) you get the corresponding q-Celtic word. An example of this is that the word for ‘son’ in Welsh is ‘map’ or ‘mab’, while in Gaelic it’s ‘mac’. p-Celtic languages are sometimes called ‘Brythonic’ or ‘British’ languages, while the q-Celtic ones can be lumped together as ‘Gaelic’, which is simply an Irish word for ‘Irish’ – modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx developed as separate but closely related languages from Old Irish. Modern Breton descended from the Celtic language spoken by the Britons who crossed the English Channel to escape from the Anglo-Saxon expansion in southern Britain after the Romans left.

Over the last few hundred years it’s become common to use the collective name ‘Celts’ for the Welsh, Bretons, Cornish, Irish, Scottish Gaels and Manx. Recently, some scholars have objected to this usage, saying there’s no clear evidence of an ethnic connection between the modern ‘Celts’ and the ancient ‘Celts’ of continental Europe. But little objection can be raised to using the label ‘Celts’ if we stick to languages and do not worry about ethnicity. In any case, in recent decades there’s been a huge increase in enthusiasm for everything ‘Celtic’ – just about everyone seems to want to be a Celt!

All the six surviving Celtic languages have suffered from prejudice and discrimination, which in some cases has been in the form of determined attempts to wipe them out completely. But all six survived in varying degrees of health and are now benefiting from campaigns to repair and restore them.

Among the Celtic languages today Welsh is by far the strongest, with large numbers of speakers and learners, and significant numbers of TV and radio programmes in the language. There are signs of increasing interest in the respective languages among young people in all the Celtic countries. This goes hand in hand with ambitious plans to increase the numbers of schools where children are taught through these languages. Possibly the biggest relative progress has been made recently in the Isle of Man where there are now numbers of young children who are fluent Manx speakers, something which has not been known for well over a hundred years.

Interceltique also includes the Europa theme for 2008 – which is letter writing. The 31p value and the 50p value feature the Europa logo.

More stories >>>  

Related News Articles
Post Office shortlisted for prestigious gaming award 19 April 2013
Isle of Man Post Office has been shortlisted for ‘Acquisition and Retention Partner of the Year’ at the eGaming Review (eGR) B2B Awards 2013. [More]
New stamps celebrate our nationality 2 April 2013
New stamps being issued tomorrow (April 3) feature the most recognised symbol on the Isle of Man – the Three Legs of Man. [More]
Easter operations at Isle of Man Post Office 27 March 2013
Isle of Man Post Office would like to advise its customers of changes to operation and opening times over Easter this weekend. [More]
Appeal for photos & memorabilia of Robin Gibb's Isle of Man childhood 27 March 2013
Do you have photographs, memorabilia or memories of Robin Gibb CBE living in the Island during his early childhood? If so, Isle of Man Post Office would like to hear from you. [More]
Appeal for photos & memorabilia of Robin Gibb during his Isle of Man childhood 27 March 2013
Do you have photographs, memorabilia or memories of Robin Gibb CBE living in the Island during his early childhood? If so, Isle of Man Post Office would like to hear from you. [More]

Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World