Anyone else doing the Cornish course?


Splann :star2:


Thanks, @faithless78 - sounds great! There’s an online Cornish dictionary here - - which is a great help with the spelling, although it doesn’t include absolutely everything.


This is great! Another little project to do after the summer. Should keep me out of trouble for a while… :wink:


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Diolch yn fawr iawn! :blush:
I have been learning Welsh for around 10 years now, and I’m now living in the perfect place to put it to use too which helps wonders. But it is fair to say that I wouldn’t be actively speaking as fluently (not to say that I am fluent, but I can hold a conversation now) as I do if it wasn’t for spending the last 2 1/2 years studying through SaySomethinginWelsh, and I will never be able to thank @aran and @Iestyn enough for enabling me to do this. Which is why I am happy to do the course guides and offer support to SSi where I can.


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Wow, 10 years - that’s a real inspiration for me:) I’m very happy in general to have found the SSI course and all the wonderful people here, it’s very important for me to keep my motivation steady. I don’t have a real need to use Cymraeg, it’s just my own desire, so the risks of become discouraged would be very high if I didn’t have all the examples of you, experienced learners, before my eyes:)


I always had a desire to use my Cymraeg, but I also have a desire to study further into Celtic languages. I am very keen to learn Irish Gaelic, since distant relatives on my mums side of the family hail from Kilkishen in County Clare, and possibly another area near to the Northern Irish border. Whether or not they were speakers of Irish Gaelic is unclear.

With Welsh, my Dad is from Swansea, but cannot speak Welsh. My nan also lives in Swansea but is originally from Essex in England and also doesn’t speak Welsh, so I’m the only one in the family who can!

I have found learning Cornish through Memrise fascinating so far, but I haven’t done so through SSi yet as I’ve been concentrating on improving my Welsh without confusion. I am looking forward to getting started with it though.


What and where is the Memrise course in Cornish, @faithless78 , if you don’t mind me asking? I looked up Memrise online when I saw your earlier mention of it, but I couldn’t find anything to do with Cornish, even using their search function. I’d be very grateful to know more about other online Cornish courses, as SSi has only 10 Cornish lessons so far.

I don’t have a personal connection with any of the other Celtic languages, but my interest in Cornish is because my dad’s ancestors were from Cornwall (Camborne area). No-one’s yet traced them further back than the ones who left Cornwall for the gold rush in Australia in the 1850s, but I think it’s fairly safe to assume that if we go back far enough, their forebears must have been Cornish speakers at some stage! Plus, I absolutely love Cornwall itself and feel a special connection with it, now I live in the UK - all the more because I’m learning to speak the language and helping to ensure its survival in the future. :sunny:


On the website, it’s under 'All Categories - Languages/European/Cornish. If you’re using the Memrise app it may be far more difficult to find, but if you pin it as one of your main courses it will appear.

On the website, the list of courses is at


I’ve always been interested in Irish, too, since I’ve always been keen on studying mythology, and it was the first Celtic language I tried to study. But it is dreadfully difficult! And I somehow just didn’t feel a connection with it that I seem to have with Cymraeg. The love for a language, it seems, is very subjective and can’t be forced:) But I’m still interested in it, as in all the culture of the British isles. And it’s present state is alarming… I’ve read that in spite of it being the official language in Éire, only about from 65000 to 300000 people use it on a regular basis.

Thank you so very much for the link!


That’s at least 64400 more people than those who use Cornish on a regular basis… Still, all the more reason for having a Say Something in Irish course as well! :sunny:

Thanks so much! :smile: I see someone has even put up the first part of the Skeul an Yeth course, which is the very same textbook I’m starting on at the moment. This should be very helpful!


Well, hopefully we’ll soon add to the number of speakers of Cornish:) Are you planning to learn Irish as well? Sorry for the dreadful offtopic, but I wanted to share this sad short film about the fate of the language. Hopefully it helped to make people more interested in learning it!

As for memory tool, I tried memrise today (An introduction to Cornish) and it’s great. I also like and use all the time. It’s very convenient, because you can create lists of words that you want to learn yourself, and there are lots of games and activities to help you remember them. I use this site for my Cymraeg.


Like you Stella I am interested in Celtic languages in general and also taught Irish history to senior students in Tasmania.You are probably aware the Irish language revival was an article of faith for all of the key leaders of the Irish nationalist movement (e.g. Patrick Pearse, Eamonn De Valera) but has been a conspicuous failure. I read a book written by a linguistic geographer, Reg Hindley, in the 1990’s called "the Death Of the Irish Language’, which suggested that we could be in the last generation of native speakers in the Gaeltachts. I visited the West Coast of Ireland in 2012 and encountered the language in Connemara, West kerry and the Dingle Peninsula but I noticed in Dingle that Irish speakers alternated between Irish and English all the time, probably a sign of linguistic decline.The Cornish language revival was just getting underway when I emigrated from there to Tasmania with my family but my attitude to learning it is ambivalent because it is not and never will be the vernacular. I know long term Cornish people who feel no particular connection to it. I feel that it is something to be valued as part of Cornish heritage and probably as a club language and it’s great that there are people interested in learning it. What I like about Welsh is the opportunity to interact with people who use Welsh as a first language and to use it on visits to Wales in shops and in the street as well.


I suspected that things were not going well at all with the Irish language, I’m afraid, and I know that despite the language is taught at schools it’s not much used in everyday speech, except in Gaeltachts, and it’s very sad that you confirm that the language is in decline. I have also heard that there’s a lot of controversy regarding An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, which is, if I remember correctly, taught at schools, while literature and the spoken language remain dialectal? So if someone is to learn “authentic” Irish he must choose one of the dialects?
Thank you for mentioning the name of the book, I’m very interested in the whole question. I hope, though, that the new generation of native people, who will have learned the language at school, will maybe take pride in speaking it and so give it a chance to live on.

I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to speak Welsh in Wales, but it seems to be the strongest and the most “alive” of all Celtic languages.


I guess, when English is so widely spoken and is most people’s first language even in Ireland (and Cornwall of course, and parts of Wales), it’s easier for people to think “Why bother learning another language that hardly anyone uses anyway, when we can all get along perfectly well in English?” But when a language dies, a huge part of that culture dies with it.

I’ll be in Cornwall for a week in October, and one thing I’m planning to do is join in with a Yeth an Werin, an informal Cornish conversation group. There are several of them around Cornwall and the one I hope to visit is one that meets every week, so I assume there must be enough enthusiastic and committed speakers there to keep it going. Apart from practising my Kernewek, once we get to know each other, I’m thinking I’d like to ask them (probably in English!): What do you say if people ask you, “Why would you bother learning a language that hardly anyone speaks and that is never likely to become widespread? Why not just stick to speaking English with a Cornish accent?” I’m guessing many devoted Kernewek speakers probably get asked those questions a lot, and I’d be very interested to hear some of their thoughts on the subject.


Yes, I’ve always seen it as a loss of cultural identity. It is inevitable, of course, in our modern world that is so fast and so demanding, that people try to learn the language that is more useful for business communication and daily life, and that they find it unnecessary and superfluous to learn something as complicated as Irish, with its intricate tense system and terrifying orthography. But it’s wrong, I think, to believe that a language is no more than a means of communication, because it is so much more than this - it everything, even the personality of the speaker and his way of thinking and viewing the word.

Could you please maybe share their answers with us later, if it’s not too much trouble? I myself would be very interested to learn why people (who obviously have a life outside the classroom and probably don’t have much time) decided to learn such a rare language which is not even spoken by the majority of people in Cornwall.


I will do that! :smiley: I already, some time ago, had negative responses myself when I mentioned my interest in Cornish on another discussion forum. Two members there - one of whom is northern English but has lived in Cornwall for years, the other of whom lives in Salisbury but is Cornish by ancestry - both replied with something like “Why bother learning a language that nobody speaks?” and “Most Cornish people don’t have the slightest interest in the Cornish language.”

For my part, I would love to see wider and wider interest in Kernewek - it could easily be introduced as a second language in primary schools in Cornwall for even the youngest classes upwards. It uses the same alphabet as English and has phonetic spelling (unlike English!!), and is an essential part of Cornwall’s cultural heritage. Plus, it’s widely accepted that children who learn a second language from a young age tend to develop better language skills and general thinking skills in all areas. What’s not to love about that? :smile: And of course, if children are introduced to Cornish from an early age and in fun ways - the same goes for Irish and other endangered local languages - more of them will be likely to maintain an interest in the language as they get older, and perhaps continue promoting it.

Even though Cornish is never likely to be anyone’s first language or even their main day-to-day one - except maybe for a handful of the most obsessively committed enthusiasts! - I’m convinced it still has scope to expand and grow in use and influence, and I hope we here can be a part of that somehow too.


I hope this person is wron . In fact, my cariad, when we spoke about Cornwall, mentioned that people are very patriotic about their heritage (which includes the language).

Actually, I’ve found that Cornish spelling system seems to be the simplest for me among the spelling systems of the Celtic languages (well, I’m not so familiar with Manx and Scottish Gaelic), but I’m studying Welsh, and I’m a bit familiar with Irish and Breton, and the Cornish spelling system is my favourite so far :sunny:
How are you getting on with the Kesva textbook, Courtenay? I haven’t yet found enough time to start using it properly.


Well, that statement was from someone who has lived in Cornwall for over 20 years but isn’t Cornish by ancestry, so perhaps she was only going by her own biases - if she doesn’t happen to know anyone who’s interested in the Cornish language, that obviously means nobody is interested in it. :unamused: I wasn’t very impressed with her statement either, and tried to point out that there are plenty of groups promoting the Cornish language, but because she hadn’t seen any of it herself, she didn’t believe it. (This wasn’t somebody I know personally, just a fellow member of another discussion forum I participate in.)

It’s not bad! Although it’s not the most exciting of textbooks, as I said before, it seems to provide a very good basis for learning the fundamentals of Kernewek. It starts in a very different place from SSiCornish - instead of “I want to”, “I can”, “I need”, “I like”, etc., this one starts with greetings and then goes on to “existence” - “Is there [something]?”, “There is [something]”, and so on. So it’s good for expanding one’s knowledge of Kernewek from what we’ve already learned. I will certainly persevere with it.