Manx's Surprising Revival | K. David Harrison

February 21, 2015 12:47 PM

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Half of the world's languages are endangered, and rapidly passing into oblivion. Manx--the ancient Celtic tongue spoken on the Isle of Man--had all but vanished by the 1970s. Defying the odds, it has returned to daily use through the heroic efforts of Manx language warriors. I visited the Isle of Man recently to hear the story of Manx's surprising survival.

Manxmen--as they call themselves--take pride in their resilience. "Whichever way you throw me, I will stand," a Manx motto asserts. Thriving under Viking invasion, British colonization, and island isolation, the Manx have built a thriving, tech-savvy, 21st century culture.

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