Anyone else doing the Cornish course?


#1

Hello everyone,

I’m just wondering if any other Say Something in Cornish learners are active on these forums!

I’ve already completed (and enjoyed) the existing 10 lessons of SSiC but am re-doing them after a few months’ break (and glad to find I’m remembering it very well so far). I did have contact with a support officer from the Cornish Language Partnership (MAGA) last month, who mentioned that another 10 SSiC lessons are in the pipeline, but no word yet as to when they’ll be available - so I’m waiting and hoping.

In the meantime, I’d just be glad to make contact with others who are doing the course - is there anyone else here who’d like to “leverel neppyth yn Kernewek” together? :smile:

All the best,

Courtenay


#2

Hello!
I’m just planning to do it: I’m very interested in the language. I would start right away, but I’m a bit worried that it might get interfere with the Welsh that I’m already learning. In fact, I was going to ask Aran his opinion on it: can languages that are so close grammatically and lexically be learnt at the same time? I remember when I was at school I studied Latin, Italian, French and English at the same time, and they didn’t mix up in my head, but that was more than 10 years ago now.
But if Aran says yes, I will be very much eager to try to start the course - and maybe we could have a chat together after some time? I’m also trying to convince my cariad, who’s from Cornwall, to learn Kernewek together with me, so there will be more people to talk to)


#3

This is something we’re hoping to do a lot more with in the next two or three months, so you’re not going to be lonely for too long! I’m not sure if MAGA have any social stuff on their site (might be worth checking) but the more people who post in here saying that they want to be getting help with Cornish, the easier it will be for us to persuade Cornish speakers to come and lend a hand :sunny:


#4

Oh, @aran, you’re here, great! Do you think I could start the Cornish course and do it together with the Welsh one? I’ve had a look at Cornish and some words are quite similar to the Welsh ones, so I’m afraid I’ll start mixing them up…


#5

Aye, I too wished to do it, although thus far I’ve done naught but half of one of the lessons. I have learnt some useful things from that which is taught on the Cornish Language Board website, however, and have been considering beginning fully soon.

As @stella has said, I’ve also worried somewhat about learning two Brythonic languages at the same time, yet it is my hope that any muddle that does arise - pronunciation in words very alike being one I foresee - can be overcome and set aside with a little consolidated thought! Indeed, so too do I hope it might allow one to more clearly comprehend the working of both languages in the end.


#6

I’ve thought about it for a while, and I recalled that I was brought up as a bilingual child - I studied Russian and Belarusian at the same time, and went to a Belarusian class ( though I spoke only Russian at home). These languages are as close grammatically and lexically as two languages can be, but I’ve never experienced any trouble with them, and could switch easily from one language to the other, not mixing them up. Maybe this was because I was young, but I experienced the same thing with Latin and Italian later - they didn’t interfere with each other at all. So I’m very inclined to start now. What would you say, @Elswyth and @Courtenay , could we maybe help each other practise Cornish - I mean maybe have a separate thread here to write only in Cornish or even meet in Skype to practice the spoken language, once we all have started learning it?


#7

Aye, I would surely be grateful to have such excellent folk to practise with. I should think I’ll be much slower and more blundering a learner than yourself for one, @stella, as you have much more experience than I (and in many more languages at that).


#8

Oh, I’ll be very glad to have a person to talk too, and one who seems to be interested in the same things as I am:) ( I’ve read your reply in the "Why are you learning Welsh? topic) I’d be very grateful to practise Cornish (and Welsh, if you wish) together.


#9

Hi @stella and @Elswyth - lovely to meet you!

Stella, it does sound like you’re already used to learning languages that are very close to each other! :smiley: My maternal grandmother was Belarusian, but I’ve never learned either that language or Russian. I can imagine they must be very similar, though, as are many of the Slavic languages. My mum grew up speaking Polish (her father was Polish), and she says when she hears someone speaking Russian, she can understand a lot of it.

I’m not doing the Welsh course, so can’t vouch for how close it really is to Cornish and whether or not I would get them confused, but I could imagine learning two closely related languages would make things easier in some ways.

I would love to be able to practise with you two and anyone else who’d like to join in! Yes, please do let’s keep in touch here. Skype sounds like a great idea too, once we all get started. (I’ve already completed the existing 10 Cornish lessons, but am re-doing them at present.)


#10

@aran too, thanks for your extra info. I’m glad to know that there’s definitely more to come for the Cornish course and that there are others here doing it as well.


#11

I have been dabbling with the Cornish language for a while, but I’ve only completed the 1st lesson on SSiCornish. I may just give then a proper go once i get a proper internet connection at home (which should be a week away now!).


#12

Oh, so you’re partly a fellow Belarusian! It’s so wonderful to meet you here :sunny: Yes, Slavic languages are very similar, especially those that belong to the same branch, as Belarusian and Russian, for example. But even Polish or Czech and Russian people, though the languages belong to different branches, can still understand each other quite well, I think. I tried watching films in Czech without translation and could figure out a lot.
So it’s decided, I will start Cornish straight away:) I’m very happy about it, I have a particular passion for rare languages and I think that it’s so wonderful that Cornish is not extinct (at is is sometimes called). I suggest we keep this topic to write to each other in Cornish, what do you think? Just chat about anything. And of course to discuss some problems we might be having thoughout the course. I wonder if there’s a fluent Cornish speaker somewhere on this forum, just to help us in case there are some difficulties?
@faithless78 It will be wonderful if you join in too!


#13

@stella I’ve wanted for years to learn a rare/endangered language too and help to keep it from becoming extinct. I knew my dad’s ancestors were Cornish, but had heard years ago that the Cornish language was extinct. Then after I moved to Britain a few years ago (I’m Australian) and visited Cornwall, I was so excited to discover that not only has the language been fully revived, but there are more and more resources available for learning it!

I’d love to be able write to others yn Kernewek, but after only 10 SSiC lessons, I’m still not at the point where I could hold an extended conversation!! :wink: But I’ve found it very helpful to combine what I’ve learned from this course with some of the other useful Cornish websites you can find online. These are my favourites:

http://www.learncornishnow.com/ (you probably all know this one already)

http://www.cornishdictionary.org.uk/ Very, very useful when you start to read Cornish!

http://www.cornish-language.org/ This is Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek, the Cornish Language Fellowship. They publish a monthly magazine entirely in Cornish and sell lots of Cornish books - translated stories and novels for adults and children, as well as textbooks and so on. They also provide a transcript (with English translation) of BBC Radio Cornwall’s weekly news bulletin in Cornish (you can listen to it on iPlayer at any time). Worth looking into!

Look forward to hearing more from all of you - I’m so glad I’m not alone here after all! :sunny:


#14

Indeed, 'tis smashing that we seem to have a fair few common interests between us; I’m no kind of knowledgeable in them yet, however! A dw i’n hapis ymarfer Cymraeg, if ever you wish. Ere now I’ve only been able to practise with myself (and my somewhat bewildered ci ifanc).


#15

I too shall linger about to speak to ye folk (a welcome to @faithless78, might I add) once we’ve all found our bearings with the language.


#16

@Courtenay, thank you so much for the links, they will be very useful. I hope I’ll start the course tomorrow:) i’m especially delighted with the fact there are many books available in Cornish - reading is my life and I of course want to read in the languages that I’m learning… Of course, it’ll take time to become as fluent in Cornish as is required for reading fiction, but I’m happy that there is a possibility and that books are written and translated into it. By the way, have you read Dapne du Maurier’s novels? They’re in English, but they’re mostly set in Cornwall, and they’re marvellously beautiful. Reading about the places where the languages that I’m learning are spoken helps me stay inspired.

You’ll be ahead of us all anyway:) And the thing is, I’ve only done 8 lessons from the Welsh course, but I’ve found that I can already compose some simple texts about myself or about my interests. I keep a diary in Cymraeg and write something every evening, and I also write small posts on Clecs. So the method really works splendidly and I’m sure we’ll be able to have small chats here!

@Elswyth

I can’t help but instantly like someone who loves “The Mabinogi” and wants to learn the Middle Welsh!

I have only been able to practise with my giant snails Cordelia and Ophelia.They look very sympathetic and move their horns in response, but, alas, they can’t answer. So, I could create a separate thread on forum for us (and for someone who might care to join us in practising written Welsh, maybe) or we could just write messages?


#17

Ah, I quite thoroughly agree. It would be splendid to hear which parts of Y Pedair Cainc Mabinogi you thought most enchanting, if ever you’ve time to talk about it.

I send kind wishes to both of the snails. My hound Merlin can likewise do naught but groan and whine in answer, alas.

I am willing to do whichever of those things you would prefer. From what you say we seem to be about the same place in Course I, as well, therefore hopefully shan’t have great hardship understanding one another.


#18

I thank you on behalf of Cordelia and Ophelia, and we send kind wishes to Merlin. I’m reading a wonderful boon about the person he was named after right now: “The school in Carmarthen”.

I took the liberty to create a thread for us in the Welsh part of the forum, I very much hope that nobody would mind and that some people might care to join us. Ymarfer Cymraeg For people who are not fortunate enough to live in Cymru (as me) it might be the possibility to practise! And I am very much grateful for the possibility to speak about the Welsh culture, as I’m in love with it. I will write there as soon as I get home to my beloved geiriadur.
I’ve started the Cornish course today. I didn’t mix the words with Welsh words, as I was afraid I would, but it proved to be quite a challenge! I’d been learning Cymraeg myself before I did the first lesson, so the first lessons were not hard at all - the were a pleasure. With the Cornish it’s altogether a different thing - I seem to forget the owrds instantly, and they’re so hard to pronounce! I felt like Gwidion, the main character in the book I’m reading right now, when he was struggling with the history of Ireland: “All these Aeds, Conns and Donns seemed alien and obscure to him, and their names were unpronouceable - most unlike the dear and familiar Llawnrodded Cainfarfaug, Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr and Llewddin Eithoedd”. Sometimes I couldn’t even understand if I was hearing c or g. Which leads me to the question - is there something like a written guide to the lessons for Cornish, with all the expressions that appear in the lessons? (like the guide to the Welsh lessons) I promise I won’t write down anything during the lessons, I just want to check if I’m hearing the correct sounds.


#19

I’m not planning to do the Welsh course myself (it’s enough to get my head around Cornish at the moment!), but @Elswyth and @stella I wish both of you lots of further enjoyment and success with it! There are surviving medieval Cornish texts I’m sure we can one day enjoy too.

The unusual thing I’ve found about the SSiCornish course (at least the existing 10 lessons) is that it teaches you a lot of very useful basic sentence structures - I want/I don’t want, I can/I can’t, I need/I don’t need, I like/I don’t like, etc. - and how to fit different words into them to make lots of new sentences. But it doesn’t go into the other things you’d expect to find in a beginner’s course: hello, goodbye, please, thank you, how are you, talking about oneself and asking about others (family, work, hobbies, etc.). There’s not much in it, on the whole, that you could string together into a normal everyday conversation with a real person.

In other words, I find it’s a great start and an interesting and fun challenge - well worth doing - but it seems to need lots of other learning resources to supplement it if you want to learn Cornish properly, at least at this stage of the course’s development.

MAGA also has a sort of audio phrasebook online here - http://www.learncornishnow.com/first-steps.html - that’s very helpful for words and sentences you would use day to day in real situations.


#20

Just saw your post now, Stella. The link I gave in my previous reply to the Learn Cornish Now site shows the written words as well as giving the pronunciations - it doesn’t have all the same words as in the SSiC lessons, but it gives you an idea of many of them.

The drawback is that there are at least four existing spelling systems for Cornish, and different writers and organisations use different ones, so sometimes you can run across more than one way of spelling the same words!! But they’re usually pretty easy to figure out. The Standard Written Form (which MAGA uses) and Kernewek Kemmyn/Common Cornish (which Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek uses) are the most commonly used and are very similar - and both are phonetic spelling systems, which makes life a whole lot easier! :smile: