Our Favourite Cornish Language Words for You to Try

July 13th, 2020

While today, English is spoken in Cornwall, did you know that the county once had a language of its own?

 

A Celtish language – akin to Welsh and Breton – the Cornish language, known as Kernewek, stopped being used during the 18th century, but has seen something of a resurgence in more recent years, helped by a revival project. While few speak Cornish as their mother tongue, some have found a connection to their heritage through learning this language.

 

Nowadays, the language is taught in some Cornish schools, with some children also being raised bilingual, or with Cornish as their first language.

 

To celebrate the language, and this aspect of Cornish heritage, we have created a guide to some of the Cornish language words you can learn and try!

 

The Basics

Hello – Dydh da

Goodbye – Dyw genes

Please – Mar pleg

Thank you – Meur ras

Sorry – Drog yw genev

Excuse me – Gav dhymm

What’s your name? – Pyth yw dha hanow?

My name is [name] – Ow hanow yw [name]

 
 

Numbers

One – Onan

Two – Dew

Three – Tri

Four – Peswar

Five – Pymp

Six – Hwegh

Seven – Seyth

Eight – Eth

Nine – Naw

Ten – Deg

 

Days

Monday – Dy’ Lun

Tuesday – Dy’ Meurth

Wednesday – Dy’ Mergher

Thursday – Dy’ Yow

Friday – Dy’ Gwener

Saturday – Dy’ Sadorn

Sunday – Dy’ Sul

 

Places to Visit

Beach – Treth

River – Avon

Lake – Lynn

Ocean – Keynvor

Estuary – Heyl

Waterfall – Dowrlamm

Castle – Kastell

Church – Eglos

Moor – Hal

Valley – Nans

Wood/Forest – Koes

Field – Pras

Mine – Bal

Farm – Bargen-tir

 

We hope these basics have given you a great introduction to the Cornish language. If you want to try out these words, what better place to start than within Cornwall itself?! Our Truro holiday cottages are the perfect place for you to practice!