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Everything You Need To Learn Cornish

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Everything You Need To Learn Cornish

Cornish (Kernowek) is a Celtic language of the Brythonic branch, and is linguistically similar to Breton, Welsh and, to a lesser extent, Irish. It has a recorded history of several hundred years, but it had been extinct for decades until its revival in the 20th century.

(We talk extensively about the Cornish language and history here.)

Today it’s spoken by a small community of people in Cornwall and has very few native speakers. It boasts around 600 fluent speakers and an enthusiastic and growing learner community.

Since the language’s revival, there’s been a concerted effort to get new learners on board with the language. This means that beginners to Cornish will find more than enough learning materials available to them.

Check out our small list below, and get started on learning this interesting language.

Cornish Language Learning Books

Like every language, at some point you’ll need to crack open a book or two in order to learn the essentials of Cornish. For you to achieve a good level of fluency, you’ll need to learn Cornish grammar, idioms, and vocabulary.

Some important books to consider are Cornish phrasebooks, which are great for beginning learners as they teach you how the local people speak, and they get you speaking Cornish right out the gate.

Having a good English-Cornish dictionary at your disposal is also a must for any learner of Cornish, as it allows you to lookup the meaning of new words that you encounter.

Cornish Fiction

As you progress, you’ll likely want to start reading Cornish stories and novels in order to get a more advanced command of the language. This is where you’ll get exposed to new vocabulary and grammar structures, which will help you become a better Cornish speaker.

Though this list of Cornish books is small, reading just one of them from start to finish will be a great challenge and can have a great pay off.