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Isle of Man no smoking signs mistaken for Polish

13th October 2010 | No Smoking Signs

Posted by Jason Nicholls.

No smoking signs in an Isle of Man shopping centre have been promoting the beauty of the Manx language for years – but unfortunately it turns out some shoppers believed them to be written in Polish.

According to, a survey on no smoking signs in the Strand Shopping Centre in Douglas – the capital of the island – revealed that some Manxians were not entirely au fait with the intricacies of their mother tongue, mistaking it for the language of a country over 1,000 miles away.

"Just to see if our loyal shoppers knew what language the signs were in I took the opportunity to canvas a few and ask them what they thought and a number of them thought the signs were in Polish," John Shakespeare, the centre's manager, told the news provider.

The use of Manx language is part of a wider cultural project to highlight the importance of the language in a wide variety of different contexts. Mr Shakespeare explained that while it may be normal to see Manx on things like road signs, such signage in other places may not be as expected.

Adrian Cain, Manx language officer at the Manx Heritage Foundation, told the news provider: "It's great to see this excellent usage of signage, as a couple of recent developments have been a little disappointing on that front."

The signs say: "Jaaghey Meelowit", which, obviously, means no smoking.

"So please - jaaghey meelowit in the Strand Shopping Centre," Mr Shakespeare added.


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