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Cornish v. Gaelic Languages

'Deth da, Da yu genef dha weles'... The ancient Celtic language of Cornwall was reportedly last spoken by Dolly Pentreath of Mousehole who died in 1777. There is also however, a tombstone at Zennor churchyard to John Davey (1812-1891), 'the last to possess any traditional considerable knowledge of the Cornish Language'. He sang traditional songs and could converse quite fluently. Why did it die out? While Cornwall remained largely untouched by the outside world the language remained intact....

Some Keywords in the Cornish Language, with their Gaelic equivalents - kindly supplied by Cecil Ward of An t-Eilean Sgitheanach - the Isle of Skye.

Comparing Cornish with Gaelic

English Word

Cornish Translation

Pronounciation

Gaelic Equivalent

Pronounciation

water

dowr

dower

dobhair, dòbhran

 

beach

treath

treth

traigh

 

Sea

Mor

More

muir, mara

 

Church

Eglos

Egg-Loss

eaglais

 

House

Chi

Chee 

taigh

 

Dwelling

Bos

Bose

bothan

 

Field

Parc or Plen

Park or Plen

pàirc

 

Head, Headland

Pen-

Pen-

ceann

 

Religous Settlement

Lan-

Lann

Lann

 

Homestead

Tre-

Tray

(treubh)

 

Boat

Scatho

Scath-O

sgoth

 

Sand Dune

Towan

Tau-an

toman, tonn

 

Cliff

Als

  Alz

àil

 

Rocks

Carreg

Car Egg

carraig

 

A Wood

Cus or Cos

Kawz

coilltean (pl.), coille (sing.)

 

New

Noweth

Now-Eth

nuadh

 

White

Gwynn or Gwidden

Gwinn or Gwidden

fionn

 

Black

Du or Dhu

Dew

dubh

 

Blue

Glas or Glaze

Glayze

Glas

Glahze

Red

Rudh

Ruth

ruadh

 

Yellow

Melyn

Mellin

 

 

Green

Gwyrdh

Gwirth

 

 

Pink

Gwynnrudh

Gwinn-Ruth

 

 

Grey

Loes

Loess

 

 

Grove

Kelly

Kelly

coille

 

Mill

Melyn

Mellin

muileann

 

Pond or Pool

Pol

Pol

Poll

 

The Cornish Language Partnership

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