A new organisation has been formed which aims to play an important role in the future of the Manx language.
Pobble, which translates as ‘community’, was launched on Saturday with the remit of fundraising, lobbying, and being pro-active with all things Gaelic.
Its work will complement the work of and is welcomed by Adrian Cain, Manx Language Officer, a full-time role funded by the Manx Heritage Foundation.
‘It has come about from a growing number of keen and committed adult learners of Manx, who feel they want to ensure the language has a high profile, and raise funds,’ explained Adrian.
He said money put into the language helps with the production of new literature, while an organised collective will carry more lobbying clout for hoped-for projects such as the creation – somewhere along the line – of a language/cultural hub in Douglas, or elsewhere.
‘In my job, I do a lot; this is more about other people wanting to help, outside of the work I already do,’ said Adrian. ‘It has come from other people who want to do more themselves.
‘Pobble is an attempt to be pro-active; sometimes we are a bit reactive. It will also bring the language community together, and help demonstrate the economic and social benefits Manx offers.’
In that sense, the upcoming Island of Culture year means 2014 is seen as very important year for Manx.
‘We want to help make the Island of Culture a year of Manx Gaelic,’ explained Adrian.
‘One of the key things of Island of Culture must be legacy, you can’t do things for a year and then that’s it. We’re seeing it almost as a launch pad of promoting the language over the next five years.’
The community behind Pobble has also stressed the importance of showing ambition in where the language is taken, and showing pride in successes.
One such success has been the impressive uptake of Learn Manx mobile application.
‘I would say it’s the best Isle of Man-based app there is; Learn Manx has had more than 4,000 downloads, and really positive reviews,’ said Adrian.
Elsewhere, a translation of The Gruffalo’s Child, the sequel to best-selling children’s book The Gruffalo, will be launched next month, and also imminent is the release of the very first Manx language ‘e-book’, a translation of Peter Pan.
A new mobile app is also about to go live, Roie Mygeayrt (Run Around), a collection of Manx songs and rhymes for young children.
‘It has interactive songs and a dictionary. It’s good fun and a good place to start with the language,’ said Adrian.
‘There’s quite a lot going on!’