For the love of Kernow

Spear   Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:31 pm GMT
It's cool for you to have your opinion and to express it, but why in such a pointless way. Why don't you come up with a proper argument? You just told about 80% of the world to fuck off. Why don't you have a think about that. Also why don't you actually do some research and find out what oppression is all about, I would recommend looking at Saxon history over the past thousand years or so. It is estimated that 11% of Cornwall were killed in a few days. I'm sorry for not being so pro English (Noticed how i added sarcasm and structered an argument in an illogical way.....That's for you English Bunny, so you can understand). Just take a look at the atrocities in England, the first concentration camps, or even throwing large sums of money at poor countries that don't know how to use it, who then end up owing twice as much in ten years, leading to famine and millions of deaths. The government don't give much of a shit outside of London. It's always been like this.
Also your grasp on history leaves much to be desired. Cornwall has been a country longer than England and is was anexed by the Saxons. Where does Tasmania come into this, what are you an idiot?
Spear   Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:39 pm GMT
And another point you are not hated for being English is just we want our country back, official recognition of English genocides and don't want to be associated with you by the rest of the world. Now that's embarrassing. You been to Tibet recently? You obviously have no idea what the Chinese have done to this once amazing place. Whores, drugs and violence are increasingly replacing the traditional essence that once existed there. So yes China should fuck off out of a country that is not their's just like the English.
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:18 pm GMT
Ignoring the asinine remarks in the last few postings, I'd just like to say that the teaching of Cornish should be made compulsory in the schools of Cornwall - certainly in the earlier stages of education, say from the primary school stage. As ever, the earlier the age the easier it is to pick up a Language. Later on - there would be a choice of continuing with Cornish lessons or dropping them, and the more interested kids are then the more likely they are to continue to study the Language.

I don't feel too confident about this - for the most part there seems to be almost total disinterest in the Cornish Language - at least that's the impression we got when we were down in Cornwall. Pity, but there you go - there are far too many other distractions and resurrecting a Language that died a death 200 years ago isn't the coolest of activities in a county ringed with fantastic surfing beaches and quaint old pubs lining little coves and harbours.
Adam jones   Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:57 am GMT
Mi wodhsel kewsel kernewek.

Dwi'n siarad mymryn bach o Gernyweg
EnglishBunny   Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:05 pm GMT
I did not tell the rest of the world to fuck off, in brief:

Any Country with an ounce of power will seek to dominate its neighbours, and whilst we recognise what countries are today, it may not have always been this way as countries may have evolved by taking over, been taken over by, or separated from.

Tasmania was included as this was taken by the Aussies and atrocities were committed towards the aborigines, not to mention genocide.

There are many atrocities committed by many others, it is no wonder why the 'West' is hated by many, invading a country on trumped up charges for example and the fall out from this.

America was used as an example of where, the south often is portrayed victimised by the north, and often having a separate identity. Texas is also portrayed as caring about anybody but itself (don't mess with Texas, apparently a Texas saying), although this is not representative of the people.

I am the (='.'=) who says Ni
Spear   Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:15 pm GMT
Cornish is taught in primary schools, well at least i was taught Cornish in year 5 along with Cornish history. I'm fairly sure this was way away from what the national curriculum dictates, but teachers who are patriotic towards Cornwall do go out of their way to ensure we are taught some of our own history and very basic Cornish. However i know no more than 50 words as a result of this. Cornish should be taught as a part of the official curriculum in Cornwall. I believe also that French, German and other languages should be offered. This country is one of te most backward in Europe in terms of language teaching. Let's face it primary school science is a waste of time, and this should be cut back to offer more practible subjects such as languages. I can go on all day arguing for this but i have to go to the pub. Duty calls. But any replies would be appreciated.
Also Damian, i believe there are at least 1000 fully fluent Cornish speakers in Cornwall ( I have been quoted 3000!) Interest in the language has intensified over the past 30 years or so, but as you pointed out there is much more work to be done. General interest is low and i am embarrassed by this. Dude, go to a St. Piran's day march and you ought to see people speaking our language there. Besides that pretty much all of my buddies are too bothered by surfing, and the coolness of learning an old language is limited.
EnglishBunny   Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:21 pm GMT
I am the (='.'=) who says Ni
Welsh   Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:25 pm GMT
I hate all u fckn English, I hope u all die, u are alos so condescending and put all us down, I hate living amongst u and only do it for the wokr. I hope Cornwall murders the lot of you and then you will know what genocide is, I'm glad the bombings happended
spear   Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:09 pm GMT
Hey Welsh dude, i commend your patriotism. I have spent alot of time in Snowdonia climbing and i really like the celtic feel there and the pride you people hold in your heritage. I am anti english myself, having descended from Cornish men killed in genocides. But you have to ask yourself what you really hate. I don't hate english people, that is on a par with racism and probably not the best way to go about things. I hate the ignorance of alot of the english and various elements of the government but you can't hold grudges against an entire people, it is quite unfair. Nonetheless, as i pointed out i have been to Wales, and i can see your point of view. A few too many anti Welsh saxon settlers no doubt influenced your opinion, or tourists openly mocking your language, which enraged me when i was there. But though i can't criticise your opinion as it is quite justified, please don't be racist, that is stepping down to the level of anti Welsh or anti Cornish settlers. For example a dude at my University knows more about my history than i do, he has also shown massive respect for my heritage and believe me he is about as Saxon as you can get. we must learn to respect the English for the good things they have done, whilst criticisng the ignorance of the few.
Welsh   Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:47 pm GMT
I dont care I even kicked in a kid because he was wearing an England shirt and I would do it again, we have to show these people we r serious.

Clets for ever!
guest   Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Adam   Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:41 pm GMT
"Just take a look at the atrocities in England, the first concentration camps"

You're talking a load of nonsense.

The Assyrians were probably the inventors of the concentration camp.

In the Peloponnesian War - 431BC to 404BC, concentration camps were used against the Athenians.
Adam   Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:46 pm GMT
"Also Damian, i believe there are at least 1000 fully fluent Cornish speakers in Cornwall ( I have been quoted 3000!)"

There are 3500 speakers of Cornish, England's Celtic language.

There are people looking after the language. These are:

"Kesva an Taves Kernewek" ("Cornish Language Board" in Cornish);
"Agan Tavas" ("Our Language");

and "Cussel an Tavas Kernuak "The Cornish Language Council".

Kesva an Taves Kernewek (Cornish Language Board in Cornish; in UCR orthography Kesva an Tavas Kernowek) is a representative body promoting the Cornish language. It was founded in 1967 by the Gorseth Kernow and the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies as a language planning and examining authority.

Since its constitution was amended in 1982 it comprises 21 members:

15 elected by Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek
2 from Gorseth Kernow
2 from the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies
1 from Cornwall County Council
1 from the University of Plymouth
In 1987 the Board voted to adopt the Kernewek Kemmyn form of Cornish as its standard.


Agan Tavas (Our Language; in Kernewek Kemmyn orthography Agan Taves) is a society which exists to promote the Cornish language. It was formed in 1987 to promote the use of Cornish as a spoken language. At that time only those observed to be using the language fluently could become members by invitation. In 1990 Agan Tavas was reformed by its members into an open society with the aim of ensuring continued support for the Unified form of revived Cornish first put forward in 1929 by Robert Morton Nance.

Agan Tavas recognises the validity of any form of revived Cornish based on orthography used by Cornish people at any time in the history of the language. It opposes the use of what it sees as invented forms of the language which lack any historical authenticity.

Agan Tavas received a boost in its membership after 1995 when Nicholas Williams of University College Dublin claimed in his book Cornish Today that the form of Cornish known as Common Cornish, devised by Ken George and favoured by the Cornish Language Board, was badly flawed.

At present, Agan Tavas supports the amendments made to Unified Cornish but respects the rights of its members to use either Unified Cornish or Unified Cornish Revised. It maintains a list of classes using historical Cornish, organises events for its members and publishes books in both Unified and Unified Cornish Revised. It produces for its members the four monthly bilingual magazine An Gowsva ('The Talking Shop').

The Cornish Language Council (CLC; Cornish: Cussel an Tavas Kernuak) is an organisation promoting the revival of the Cornish language. The CLC encourages research into the Cornish of all periods but supports the teaching and dissemination of modern (or Late) rather than medieval (or Middle) Cornish. The CLC sees itself as continuing the work of those who attempted to save the language in its last days in the 1700s.

The choice to use Late Cornish reflects the desire, shared by Henry Jenner and others who began the revival of the language in the early 1900s, to pick up the language where it left off. However, in the 1920s this project had been abandoned and the leaders of the Revival decided to base Cornish on the religious literature of the 1300s, 1400s and early 1500s instead. During the 1980s some Cornish speakers revisited the aims of some of the early revivalists, encouraged by an increase[citation needed] of knowledge of the later phase of Cornish as well as by the fact that this is also the only period of Cornish that possesses a record of how it was pronounced (namely the transcriptions of Edward Lhuyd).

The CLC also argues that Late Cornish is most desirable basis for revival as it represents the historic forms of Cornish in the period when Cornwall was beginning to industrialise and a modern Cornwall was being born. Cornish as used by the CLC aims to follow the latest historical spellings and pronunciation, unlike Jenner's spellings which followed his own adaptations.
Adam   Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:57 pm GMT
Remember that at one point Cornish did become extinct, and its revivalists have had to add several components to the language

Cornish may also once have been spoken in Devon and other counties of the West Country. Some people from Devon have even begun to learn a language based on Joseph Biddulph's booklet 'A handbook of Westcountry Brythonic' which attempts to recreate the hypothetical southwestern Brythonic tongue which would have been spoken in the southwestern peninsula of England in around 700AD.....

The proto-Cornish language developed after the Southwest Britons of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall became geographically separated from the West Britons of later Wales after the Battle of Deorham in about 577. The area controlled by the Southwest Britons was progressively reduced by the expansion of Wessex over the next few centuries. Around 930, Cornwall was finally defeated by the Saxon king Athelstan (therefore becoming a part of Wessex, which later merged with the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to form England). However, the Cornish language continued to flourish well through the Middle Ages, reaching a peak of about 39,000 speakers (estimated by Ken George) in the 13th century. The linguist Edward Lhuyd, writing in 1702, theorises[citation needed] that the language of this time was heavily inflected, possessing not just the genitive, ablative and locative cases so common in Early Modern Cornish, but also dative and accusative cases, and even a vocative case, although historical references to this are rare. The earliest written record of the Cornish language is a gloss in a Latin manuscript of De Consolatione Philosophiae by Boethius, which used the words ud rocashaas. The phrase means "it (the mind) hated the gloomy places".

The first successful attempt to revive Cornish was largely the work of Henry Jenner and Robert Morton Nance in the early part of the twentieth century. This system was called Unified Cornish (Kernewek Unyes) and was based mainly on Middle Cornish (the language of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries — a high point for Cornish literature), with a standardised spelling and an extended vocabulary based largely on Breton and Welsh. For many years, this was the modern Cornish language, and many people still use it today.

Shortcomings in Unified Cornish had to do in part with the stiff and archaizing literary style Nance had employed, and in part with a realisation that Nance's phonology lacked some distinctions which must have existed in traditional Cornish. In the 1970s, Tim Saunders raised a number of issues of communicative efficiency, but his initiative had no influence and later developments are entirely independent.

In the early 1980s, Richard Gendall, who had worked with Nance, published a new system based on the works of native writers such as Nicholas Boson and John Boson, William Rowe, Thomas Tonkin and others. This system, called Modern Cornish (Curnoack Nowedga, Kernowek Noweja in UCR) by its proponents, differs from Unified Cornish in using the English-based orthographies of the 17th and 18th centuries, though there are also differences of vocabulary and grammar. It is usually called "Revised Late Cornish" now. Writers of Late Cornish often wrote Cornish using the English orthographic equivalent of the nearest equivalent English sound. For instance, the word for 'good' typically spelt dâ 'good' could also be written daa, and the word for 'month' could be spelt mîz or meez. The need for standard spelling when learning a language has led the Cornish Language Council to adopt the Revived Late Cornish spelling standardised by Gendall and Neil Kennedy. This makes sparing use of accents (as did writers of Modern Cornish at the time).

In 1986 Ken George developed a revised orthography (and phonology) for Revived Cornish, which became known as Kernewek Kemmyn (lit. Common Cornish). It was subsequently adopted by the Cornish Language Board as their preferred system. It retained a Middle Cornish base but made the spelling more systematic by applying phonemic orthographic theory, and for the first time set out clear rules relating spelling to pronunciation. The revised system is claimed to have been taken up enthusiastically by the majority of Cornish speakers and learners, and advocates of this orthography claim that it was especially welcomed by teachers. Nevertheless, many Cornish speakers chose to continue using Unified Cornish. Despite later criticism by Nicholas Williams (see below), Kernewek Kemmyn has retained the support of perhaps 80% of active Cornish speakers, according to the McKinnon Report, 2000, Table 3.2. The accuracy of this report is disputed by those who do not prefer Kernewek Kemmyn orthography.

In 1995 an alternative revision of Unified Cornish known as Unified Cornish Revised or UCR (Kernowek Unys Amendys) was proposed by Nicholas Williams. UCR builds on traditional Unified Cornish, making the spellings regular while keeping as close as possible to the orthographic practices of the medieval scribes. The rationale behind UCR is that only attested Cornish can serve as a guide to its phonology, and that other attempts at regularisation have on the one hand introduced alien elements and on the other hand not known how to interpret the variations in extant material, which it turns to explain on a scientific and reproducible basis. In common with Kernewek Kemmyn, UCR makes full use of Tudor and Late Cornish prose materials unavailable to Nance. Williams published his English-Cornish Dictionary in this orthography in 2000; the second edition was published in 2006. Like the other orthographies, UCR also has its adherents and its detractors. It has not however become the standard for all users of Cornish.

In practice these different written forms do not prevent Cornish-speakers from communicating with each other effectively. Cornish has been successfully revived as a viable language for communication. Nevertheless there is still much scope for improving the standard and accuracy of the spoken language. The language is spoken mainly with the older generations, but is currently being taught at some Cornish primary and secondary schools.


Cornish is a member of the Celtic branch of the Indo-European family of languages, and shares many of the characteristics of the other Insular Celtic languages. These include:

Initial consonant mutation. The first sound of a Cornish word may change according to grammatical context. There are four types of mutation in Cornish (compared to three in Welsh and two in Irish). These are known as soft (b -> v, etc.), hard (b -> p), aspirate (b unchanged, t -> th) and mixed (b -> f).

inflected (or conjugated) prepositions. A preposition combines with a personal pronoun to give a separate word form. For example, gans (with, by) + my (me) -> genef; gans + ef (him) -> ganso.

A zero indefinite article. Cath means "a cat" (there is, however a definite article: an gath means "the cat").

There are, essentially, four 'dialects' of Cornish. They are not dialects in the normal sense (though regional variations exist to some degree), but rather differences in the manner of revival.

It is also possible that a variety of Cornish was spoken in Devon as late as the 14th century: Then President of the Devonshire Association, Sir Henry Duke, said in 1922 that "various writers have made (assertions) of the continuance of British occupancy and of the British tongue in South and West Devon to a time well within the reigns of the Plantagenets.

Risdon, for example, says that the Celtic tongue was spoken throughout the South Hams in Edward the First's time". Evidence also exists in Torquay in the form of an engraving in the wall of a butcher's shop dating from the 15th century that appears to be in a Celtic tongue.
Adam   Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:41 pm GMT

In Cornish there is no word for "a". Hence "a cat" is translated as "cathe" and the word "a" is not translated. notice also that here "eu" means "it is" and the word "it" is not translated. Elsewhere you will find that it simply means "is".

Every Cornish noun must belong to one of two genders, masculine ("guraw") or feminine ("benaw). If we arrange guraw to the left and benaw to the right it will help you remember which gender applies. It is important to know the gender of each word for several reasons. Here is the first:.

The definite article
the = an (A may also be used, specially before a v- ). If an/a is placed before a FEMININE word beginning with any of the letters shown below the first letter of the word must be softened. This is called mutation. Also, Cornish has FOUR levels of mutation, compared to three in Welsh and just two in Irish.

Watch how mutation affects feminine but NOT masculine words


Bord - Table/A table
An bord - The table

Cok - Fishing boat/A fishing boat
An cok - The fishing boat

Ky - Dog/A dog
An ky - The dog

Maw - Boy/A boy
An maw - The boy

Tane - Fire/A fire
An tane - The fire


Benen - Woman/A woman
An or a venen - The woman

Davaz - Ewe/A ewe
An thavaz - The ewe

Gladn - Bank/A bank
An ladn - The bank

Gwethan - Tree/A tree
An or a wethan - the tree

Moaz - Girl/A girl
An voaz - The girl

This, that, description

put the definite article an/a (the) BEFORE a noun and na AFTER it to express "that"...

an dean na - that man
an venen na - that woman

put the definite article an/a (the) before a noun and ma after it to express "this"...

an dean ma - this man
an venen ma - this woman

"What is this man like?" - "Pehane eu an dean ma?"
"He is a young man" - "Dean younk eu ea."


Adjectives are usually placed after the noun they describe (but see list). So "Dean younk" means "a young man." If an adjective begins with any of the letters listed above (in the mutations ection) and it follows a feminine noun, then its first letter must be softened that applied to "an + a feminine noun".

Pesk broaz - A big fish

Feminine (b becomes v, see "benen"/"venen" above)
Colhel vroaz - A big knife

Ky diu - A black dog

Feminine (d becomes th, see "davaz"/"thavaz" above)
Mola thiu - A blackbird

Yeat glaze - A green gate

Feminine (gl become l, see "gladn"/"ladn" above)
Delkian laze - A green leaf

Bara gwidn - White bread

Feminine (gw becomes w)
Powz wedn - A white dress

Confirming, denying, owning

Eu an gathe ma gwidn? - Is this a white cat?
Eah, gwidn eu hy - Yes, SHE is white
Cathe wedn eu - It is a white cat

If the subject were "ky" , "dog", which is masculine, then "hy" , "she", would be replaced by "ea" , "he", and the above phrase would become:

Eu an ky ma gwidn? - Is this dog white?
Eah, gwidn eu ea - Yes, HE is a white dog
Ky gwidn eu - It is a white dog


If two things are in close relationship, including in matters of ownership, simply place them together, subject first. This also translates the English 's -

Chy Jooan - John's house.
Lost an ky - The dog's tail
Pedner a vownder - The lane's end, the end of the lane
Chy pobaz - A bakery (literally bake house)



The pseudo possesive adjective (my, your etc.)

The psuedo possesive adjective can also be expressed in this way by adding pronouns to what is possessed. After introducing by adding an/a (the), although in practice this may be omitted. So:

An vergh - The daughter
ve = me
So: An vergh ve - My daughter (Literally "The daughter me")

An cuthman - The friend
ea = he/it
So:- An cuthman ea - His friend (Literally "The daughter he")

An wheal - The work
hy = her/it
So: An wheal hy - Her work

An zirah - The father
ny = us
So: An zirah ny - Our father

An thaamah - The mother
why = you
So: An thaamah why - Your mother

An mabe - The son
angy = them
So: An mabe angy - Their son


Phrases -

Neb an gare e gy an gwra deveeder - He who loves not his dog will make him a sheep worrier

Eu canstel daa rag gorah goz ongel en zeath - Is a basket any good for putting your cabbage in the pot?