Guernsey learns lessons from the Isle of Man

Darren and Julie

Darren and Julie

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Guernsey is to learn lessons about promoting its language from the Isle of Man.

The last few years have seen a growing international awareness of the Isle of Man’s success in reviving the Manx language.

Deputy Darren Duquemin, member of the States of Guernsey, chairman of the Guernsey Language Commission and member of the States of Guernsey’s Culture and Leisure Department has visited the Isle of Man to find out about the language.

He met students, teachers and businesses who have been at the forefront of the revival in Manx Gaelic.

Deputy Duquemin saw a wide range of Manx language events which included conversational classes at Noa Bakehouse in Douglas, a lunch-time class at Lloyds together with visits to the Mooinjer Veggey nursery in Ballalsalla and the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh in St John’s.

Deputy Duquemin said: ‘The Guernsey Language Commission is in its infancy and my visit was an effort to learn from what is widely accepted in the minority language community as the Manx success story.

‘They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery and I can tell you that we will be copying much of what I saw in action in the Isle of Man to ensure that the Guernsey Language Commission is heading in the right direction from the outset.

‘I am very grateful to Adrian Cain from Culture Vannin for organising a timetable for my visit and to all of those people who I met, from politicians to teachers to adult learners and school children, that are all so clearly passionate about their island’s own language.

‘I saw for myself that Manx is a huge part of your island’s culture and now, it is up to me and my team to use what I have learned on my trip to ensure that Guernesiais is a huge part of our island’s culture too.’

Adrian Cain, the Manx language development 0fficer for Culture Vannin said: ‘The visit demonstrated just how strong the revival has been here whilst it continues to reflect well on the Isle of Man that we are seen as a pioneer by many other small jurisdictions that have similar issues regards minority languages.’

Pictured: Julie Matthews, headteacher at the Bunscoill, with Deputy Darren Duquemin.

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