The Isle of Man will be represented this month at the annual International Symposium on Minority Languages in Europe.
It will be held this year in the university town of Heidelberg, near Mannheim in south western Germany, from November 22 to 24.
Taking as its theme Minority Languages in Europe and Beyond – Results and Prospects the Symposium will be jointly organised by the Seminar für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen (SÜD – School of Translation and Interpreting) at the University of Heidelberg, the Eurolinguistic Association (ELA), in conjunction with the Universities of Mannheim (ELAMA), Zagreb (Croatia) (ENSE) and Rome/Lille (AES) and held at the School of Translation and Interpreting, University of Heidelberg.
Representing the Isle of Man will be Professor Dr George Broderick, University of Mannheim, who is to deliver a paper entitled Auferstanden aus Ruinen (arisen from the ruins) – Twenty Years’ Government support for Manx Gaelic in the Isle of Man: An Assessment and Prognosis.
Also speaking up for the island will be Mag Phil (magister in philologie) and Christopher Lewin (Douglas), University of Edinburgh, Revived Manx, Classical Manx and English: Competing Standards.
In his paper George Broderick will look at the promotion of Manx in the island by government over the past 20 years.
It will cover from 1992 when the island’s first Manx language officer, Dr Brian Stowell, was appointed to oversee the development of the pioneering promotion and teaching of Manx in island schools, through to the recent setting-up of the all-Manx teaching facility at the Bunscoill Gaelgagh at St John’s.
Christopher Lewin in his paper will look at the the Manx revival today and assess the pull of a number of strands within the revival in various directions and the differing attitudes to the revived language, including different kinds of purism.
It is noted that the greatest influence on Manx speakers in the island today is standard English, which exerts a subconscious influence at all times.
Although the classical Manx remains the most important and richest seam of evidence for native usage, there are of necessity difficulties in accessing and applying the material appropriately.
Though the Symposium will look at the various languages of Europe today, other contributions involving the Celtic languages include papers on Revival, maintenance and standardization of Modern Irish, The situation of Scottish Gaelic today and The present situation of the Celtic languages in a European perspective.