Year 8s Learn Cornish!

On Wednesday 24th June, 11 Year 8s went to St Austell Library for a workshop on speaking the Cornish Language.

The workshop, run by Mike Tressider and Pol Hodge from the Cornish Language Partnership, gave the students the opportunity to consider the origins of English and Cornish, before trying their hand at pronouncing some Cornish sentences, including Dydh da, fatla genes? (Hello, how are you?) and Kernow a’gas Dynnergh (Welcome to Cornwall). They also discussed how 75% of place names in Cornwall are compound words describing the places they are named after.

They looked at the timeline of language, considering what language inhabitants of Cornwall spoke from ‘year zero’ (biblical times) to modern day. Mike said the students were the first group to correctly answer all questions posed to them about the history of language in the correct order – including details of the invasions of the Romans and the Vikings.

Miss Trerise – who discovered her surname tells us her ancestors were part of the Cornish Revolution – said: “I was so impressed by all of their answers and their input into to the workshop and would like to say a huge thanks to the History department who are obviously inspiring the next generation of Historians! They were chatting all the way back about it and practicing their Cornish together.”

The Cornish Language Partnership is an initiative designed to teach young people about minority languages, asking the question of why so few people still speak the language. There are only around 300 fully fluent speakers of Cornish.