The Last Native Speaker of Manx

The last true native speaker of Manx thanked the geography of the Irish Sea’s banks for teaching him the now dead language’s ways with the fishermen bored on their boats. He notes that there, it had to be known how to speak unless you were blind deaf and dumb. In the summer, when the four-horned sheep come down from the hills the shepherds would spill half a jug of wine on the ground for the goddess. The loss is tremendous: a language is more than mere speech, more than the mechanized tonguing of teeth, more than a way of just pointing things out – our language was the only way how I was sure that you knew what I meant.

I have had nobody with which to practice. My language, our language, is packed in an attic – sun bleached and dusty and eaten by mice. The last native speaker of Manx was right when he said “Everyone’s embarrassed by something.”


~ by perfectionatrix on March 7, 2012.

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