Anyone else doing the Cornish course?


Thank you so much, Courtenay, I was feeling a bit lost, really. I’m a visual type of learner, so I already find it a challenge to study without writing down things (though as a language teacher myself I fully support the idea behind it and I try to follow all the SSI method instructions), but at least Cymraeg I’m more familiar with so I can normally at least figure out which sounds I’m hearing. With Cornish it’s all a bit more difficult at the moment. But, well, I’ve only just started.
I’m sure that when the Cornish course is fully developed here there will appear all the colloquial expressions that we require (in the Welsh course they’re taught only in lesson 6). But right now it probably has to be supplemented by some other courses. I’ve been browsing through the Learn Cornish now website and it seems very helpful. Do you study just using the online materials or do you maybe have some coursebooks (printed) as well? Or maybe you know of some printed dictionare that you could recommend? (I have a thing for real paper dictionaries, they remind me of my school days when I had to carry two 5-kilo dictionaries of Latin and Ancient Greek to school every day)
By the way, which spelling system should we use here when we start chatting? The MAGA one?


I haven’t yet got hold of any printed coursebooks or dictionaries, but I’d like to. There are quite a few available from Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek and a few other organisations. I’m hoping to visit a couple of places where they sell them in Cornwall, when I have a holiday over there in early October, as I’d like to look through the books before I buy any, rather than buying them online without seeing them first. (That will also save paying postage! :wink: ) Once I’ve seen them and chosen some, I’ll be happy to let you know which ones I like.

I can relate to the huge dictionaries - I did Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek at university, and the Hebrew dictionary especially would have been a few kilos too!!

I’m probably slightly more familiar with Kernewek Kemmyn, as I’ve been practising reading the Kowethas’ magazines, and that’s the system they mostly use. But the two systems are so similar that it’s easy to figure one out if you know the other. A few examples I know of: “new” is “nowydh” in KK and “nowyth” in SWF (the MAGA system); “child” is “flogh” in KK, “floh” in SWF. The pronunciation is meant to be the same in both cases, so I don’t think it matters too much which we use, provided we all know what we’re talking about :smile:


Wonderful, I’d be very grateful if you recommend me some printed coursebook. I could ask my cariad to bring it from Cornwall to me ( and maybe at last trick him into learning it with me!)

Oh, it seems to me that not only are we (partly) fellow Slavic people, but that we also did similar courses at university! What did you study? I did history and theory of cultures. Did you find Hebrew hard to learn?

Speaking of Kemmyn, what do you think about the Kesva an Taves Kernewek website? They’ve got a free textbook there which seems to be quite nice, but as a new learner I will wait to know what you think about it.


I’m guessing cariad in Welsh is the same as karer in Cornish? (don’t have one of those myself at present, but who knows - I might even meet a nice Cornishman… :wink: )

I majored in history and religion studies at university. Hebrew - yes, quite hard. Not only because of the alphabet (which is completely unlike the Latin, Greek or Cyrillic alphabets!), but also, because it’s a Semitic language, all the grammar is completely different from any of our European languages.

Ah, I forgot to mention the Kesva. They hold the official exams that students of Cornish can take when they’ve advanced far enough. I do remember seeing some things on their site, but hadn’t looked into it properly. Thanks so much for reminding me!

Here’s the link to the free textbook download, for others here who may be interested too:

I will have a look at it later and see what it’s like. Meur ras arta! (thanks again) :sunny:


Oh, the Cornishmen are at the top now - especially after this year’s BBC series “Poldark”. Well, the actor who plays the main character is Irish in reality, but my cariad/karer assured me they all look like this :wink:

That sounds somehow similar to what I did at university… Did you go to university in Australia? (I apologize for any irrelevant personal questions I ask, but I find that one of the best things about learning a language together is that you can get to know interesting people) Did you do Latin as well?

I will be waiting to hear your opinion, also because there seem to be some people (few, but still) in Russia who are interested in Kernewek so I might pass the reccomendation on.


Hi, I just saw this thread, thanks to Stella’s link in the Welsh forum.
I’m learning Kernewek, too, and I did all lessons that are available. I think it is hard to learn, the grammar is more difficult than the grammar of Cymraeg.
I’m waiting impatiently for new lessons.


Hi Brigitte! Do you speak Welsh as well? Are you a native speaker or did you learn it? We’ve been discussing here whether there are any troubles in learning these two languages (Cymraeg and Kernewek) at the same time, they are quite similar and so I was afraid to start mixing them up…


Hi Stella
I learn Welsh with SSiW, and after five years of learning and having been to five Bootcamps in Tresaith I can say I speak it quite fluently ( only in the scale of SSiW, of course; my vocabulary is very limited and my grammar is horrible, when I speak fast).
Cymraeg and Kernewek are definitely related; many words, like buy, learn, see etc are very similar, also mutations, that follow the same or similar patterns, but I never mixed them up.
I’m also learning Spanish with SSiS and here I sometimes struggle, because the words and patterns that are introduced in Level 1 new are mostly the same in Welsh and in Spanish and when Aran says a sentence in English I can always say it easily in Welsh, even if I do the Spanish lesson.
With Kernewek it’s different. The speaker’s voice and accent is very different from Aran’s and the lesson contents are not the same, so there’s no danger of mixing things up.


Diolch yn fawr! Is there something like a written guide to the Cornish lessons (like the one for the Welsh lessons)? I did the first lessons today and was very frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t understand which sounds I heard exactly…


In terms of learning Welsh and Cornish at the same time, I’d say it mostly depends on your confidence - it will definitely lead to some hiccups, but it will also definitely work out fine in the long run - so if you feel happy dealing with/laughing at the hiccups, then fine - if you think you might be knocked off balance, maybe better to do them one after the other… :sunny:

Content lists - I’m not aware of anything like that for the Cornish lessons at the moment, but if we get somewhere with our plans to do some crowd-funding to take SSi out into all the Celtic languages, we’ll have content lists on the ‘to do’ list :sunny:


Yeah, right. :wink: Whether or not any of these tall, dark, handsome Cornishmen would be interested in a short, blonde Aussie girl is another matter, but never mind…

Yes, I did go to university in Australia - I changed locations a few times, but ended up completing my degree at Deakin University, Melbourne. I didn’t do Latin, though. Where abouts did you do your studies?

I’ve had a look at the Skeul an Yeth free online textbook from the Cornish Language Board (Kesva an Taves Kernewek). It seems pretty comprehensive, but also a bit dry - no pictures, no really fun looking exercises. I think it must have been one of the first major textbooks published (it’s nearly 20 years old). There are probably more exciting ones available now, but this one is free and there’s a lot in it, so that’s good for a start.

It’s pretty long - 137 pages - so I’ve just printed off the first 20 pages to start working with and will do the rest in stages as I go!


I see Aran has replied to this - good to know it may happen some time - but I can give you the basic vocabulary from the first lesson.

my a vynn - I want
my a yll - I can
gul - to do
gweles - to see
My a vynn gul - I want to do
My a vynn y wul - I want to do it
My a yll gweles - I can see
My a yll y weles I can see it
ha (hag before vowel) - and
kewsel Kernewek - to speak Cornish
konvedhes - to understand
dybri - to eat
kavos - to have
neppyth - something
lemmyn - now
diwettha - later
res yw dhymm - I need
da yw genev vy - I like

It’s nearly lunch time, so res yw dhymm dybri neppyth lemmyn! :smile:


@brigitte Nice to meet you! We’re in the same position - I’ve completed all the available Kernewek lessons and am waiting for more as well. Interesting to hear that Welsh grammar is easier!


Once I start doing the Cornish course, I will begin something by way of a course guide. I already know a few words from learning on Memrise, and of course I will check any source I can find to use the correct (or as near to correct) spelling for all the words.

I am currently close to finishing the Southern Course Guide for Level 1 (just awaiting Challenge 25 now), and I compiled the course guide for Southern Course 3 as well, so to write one for Cornish will be a nice challenge! And if the finished guide is approved then I would be more than happy to offer it for publishing.
That is unless, of course, there are alternative plans for these to be produced.


@aran - Thank you very much for your answer! I decided I’m brave enough to try :sunny: And this sentence about “all Celtic languages” was so intriguing! So can we hope for Manx and Brezhoneg, one day? Some time ago I read an article about the Breton being more endangered now and it made me sad…
@faithless78 We all will be so very grateful to you if you write a course guide, I’m sure it will be of immense help! And congratulations on being on such an advanced level in Cymraeg! This is very impressive and an inspiration for me (I’m just starting…)


As the same “Poldark” series teaches us, the fair-haired girls win:)

On a more serious note, thank you so very much for the words for lesson 1, I feel much less frustrated now. The prasebook on the Learn Cornish Now is also a great help, I recommend it to everyone who’s starting together with me.

I went to university first in my hometown, Vitebsk (it’s in the north of Belarus), then I went on to a university in Moscow, where I did history and theory of cultures. It was great, though sadly we didn’t concentrate much on Celtic cultures. So it was a surprise for me when my karer told me about Cornwall having it’s own Celtic language! (yes, I do feel ashamed) But I’m trying to make uo for my ignorance now.

Well, the absence of fun exercises won’t be a problem for us, people who studied ancient languages? We’re tough people :slight_smile: The one problem I have with most of the Celtic language textbooks available now (I went though a lot) is that they mainly give lists of words to learn and not collocations, so when I put to words together to make an expression I never know whether it’s acceptable or not (example in English: I can say bitterly sorry, but not bitterly happy, take a photo but not do a photo). I suggest that maybe if we meet some nice expressions, collocations or phrases, for example, when reading an article in Kernewek, we could share them here with other learners? What do you think?


In the fairly near future, I hope… :sunny:


Oh, that’s absolutely wonderful :sunny:


And Irish and Scottish Gaelic? :sunny:


Oh yes… :sunny: