Learn how to speak Kernewek: 20 Cornish words and phrases to get you started


If you’ve ever wanted to learn a bit Cornish, there is no better time.

Saturday (November 5) marked the 20th anniversary of the Cornish language being officially recognised by the UK Government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The recognition meant that Cornish (Kernewek) joined Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Scots and Ulster Scots as protected and promoted languages under the Charter.

Over the last 20 years there has been a Cornish revival with more and more people learning Kernewek, but there are still many people in the Duchy that have never given it a try.

It’s never too late to learn and if you fancy adding a few Cornish words to your vocabulary, now is a good time to make a start.

Will Coleman, artistic director at Golden Tree Productions, which delivers the Cornwall Council funded Go Cornish for Primary Schools programme, and Pol Hodge, the Grand Bard of Cornwall, have shared 20 Cornish common words and phrases to mark the 20th anniversary since Kernewek was officially recognised by the Government.

So, if you fancy learning how to say ‘hello’, ‘happy birthday’ and ‘how’s it going my beauties?’ in Cornish, make sure you watch the video below.

 

Will Coleman said: “Y fia dyski Kernewek moy es dell dybydh (Learning Cornish might be easier than you think). 

“Nyns eus res dhis bos konnyk, saw heudhadow yw dhe guntel nebes geryow ha lavarennow, yn arbennik mar kwredh henna gans kowetha ha teylu (You don’t have to be an expert but it’s fun to pick up a few words and phrases, especially if you do it with friends or family).”

Currently 26 schools, with over 4,000 pupils, are having fun with the Cornish language through the free Go Cornish for Primary Schools programme, which is delivered by Golden Tree.

Many adults are also learning the language through classes and new technology is making it easier for people to learn online, with more than 2 million searches of the online Cornish dictionary and over 1,500 people using the Memrise app to learn Cornish.

If you would like to learn the Cornish language, you can find out more about the tools, resources and classes available on the Go Cornish website. If you’d like your local Primary School to register for the programme, find out more on the Go Cornish website here.

20 phrases for 20 years of Cornish

Number

(English)

Number

(Cornish)

Word/Phrase

(English)

Word/Phrase

(Cornish)

One

Onan

Good morning

Myttin da

Two

Dew

Good afternoon

Dohajydh da

Three

Tri

Good evening

Gorthugher da

Four

Peswar

Hello/good day

Dydh da

Five

Pymp

Happy Christmas

Nadelik lowen

Six

Hwegh

Thank you

Meur ras

Seven

Seyth

Happy new year

Bledhen nowydh da

Eight

Eth

Please

Mar pleg

Nine

Naw

More cake

Moy tesen

Ten

Deg

I will

My a wra

Eleven

Unnek

How’s it going

Fatla genes?

Twelve

Dewdhek

How’re you doing my beauties

Fatla genowgh hwi ow thekteryow?

Thirteen

Tredhek

Alright

Da lowr

Fourteen

Peswardhek

Splendid

Splann

Fifteen

Pymthek

Very good

Pur dha

Sixteen

Hwetek

Bad

Drog

Seventeen

Seytek

Evil/awful

Euthyk

Eighteen

Etek

I would like to

My a vynnsa

Nineteen

Nownsek

Goodbye

Dew genes

Twenty

Ugens

Happy birthday

Penn-bloodh lowen

 

Press release issued on November 10, 2022

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