Sunday, 5 July 2015

A week to speak Cornish / Seythun rag kewsel Kernewek

In this coming week’s Cornish Guardian, I will use my column to publicise #SpeakCornish week. The article will be as follows:

Rag an nessa bledhen, MAGA (Keskowethyans an Yeth Kernewek) a ordenas seythun #KowsKernewek. Yma hi ow pesya ynter 4ves ha 13ves a vis Gortheren, hag a wra ri chons bryntin dhe solempnya agan yeth ha gonisogeth diblans.

For those people who cannot read Cornish, the above statement can be translated as follows: For the second year, the Cornish Language Partnership (MAGA) has organised a #SpeakCornish week. It is running from 4th - 13th July, and represents a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our distinctive language and culture.

It is my view that our identity is something vibrant and very special, and we should treasure all aspects of it. Especially important is our language, which is so vital to the very basis of our Cornishness.

I am not a Cornish speaker myself, through I do have a reasonable working knowledge of many aspects of the language. It is certainly my hope that – in the future – I might be able to find time to become more fully conversant in Cornwall’s national language.

I am therefore very pleased whenever I see events being promoted to give people the opportunity to find out more about Cornish or to actually use the language.

And this week, MAGA and a number of cultural organisations have arranged a wonderful array of events, ranging from concerts and music workshops, to film shows and numerous gatherings for people to chat in Cornish, each known as a Yeth an Werin.

So why not get into the spirit of #SpeakCornish week and visit the website to find out more about how you could get involved.

How about learning a few helpful phases in Cornish, such as myttin da (good morning) or dohajydh da (good afternoon), wre'ta dos omma yn fenowgh? (do you come here often?) or pandr'a vynn'ta eva? (what would you like to drink?)

How about finding out more about how the Cornish language which survives in family names such as Angove (the smith), or in the thousands of local place-names and field-names such as Penhale (head or end of the moor) or Trenance (home in the valley).

But most of all, how about just getting involved with the celebration of this most important part of our modern Cornish identity.

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