Let’s learn some Cornish language

The Cornish language is spoken by just a handful of people but there are many Cornish folk who know the odd word or two. Closely related to the Welsh language, this Celtic tongue used to be the main language spoke for centuries, but the last fluent speaker is thought to have died in the 18th century. There have been several revival efforts in recent years, with music, films and books all written in Cornish.

Some local schools do teach Cornish in part, but these days unless you make an effort yourself it’s easy to let the language pass you by. You may be surprised by how many words you are aware of from the names of towns and villages in Cornwall as most of them describe their surroundings.

If you’ve ever fancied learning a new language then here we’re going to give you a few words to build the basics of Cornwall’s dying language, so let’s give it a revival!


Hou – Hello
Ya – Yes
Na – No
Mar Pleg – Please
Meur Ras – Thank You
Fatla genes – How are you?
Da lowr – Ok
Dyw genes – Goodbye
Ow hanow yw… – My name is…


Onan – 1
Dew – 2
Tri – 3
Peswar – 4
Pymp – 5

Week days

dy’Sul – Sunday
dy’Lun – Monday
dy’Meurth – Tuesday
dy’Mergher – Wednesday
dy’Yow – Thursday
dy’Gwener – Friday
dy’Sadorn – Saturday


Porth – Sea, or harbour
Tre – Village
Treth – Beach
Chy – House
Dowr – Water
Pen – Headland, or end of something
Towan – Sand dune
Wheal – Mine
Hayle – Estuary
Kernow – Cornwall
Kernowek – Cornish

Here’s a link to an awesome Cornish dictionary to help with your vocabulary.

And here’s part two of learning the Cornish language…

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By | 2017-10-06T21:12:05+00:00 June 25th, 2016|Arts, Culture and Festivals|2 Comments


  1. […] our first Learning Cornish blog we began by looking at basic greetings, numbers and days of the week. We’ll now go a little […]

  2. […] you been following our Cornish language blog series, if not catch up with our first cornish and second cornish blogs quick! Here we discover some more Cornish words to develop your […]

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