Cornish lessons / Dyskansow Kernewek

This is a series of podcasts helping you to learn to speak Cornish. They are produced by Kernowpods – a business that creates podcast content for companies and organisations.

KernowPods is called KernowPods because the business is rooted in Cornwall and takes a very strong role in Cornish culture. KernowPods produces a weekly magazine podcast called Radyo an Gernewegva. It is anywhere between half an hour and an hour long. The programme is the cornerstone of the modern revival in the Cornish language. KernowPods now wants to take another step in leading the way in the revival of Cornish culture by helping Cornwall’s population learn Cornish.

KernowPods is producing a ‘nearly’ daily lesson to get people kick-started into SPEAKING Cornish. You can follow the lessons here on this blog.

Lesson 1: Meur ras, (thanks), Myttin da (Good morning), Dohajydh da (good afternoon), Gorthugher da (good evening), Dydh da (good day), nos dha (good night)

Lesson 2: Na vynnav meur ras (no thanks), Mynnav meur ras (Yes thanks), Mynnav marpleg (yes please), fatla genes (how are you?), yn poynt da meur ras (very well thanks).

Lesson 3: Piw os ta? (who are you), {name} ov vy (I am {name}), pyth yw dha hanow? (what is your name?)

Lesson 4: Pandra vynn’ta dh’y eva? (what do you want to drink?), Pinta korev marpleg (A pint of beer please), Gwedren a win marpleg (A glass of wine please), Gwin gwynn (white wine), Gwin rudh (red wine)

Lesson 5: Martesen (perhaps), Neppyth a’n par na (something like that), Pynag a vo (whatever!), Ny wonn (I don’t know)

Lesson 6 / Dyskans Hwegh: da lowr (OK), da yw henna (good is that), henn yw da (THAT is good), ass yw da (how good!), ass yw drog (how bad!), da yw genev (I like/I’m glad), drog yw genev (I’m not glad/I don’t like)

Lesson 7 / Dyskans seyth: da yw genev korev (I like beer), da yw genev an korev na (I like that beer), drog yw genev neuvya (I don’t like swimming), da yw genev an myttin ma (I like this morning), da yw genev kewsel Kernewek (I like speaking Cornish)

Lesson 8 / Dyskans 8: Ottomma (here is…), ottavy (here I am), ottomma dha gorev (here is your beer), ple’ma an bysva? (where is the toilet?), ple’ma an chi byghan ?(where is the toilet? (little house)), ple’ma ow horev? (where is my beer?), ple’th os’ta trigys? (where do you live? (Lit: where is you lived?))

Lesson 9 – Dyskans naw: Yma dha gorev omma (there is your beer here), Yma dha gorev ena (there is your beer there), ottomma dha gorev (here is your beer), ottena dha gorev (there is your beer), Ple’th esos? (Where are you?), Ottavy omma (here I am here).

Lesson 10 – Dyskans deg: Yth esov vy omma (I am here), Yth esov vy ow kewsel Kernewek (I am speaking Cornish), Yth esov vy ow mires orth an bellwolok (I am watching TV), agas gweles (see you (plural))

Lesson 11 – Dyskans unnek: Ple’th esos ow mos hedhyw? (Where are you going today?), Esos ow mos dhe’n kevywi hedhyw? (are you going to the party today?), Esov! Yth esov vy ow mos dhe’n kevywi hedhyw. (yes, I am going to the party today), My a vynn mos dhe’n kevywi hedhyw (I want to go to the party today), My a wra mos dhe’n kevywi hedhyw. (I do go/I will go to the party today).

Lesson 12 – Dyskans dewdhek: Pandra vynn’ta eva hedhyw? (What do you want to drink today?), My a vynn eva dowr (I want to drink water), My a vynn eva te (I want to drink tea), My a vynn eva koffi (I want to drink coffee), Pandra vynn’ta dybri haneth? (What do you want to eat tonight?), My a vynn dybri kig yar (I want to eat chicken), tesenn (cake), kig mogh (pork), kig bowyn (beef), kig oen (lamb)

Lesson 13 – Dyskans tredhek: bramm an gath (the cat’s fart), kyj dhe ves (F*** off), ke dhe gyjya (F*** off), kons dha vamm (your mother’s c***), amm dhe’m gwenn (kiss my arse), kawgh (shit), diwgell (bollox), kakka manna/ kawgh an managh (monk shit), kawgh an jowl y’th vin (the Devil’s shit in your mouth)

Lesson 14 – Dyskans peswardhek: lowen ov vy (I am happy), trist ov vy (I am sad), skwith ov vy (I am tired), pur skwith ov vy (I am very tired), os ta parys? (are you ready?), parys ov vy), Nag ov, nyns ov vy parys.

Lesson 15 – Dyskans pymthek: Fatell yw an gewer? (How is the weather?), Brav yw hi (it is fine), glyb yw hi (it is wet), howlyek yw hi (it is sunny), kommolek yw hi (it is cloudy), yma hi ow kul glaw (It is raining), yma hager awel ow tos (there is ugly weather coming)

Lesson 16 – dyskans hwetek: gav dhymm (forgive me), ystynn dhymm an hoelan (pass me the salt), ystynn dhymm an puber (pass me the pepper), dannvon dhymm lyther (send me a letter), ro dhymm chons (gimme a chance), syns dha glapp (hold your tongue), taw taves (silence)

Lesson 17 – dyskans seytek: My a wra oberi yn Truru (I (do/shall) work in Truro), my a ober yn Kammbronn (I work in Camborne), Y fydhav vy owth oberi yn Lyskerrys (I will be working in Liskeard), Ty a wra (you do/make), ev a wra (he does/makes), hi a wra (she does/makes), ni a wra (we do/make), hwi a wra (you (plural/impersonal) do/make), i a wra (they do/make). an jy a wra (alternative to the previous ‘they’)

Lesson 18 – dyskans etek: My a vynn synsi kevywi (I want to hold a party), ty a vynn gweles an gwari (you want to see the play), ev a vynn prena boes (he wants to buy food), hi a vynn gwertha an karr-tan (she wants to sell the car), ni a vynn omlowenhe (we want to enjoy ourselves), hwi a vynn bos kowetha (you want to be friends), i a vynn mos dhe-ves (they want to go away)

Lesson 19 – Dyskans nawnsek: Deus omma (come here), ke ena (go there), Mir yn hons (look over there), piw eus ena? (who is there?), omma, ena ha puble (here, there and everywhere), erna viv omma arta (until I am here again).

Lesson 20 – Dyskans ugens: Last two lessons we conjugated “my a wra” and “my a vynn”… you can do the same with “my a yll” (I can…). a vynn’ta goslowes orth ilow? (do you want to listen to music?), mynnav (yes I want to), na vynnav (no I dont want to), a wre’ta dyski Kernewek? (do you learn Cornish?), gwrav (yes I do), na wrav (no I don’t), a yll’ta gweres marpleg? (can you help please?), gallav (yes I can), na allav (no I cannot). NOTE: my a yll (from verb “galloes” to be able), my a vynn (from the verb “mynnes” to want to), my a wra (from the verb “gul” to do).

Lesson 21 – Dyskans onan warn ugens:  A: Piw os ta? (who are you). B: Matthew ov vy (I am Matthew). A: Fatla genes? (How are you?). B: Yn poynt da meur ras… pandra vynn’ta eva hedhyw? (very well… what do you want to drink?).  A: My a vynn eva gwin rudh marpleg (I want to drink red wine please). B: A vynn’ta dybri? (do you want to eat?). A: Na vynnav meur ras (No thanks). B: Da lowr (ok). – So that is a little piece of conversation to get us back into learning Cornish online after more than a week away. How did you get on? Hopefully that was okay yo understand as you have been revisiting the lessons during the break. Now for something new to learn: Res yw dhymm mos (I must go), Res yw dhis dehweles (you must return/come back), Res yw dhodho oberi moy (He must work more), res yw dhedhi konvedhes (she must understand), res yw dhyn bos lowen (we must be happy), res yw dhywgh omlowenhe (you (PL.) must enjoy yourselves), res yw dhedha dyski Kernewek (they must learn Cornish).

Lesson 22 – Dyskans dew warn ugens: Back to some simple stuff today – counting. onan, dew, tri, peswar, pymp (1,2,3,4,5). There are some feminine versions of the numbers too: diw, teyr, peder (2,3,4). Unn den (one man), unn venyn (one woman), dew + den = dew dhen (two men), diw + benyn = diw venyn (two women), tri + person = tri ferson (three people) teyr + kath = teyr hath (three cats) D>DH, B>V, P>B>F, K>G>H.

Lesson 23 – Dyskans tri warn ugens: Yesterday we counted from 1 to 5. Today we are going to continue with numbers. Kynsa, nessa, tressa, peswara, pympes (first, second, third, fourth, fifth). An kynsa den (the first man), chi nessa (next door), an tressa person (the third person). You can also use another word order which leads to mutations: An venyn gynsa (the first woman), An gador nessa (the second chair), An gador dressa (the third chair). Try mutating these in a different way now: ow feswara gwreg (my fourth wife), dha bympes chi (your fifth house). Remember mutations are something that make Celtic languages what they are. The joke is that they are designed to make sure the English don’t understand them!

Lesson 24 – Dyskans peswar warn ugens: govenek a’m beus bos ena (I hope to be there), my a wayt bos ena (I hope to be there), dell waytyav (as I hope), my a garsa bos ena (I would like to be there), a’th eus govenek bos ena? (do you want to be there?), a waytydh bos ena? (do you want to be there?), a garsys bos ena? (would you like to be there?).

Lesson 25 – Dyskans pymp warn ugens: Duw genes (God with you/good bye), dha weles (your seeing/see you/good bye), bennath Duw genowgh (blessing of God with you (plural)), benna Tuw gena (contracted version of the previous), kemmer with (take care), tereba nessa (till next time).

Lesson 26 – Dyskans hwegh warn ugens: Py eur yw hi? (What time is it?), hwegh eur yw hi (it is six o’clock), P’eur fynn’ta dos? (When do you want to come?), My a vynn dos dhe hanterdydh (I want to come at noon), Pana termyn a wren ni mos? (when will we go?), Ni a wra mos dhe hanter wosa deg eur (We will go at half past ten).

Lesson 27 – Dyskans seyth warn ugens: Pes peuns? (How many pounds?/How much?), Pygemmys? (How many?), pygemmys a vynn’ta prena? (how many do you want to buy?), Py sort? (what kind?), Pyth yw henna?/ Pandr’yw henna? (what is that?), My a vynn prena an onan na! (I want to buy that one!), My a vynn prena deg anedha, marpleg (I want to buy ten of them, please).

Lesson 28 – Dyskans eth warn ugens: Eus pluvenn genes? (Have you a pen (with you)?), eus, yma pluvenn genev (yes, I have a pen), nag eus, nyns eus pluvenn genev (no, I don’t), eus karr dhis? (do you have (own) a car (but not necessarily with you)?), eus, yma karr dhymm (yes, I have a car), nag eus, nyns eus karr dhymm (no, I don’t own a car). There is another verbal form for ‘have’ which we will encounter little by little: govenek a’m beus… (I hope that(I have got hope that))

Lesson 29 – Dyskans naw warn ugens: Deus a-ji (come inside), Dewgh a-ji (come inside (pl.)), deun ahanan (let us go), gas vy dhe wari (let me go (lit: leave me to play)), ke dhe-ves (go away), kewgh dhe-ves (go away (pl.)), gav dhymm (excuse me)

Lesson 30 – Dyskans deg warn ugens: my a vynnas mos (I wanted to go), My a wrug mos (I did go), My a wel an den (I see the man), my a welas an venyn (I saw the woman), my a glyw an gan (I hear the song), my a glywas an nowodhow (I heard the news), My a yll dos (I am able to come), my a allas dos (I was able to come).

Lesson 31 – Dyskans unnek warn ugens: More past tense: Esa an howl ow splanna? (was the sun shining?). Esa. Yth esa an howl ow splanna (Yes, There was the sun shining). Nag esa. Nyns esa an howl ow splanna (No. The sun was not shining). Prag nag esen vy gelwys? (Why wasn’t I called/invited?). Eses ena? (Were you there). Esen (I was). Nag esen (I wasn’t). Piw esa ena? (Who was there?) Yth esa pubonan ena (There was everyone there). Ple’th esa Yowann? (Where was Yowann?). Fatell esens i ow tehweles tre arta? (How were they returning home again?).

Lesson 32 – Dyskans dewdhek warn ugens: Even more ast tense: My o lowen (I was happy), Lowen en vy (I was happy), Fatell o an gewer? (How was the weather?), Kommolek o hi (cloudy was she), glyb o hi (wet was she), Toemm o an gewer (warm was the weather), Prag yth es ta mar drist? (why were you so sad?), Pyth o an gorthyb? (what was the answer?), Piw o hi? (who was she?). NOTE: this form of the past can only be used for ‘was’ when it refers to a state of being. You CANNOT use this form of ‘to be’ for PLACE or ACTION. Therefore you cannot use it with ‘ple’ (where) in all but one exception. The exception mirrors the present tense ‘ple’th os’ta trigys’ (where are you lived?) – the past tense of this is: ple’th es ta trigys? (where did you live?).

Lesson 33 – Dyskans trethek warn ugens: ‘o’ is for past tense when it denotes a state of being: My o skwithys (I was tired), my a veu skwithys (I was tired) – this means I was tired out by something happening. I a veu kemmerys dhe-ves (they were taken away). My eth tre (I went home), ty eth dhe-ves (you went away).

Lesson 34 – Dyskans peswardhek warn ugens: Ow + penn = ow fenn (my head), dha + penn = dha benn (your head), y + penn = y benn (his head), hy + penn = hy fenn (her head), agan + penn = agan penn (our head), agas + penn = agas penn (your head), aga + penn = aga fenn (their head). Ow + tas = ow thas (my dad), dha + tas = dha das (your dad), y + tas = y das (his dad), hy + tas = hy thas (her dad), agan + tas = agan tas (your dad), agas + tas = agas tas (your dad), aga + tas = aga thas (their dad). Ow + kador = ow hador (my chair), dha + kador = dha gador (your chair), y + kador = y gador (his chair), hy + kador = hy hador (her chair), agan + kador = agan kador (our chair), agas + kador = agas kador (your chair), aga + kador = aga hador (their chair).

Lesson 35 – Dyskans pymthek warn ugens: Ow + mamm = ow mamm (my mum), dha + mamm = dha vamm (your mum), y + mamm = y vamm (his mum)… hy, agan, agas & aga won’t change a word starting with ‘m’. Ow + boesti = ow boesti (my restaurant), dha + boesti = dha voesti (your restaurant), y + boesti = y voesti (his restaurant)… hy, agan, agas & aga won’t change a word starting with ‘b’. ow + daffar = ow daffar (my equipment), dha + daffar = dha dhaffar (your equipment), y + daffar = y dhaffar (his equipment)… hy, agan, agas & aga won’t change words starting with ‘d’. On the same basis, words starting with ‘gw’ are only mutated by ‘dha’ & ‘y’. Lets take ‘gwirbryntyans’ (copyright) as an example: dha wirbryntyans (your copyright), y wirbryntyans (his copyright). Likewise with words starting with ‘g’ and followed by a vowel. Lets take ‘goen’ (downland) for example: dha woen (your downland), y woen (his downland). This second state mutation can be found sometimes as ‘dha oen’ and ‘y oen’ – think of Boscawenun (Bos skaw an oen) or Ponsanooth (Pons an Oeth).

Lesson 36 – Dyskans hwetek warn ugens: My a grys dha vos lowen (I believe your being happy/I believe you are happy), Ty a wel ow bos krev (you see my being strong/ you see that I’m strong), My a wayt hy bos gwell a-vorow (I hope her being better tomorrow/I hope she is better tomorrow), A dybydh ow bos konyk? (Do you think my being clever?/Do you think I’m clever?)

Lesson 37 – Dyskans seytek warn ugens: Fatla genes an myttin ma? Pandra vynn’ta gul hedhyw? Da yw genev mos dhe Druru ha mires orth gwari dhe Hel Rag Kernow. Da yw genev dybri yn boesti ynwedh. - How much of that did you get? Here is a translation: How are you this morning? What do you want to do today? I like going to Truro and watching a play at the Hall for Cornwall. I like eating in a restaurnat too. – Important phrases to take from this “Pandra vynn’ta gul?” (What do you want to do?), …mires orth… (watch). You will also notice that the word ‘dhe’ (to) causes a mutation in whatever appears after it. Here are some examples: dhe Gammbronn (to Camborne), dhe Bennsans (to Penzance), dhe Vosvenna (to Bodmin), dhe Vylor (to Mylor). Vocab: Pellwolok (television), kerdhes (to walk), gul (to do), dybri (to eat).

Lesson 38 – Dyskans etek warn ugens: Prag y fynn’ta mos? (Why do you want to go?), Prag yma stroell yn pub le? (Why is there rubbish everywhere?), Y fynnav mos awos bos edhomm dhymm a sevel yn a-varr a-vorow. (I want to go because being need to me of rising early tomorrow), Yma stroell yn pub le drefenn na allav kavoes termyn lowr dhe gempenna an stevel (there is rubbish everywhere because I cannot find enough time to tidy the room). GERVA/VOCAB: Prag = why, stroell = rubbish, pub = each/every, le = place, awos bos = because (positive), drefenn na… = because (in negative), termyn lowr = enough time, kempenna = to tidy, stevell = room (feminine).

Lesson 39 – Dyskans nawnsek warn ugens: A allav dha weres? (Can I your helping?/Can I help you?), Gallav. My a yll dha weres (Yes. I can your helping), Na allav. Ny allav dha weres (No. I cannot your helping). A vynnydh ow gweles? / A vynn’ta ow gweles? (Do you want my seeing?/Do you want to see me?), Mynnav. My a vynn dha weles (Yes. I want your seeing), Na vynnav. Ny vynnav dha weles (No. I don’t want your seeing). Piw a yll ow klywes? (Who can my hearing?/Who can hear me?), My a yll dha glywes (I can your hearing), denvyth a yll y glywes (No-one can his hearing). GERVA/VOCAB: Gweres = to help, Gweles = to see, klywes = to hear, piw? = who? denvyth = no-one.

Lesson 40 – dyskans dew ugens: arta marpleg (again please), ny gonvedhav (I don’t understand), da lowr (good enough/OK), martesen (perhaps), ny wonn (I don’t know), neppyth a’n par na (something like that), piw a woer? (who knows?), pypynag a vo (whatever), chons da (good luck), kemmer with (take care).

Lesson 41 – Some useful phrases:  a yll’ta ow gweres? (can you help me?), gav dhymm (forgive me), askus vy (excuse me), lavar dhymm pes peuns yw (tell me how many pounds), a wodhes’ta an eur? (do you know the time?), py eur yw hi? (what time is it?)

Lesson 42 – Dyskans dew ha dew ugens: my a wra dha weles a-vorrow (I will/do see you tomorrow), ty a wra ow gweres hedhyw (you will help me today), a wrav dha vetya haneth? (Will I meet you tonight?), Piw a wra aga selwel? (who will save them?), a wredh ow hara?/a wre’ta ow hara (do you love me?), Gwra ow helghi (chase me).

Lesson 43 – Dyskans tri ha dew ugens: Py eur yw hi? (What time is she?), Unn eur yw hi (One o’clock is she), Diw eur yw hi (two…), teyr eur yw hi (three…), peder eur yw hi (four…), pymp eur yw hi (five…), hwegh eur yw hi (six…), seyth eur yw hi (seven… ), eth eur yw hi (eight…), naw eur yw hi (nine… ), deg eur yw hi (ten… ), unnek eur yw hi (eleven… ), hanterdydh yw hi (noon is she), hanternos yw hi (midnight is she), kwarter wosa deg eur yw hi (a quarter past ten is she), hanter wosa peder eur yw hi (half past four is she), deg mynysenn dhe hanterdydh yw hi (ten minutes to midday is she), diw vynysenn dhe bymp eur yw hi (two minutes to five is she).


Lesson 44 – Dyskans peswar warn ugens: The future can be spoken in a number of ways: My a wra mos dhe’n keskan (I do go to the concert), my a vydh ow mos dhe’n keskan (I will be going to the concert), my a vynn mos dhe’n keskan (I want to go to the concert). The ‘my a vydh…’ option can also be used thus: y fydhav vy ow mos dhe’n keskan. Likewise, the ‘my a vynn…’ = y fynnav vy mos dhe’n keskan, and ‘my a wra…’ becomes = y hwrav vy mos dhe’n keskan.

Lesson 45 – dyskans pymp ha dew ugens

Text to this (and following 2 lessons 46 & 47) HERE.

Lesson 46 – dyskans hwegh ha dew ugens

Lesson 47 – dyskans seyth ha dew ugens

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