Manchán Magan and Galway 2020 give new lease of life for forgotten Irish words

Rare, forgotten, and endangered sea words and maritime terms to be preserved as part of Galway 2020 language and media project

Manchán Magan.

Manchán Magan.

MANCHÁN MAGAN is best known as a globe trotting adventurer and travel writer, but with the Covid-19 pandemic keeping us all grounded and close to home, Manchán has embarked on a different kind of journey.

This journey is into Manchán's other great passion - the Irish language, and as part of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, he is presenting Sea Tamagotchi: Foclóir Farraige, 20 short daily videos on exploring forgotten sea words and maritime terms.

Connemara Fishing Boats Sea Martime

The first video went up on Monday, and can be watched back on Sea Tamagotchi will also air on TV as part of the St Patrick’s Festival TV schedule. An illustrated, handmade book, in partnership with Redfoxpress of Achill Island, with some of the most evocative words gathered for this project, is to be published

'The loss of even one of these words wipes out something precious - an insight or hard-won knowledge'

To gather the words for this collection, Manchán met with, and recorded, fishermen, boating enthusiasts, folklorists, and linguists, to seek and collect rare and rarely used maritime terms, and to protect and prevent these words and their knowledge being lost.

Fishing Boat.

“It’s amazing how a single word can give insight into so much," said Manchán, "a mind-set, a way of life, a fishing practice, a weather pattern, navigation system, or some of the psychological aspects of life along the shore. The loss of even one of these words wipes out something precious - an insight or hard-won knowledge. The coastal people who created the words depended for their survival on the natural resources of their surroundings and so each word has an intensity and profundity that is rare now.”


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