Language of the Day: Cornish

Falmouth marine bandLet’s take a journey…

There is a strong damp wind blowing from the west. It’s the breeze that rises from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean’s Celtic Sea and is salty and cold. This breeze shapes the land which comes to a point in the south where the Celtic Sea meets the English Channel. The high waves of these frigid unfriendly waters splash up on high cliffs which stand straight true leading to the spindly and rocky interior.

It is on the high cliffs overlooking the waves that we find the speakers of Cornish. We are in Cornwall which is the southern peninsula of England. Cornish is a Indo-European language and is sister languages of Welsh and Breton which descend from Common Brittonic.

The language was declared extinct for many years but the classification was removed in recent years as there has been a push to grow the language and revive it. It is unknown how many speakers actually exist but with Religious services held in Cornish, Evening classes, correspondence courses, summer camps, children’s play groups, residential courses and even a full time Cornish language nursery school being set up the language is rapidly growing.

It may be many years before there are a strong number of speakers of Cornish but with the language being spread to the youth the language is in the right place and has all the opportunities it needs to become a stable language.

Thanks for joining us on this journey in language.

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