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Cornish language status

The status of the Cornish language has been strengthened by recognition under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for National Minorities.

In November 2002, after a seven-year campaign by Cornish organisations and local authorities, the United Kingdom government specified Cornish under Part II of the Council of Europe's Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Under the terms of the Charter, the government is committed to 'base its policies, legislation and practice' on a list of nine objectives and principles which, for example, express recognition of Cornish as an expression of cultural wealth and support resolute action to promote the language. The existence of Cornish as an emblem of regional distinctiveness was an important factor in Cornwall being awarded Objective 1 status.

So in the fields of the arts and tourism promotion of the language may be used to give added economic and cultural value.

These could include signage or closer links between tourism and the language to encourage the sense of Cornwall being 'different'.

The Cornish people were acknowledged by the UK Government as a national minority under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 2014. National minority status is based on many things including culture, history, language and sport.

Recognition under the Framework Convention empowers our people to better identify with their own cultural identity and encourage conditions in which young Cornish people can feel respected and valued in social, working and formal settings.  

Cornwall Council has a working group looking at the obligations of the Framework, including for the language.

See the plan of the Cornwall Council Cornish minority working group