THE continued growth and resurgence of the Manx language is set to be given a huge boost from an award-winning BBC TV series for children.
A translation of series one of Friends and Heroes, which follows the adventures of two children, Macky and Portia in relation to Bible stories from the Old and New Testament, will soon be available on DVD.
First shown on BBC TV in 2007, the series can currently be bought in 11 languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Hindi/Urdu, Italian, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian and Spanish (South American).
The Manx Gaelic version is set to join this list once it is launched this spring.
Every school in the island will be given a complete series set, subsidised by Ramsey-based production company AFD Software.
Describing the news as ‘Yindyssagh erskyn towse’ (Fantastic above all measure), Adrian Cain, Manx language officer for the Manx Heritage Foundation, said: ‘Each programme will feature a full Manx soundtrack as well as English and Manx sub-titles, making a fantastic teaching and learning resource and helping give Manx Gaelic a much higher profile both on the island and internationally.’
Managing director of production company AFD Group David Dorricott said: ‘The AFD group has thrived since moving to Ramsey in 1997 – and our staff have enjoyed the superb quality of life here.
‘The Celtic roots of this island nation go back many centuries, and they are interwoven with the Celtic Christianity of the Irish and Scottish Celtic saints.
‘When the opportunity arose to make a Manx translation of the Friends and Heroes children’s animation series, which we first produced for the BBC, we were simply delighted.
‘The entertaining adventures of Macky and Portia and their friends will help bring the Bible stories, so important to Celtic culture, into 21st Century life.’
The Manx version of the first series, a total of 13 episodes, will be sold in a series pack at £20 and will be available from www.friendsandheroes.com/uk/manx
As a sample, half of episode one of the animation in Manx can be seen at this link or on YouTube http://youtu.be/f4DoD4VH99A