Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit (Test Your Progress 4)

Exercise 4a
1. Eus boos rag agan li?
2. Hei a dhabras agas li.
3. Nag ero vy o toas tre rag li.
4. Nei a welas y gei ev.
5. Me a lebmas dadn an dowr en hy foll.
6. Thera cath war üdn scavel, saw thera kei dadn scavel aral.
7. Ma va o tebry dew besk.
8. Nei a gerdhas reb an mor.
9. Üdn den eth dhe berna kei rag y whor[1].
10. Ma eth[2] torthel en fardel war vord.

Exercise 4b

1. A cat is sitting under the table.
2. I am buying one loaf of bread.
3. Are there eight pieces of cake?
4. All your houses are small.
5. Her car is by our house.
6. We are not buying twenty-four buns.
7. You are standing under the old tree.
8. There are not a hundred men there.
9. We are going home by (with) car.
10. Her name will be Tamsin.
11. We went by the sea with five children.

[1]  whor sister
[2]  note that this is not the same eth as in the previous question.

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit (Answers to Test Your Progress 3)

Answers to Exercise 3a

1. Give me a slice of cake.
2. There is a bottle of milk on the table.
3. He is eating a pot of honey.
4. She will be a beautiful woman.
5. I shall be there.
6. Are you in the kitchen?
7. There is an old man with the old woman.
8. He jumped on a low table.
9. There was more food in the packet.
10. There is a packet full of food in the kitchen.

Answers to Exercise 3b

1. Ro dhebm gwedren a win, mar pleg.
2. Ma flogh yonk e’n chei.
3. Hager den ew ev.
4. Den yonk o vy.
5. Ev a welas flogh yonk.
6. Thero whei o perna pot mel heb mel.
7. O whei Kettern po Tamsyn?
8. Na vedh ev lel.
9. Eus gwin moy et an botel gwin?
10. Ma boos en hujes kist.  

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 65 (A Bit About Place)

A Bit About Place

We have already met some questions asking about place.

Pe le ero whei?                    Where are you?
Pe le ero whei o moas?      Where are you going?
Pele[1] ma an desen?         Where is the cake?

All of which might receive the answer:
Obma!                                   Here!
Whether you write pe le as two words or pele[2] as one word it means the same. Pe means what or which and le means place. It can be used with static location and with verbs involving location, e.g.:

Pele ero whei o triga?          Where do you live?
Pele veu che mar bel?[3]     Where have you been so long?
Pele ma e ew genys Mytern an Edhewon?[4]    
                                                Where is he who is born King of the Jews?

Pele can also be used for indirect questions, e.g.:

Worow’whei[5] pele ma hei?                      
                                                Do you know where she is?
Me a wor[6] pele ma hei.       I know where she is.
Na worama pele ma va.        I don’t know where he is/where it is.

By putting the little word a meaning of or from at the beginning (followed by the usual soft mutation) it becomes
abele                                      whence, from where, e.g.:

Abele es’ta devedhys?       }         {Where did you come from?
Abele ero whei devedhys?}         {Where did you originate?

The little word le is found in a number of other set phrases for “places”, e.g.:
et y le                                     in its place, instead
an le na                                  that place (which then contracts to)
ena                                         there, that place
Eus gwin ena?                      Is there any wine there?
Nag eus. Ma dowr et y le.    There isn’t. There’s water instead.
Ma’n gath dhû ena.              The black cat is there.
Hei a gerdhas ena.               She walked there.

By putting a meaning of or from before le and na it becomes alena, e.g.:

alena                                      from that place, thence
Voyd alena!                           Get out of there! Get out from there!

Similarly a of/from plus le place and ma this or obma here can be contracted to alebma:

alebma                                   from this place, hence
Voyd alebma!                        Get out of here! Get out from here!

In a statement, lebma can be used on its own, to mean where, e.g.:
Na wrewgh whei ostya en chei lebma vo den coth demedhys dhe venyn yonk.[7]
Don’t stay in a house where be an old man married to a young woman.

Another little bit of a word (not used on its own) is va. Joined on to the end of a noun or a verb it indicates where things are found or where something happens. Here are just a few examples:

dillas[8]                                   clothes
dilasva                                    a wardrobe (i.e. place for clothes)
ger                                           a word
gerva                                       vocabulary (i.e. place for words)
gweyth                                    work
gweythva                                factory (i.e. place for work)
prei                                          clay
priweythva                              a pottery
keun[9]                                    dogs
keunva                                    kennel
lever                                        a book
leverva                                    library
medhek                                   a doctor
medhegva                               doctor’s surgery
gwary                                       to play
gwariva                                    theatre, stage (i.e. playing place)
gwia                                          to weave
gwiasva                                    website
gwisca                                      to dress
gwiscva                                    changing room

The usual, everyday word for place is teller[10]:
En termyn eus passyes thera trigys en St Levan den ha benyn en teller creiys Chei a Hor’.

In a time that is past (Once upon a time) there (was) lived in St Levan a man and a woman in a place called Ramshouse.

[1] Gendall spells this peleh
[2] Some people even shorten it to ple
[3] From John of Ramshouse
[4] in Matthew II verse 2. Can also be Mitern.  Stressed final syllable. RMC for King is Myghtern
[5] silent [w]; RG writes this as ora whei
[6] silent [w], sounds like English [oar]
[7]  proverb from John of Ramshouse
[8]  stressed first syllable short because of double ll; double ll not needed when stress changes
[9]  pronounced more like [cane] than [coon]
[10] This is the start of Nicholas Boson’s C17 tale. Gendall has telhar. The use of lh is a feature of Late Cornish.

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 64 (A Bit About Easter)

Now that we are coming up to Easter, here is some vocabulary.

A Bit About Easter

  We have already seen some relevant vocabulary in our St Day Carol, e.g.:

 … Jesus a verwis e’n grows                   … Jesus who died on the cross
… Jesus a veu gorrys en vow                … Jesus who was put in a cave
… Jesus a dhasorhas e’n nos                … Jesus who rose again in the night
The important days on the calendar are:

De Gwener an Grows                    
                                    Good Friday (literally Friday of the Cross)
Pask                           Easter
Corawys                    Lent
Ma Pask o toas.       Easter is coming.
Hei a vedn moas dhe’n eglos teg/bedneglos.                       
                                    She will go to the cathedral.
Thero’vy o cara oyow Pask.                               
                                    I love Easter eggs.
Oyow chocolat ens; pur wheg ens.      
                                    They are chocolate eggs; they are very sweet.
Ma oyow Pask en oll an shoppys.                    
                                    There are Easter eggs in all the shops.
Thew an shoppys leun a oyow Pask.              
                                    The shops are full of Easter eggs.
Ev a wra perna oyow rag y flehes.                    
                                    He will buy eggs for his children.
Ma de Gwener an Grows o toas ewedh.          
                                    Good Friday is coming as well.
Torthellow crows tobm ew da genam.             
                                    I like hot cross buns.
Ma Conin Pask o trei oyow rag flehes.
                                    Easter Bunny brings eggs for children.
Leun a lilis Corawys ew an gwelyow en Kernow.

                                    The fields in Cornwall are full of daffodils (Lenten lilies).

Perranporth poem

Now that St Piran's oratory chapel in the dunes of Perranporth has been re-excavated this poem may be a bit out of date! I shall have to think of a new verse or two to add to it when all the work is completed. Be sure to watch Songs of Praise on 22nd March.


Under the sand of a Perranporth dune
Lies an ancient church, a relic, a ruin.
Ma eglos coth dadn an treth,
Dadn an treth en Perranporth.

Magor ew, ancledhys gen tewyn,
Remenat Sent Piran dhort Wordhen.
Built long ago by the Irish saint Cieron,
Who came to our shores and became our St Piran.

The yellow beach is washed by waves.
By those same waves was Piran saved.
Golhys gen todnow ew an treth melin,
An keth todnow a sawyas Piran.

War coracal crohen po men melin,
‘Jei dhegas Piran dh’agan gladn.
A leather coracle or millstone bore
The wave-washed Piran to our shore.

Among the waves, cathedrals fair
Of water arching through the air.
En-mesk an todnow,  eglosyow teg
A waregow dowr war-tü ha’n nev.

Ma marhogyon todnow war aga dowlin,
O pejy dhe voas degys pecar ha Piran.
While on their knees, wave riders pray
Like Piran, to be carried through the spray.

Long years ago the old stones fell.
Never again will we rebuild that chapel.
Nanj ew lies bledhen an menow a godhas.
Nevra namoy na vedh ’jei derevys.

Bes keniver termyn ma codha an dowr
An mor  a’n towl en  vosow a-wortha.
But every time a wave arch falls

The force of the sea throws up new walls.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 63 (A Bit About the Weather)

A Bit About the Weather
There are two (feminine) words for the weather itself. Here are some of the many words for the various types of weather (naturally, a topic important to fishermen and farmers).
awel                                                 weather
kewer (an gewer)                            weather
Fatel ew an awel hedhyw?            How is the weather today?
Fatel o an gewer de?                     How was the weather yesterday?
Hager awel!                                     Bad weather! Ugly weather!
Thera hager awel de.                     It was stormy yesterday.
                                                         (Not a word for word translation)
Yeyn o.                                             It was cold.
Ema o cül glaw.                               It’s raining. (It makes rain.)
Glaw a wra.                                      It rains. It’s raining. It is going to rain.
Gleb ew.                                           It’s wet.
Teg ew hei.                                       It’s beautiful. It’s lovely.
Ma’n howl o spladna.                     The sun is shining.
An howl a wrüg spladna.               The sun shone.
Gwenjek ew hei.                              It’s windy.
Ma gwens crev en mettin ma.      There’s a strong wind this morning.
E vedh niwl e’n nans.                    There will be fog in the valley.
Ma ergh war an menedhyow.       There is snow on the mountains (or hills).
Ergh a wra.                                      It snows. It’s snowing. It will snow.

Lavar coth:                           Old saying:
Cabmdhavas en mettin, glaw boas etin.
                                                A rainbow in the morning, rain may be in it.