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Fowey town quay just a short distance from our Fowey hotel

It was recently found that only 500 people can say they speak Cornish fluently, which has led Cornwall Council to try and encourage their staff to learn a few words.

Cornish officials are now encouraging their staff to answer the phone using Kernewek words. This means instead of hearing "good morning" when people ring the council in Cornwall, they could be greeted by a voice uttering "Myttin da", in an attempt to bring the language back into circulation.

Kernewek is a language linked to Breton (spoken in Brittany) and Welsh, which died out as a spoken language in the 18th century. It is now found that only 500 people out of a population of over 500,000 have Cornish as their main language.

Cornish was officially recognised as a living language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Language in 2002. Since then, The Department of Culture, Media and Sport give an annual grant of £150,000 for the development of the language, while Cornwall Council gives £30,000 annually to the cause.

Interest in Cornish is higher now than ever, with the number of learners and speakers having considerably increased. Cornish is a unique asset that differentiates the county from all others across the country, and plays an important role in the culture of the region.

If you are interested in learning more about Cornish culture and the language, why not pop down and say "Dydh da" (hello!) to us here at our Fowey hotel?

 

Photo courtesy of Graham Proud, under Creative Commons

Tagged under: Cornwall   News