Saturday, March 10, 2007


Myttin da! That's good morning in Cornish. And I am interested in how this language is in the process of being revived. Nowadays there are about 300 effective speakers with up to 3000 people able to have simple conversations.
There is no concentrated area of Cornish speakers. They live spread through Cornwall. Since Cornish has been revived and the language is not bound to certain concentrated areas, Modern Cornish does not have distinct dialects. Variety in vocabulary and pronunciation does occur, depending on where and with which teacher students have learned the language. But this variety is minimal.

The Cornish language does not have an official status in the United Kingdom. There are no laws referring to the position of the Cornish language. The UK Government signed the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages in March 2000 and ratified it later that year but excluded Cornish. Moreover, the national government has decided that the Cornish are not a national minority for the purposes of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National minorities. The exclusion from both documents has probably occurred because Cornish is considered an artificial language as defined in the UNESCO Redbook of Endangered Languages. This source considers Cornish to be extinct and calls the Cornish language artificial. The absence of government recognition means that the government has made no provisions for the Cornish language.

The Cornish language (Kernowek, Kernewek, Curnoack, in Cornish) is one of the Brythonic group of Celtic languages. It shares about 80 % basic vocabulary with Breton, 75 % with Irish, and 35 % with Scottish Gaelic.

It is being already taught to kids at schools and road signs are now in English and Cornish. Read a report about current situation, some FAQs about the language, a report about Cornish in education in the UK and find places where you can learn Cornish in Cornwall.
You can take a look at 12 Cornish lessons, read the explanation about Cornish sounds, consult a dictionary (here, another one) or a short lexicon or check Wikipedia in Cornish.

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