Cornish Language Weekend

Hi everyone,

Is there anyone else here who would be interested in attending the Cornish Language Weekend (Pennseythen Gernewek) 2016? Details of it have just been announced by the organisers, Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek (the Cornish Language Fellowship). It will be held from Friday 8 - Sunday 10 April 2016 at the Sandy Lodge Hotel, Newquay.

There is a bit of general information here on the Kowethas’ website, but the specific details for the 2016 Pennseythen were sent out by post with the November edition of An Gannas, the monthly Cornish language magazine. For anyone who’d like to attend, it would be worthwhile contacting the Kowethas via their website to ask for a copy of the information and application forms.

Here’s a short excerpt from the information form:

Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek will be hosting another Cornish Language weekend for all those interested in the Cornish language. The language weekend offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in which complete beginners through to advanced speakers can enjoy a range of classes, activities and talks to suit ALL levels. Entertainment and an excursion are also planned.

I haven’t been to this event before but am planning to go, so it would be great to meet any other SSi forumites there! :star2:


Here’s the “Brief Programme (subject to minor changes)” for the weekend from the application form, just to give an idea of what’s being planned so far:

Friday: ‘Dydh Stoffya’ cramming session, 1000-1600 — thorough revision for everyone, including those taking Cornish Language Board exams in 2016. ‘Dydh Tregedna’ 1000-1600 [this is a Cornish-only “immersion” session for advanced speakers!]

Friday Evening: check in to accommodation; 1900 Dinner; meet up in the bar for music, poetry and getting to know each other.

Saturday: 0800 Breakfast; 0900 to 1230 Kernewek lessons; 1245 Lunch. After lunch an optional excursion led in Kernewek with English translation; 1900 Dinner, followed by entertainment in the bar.

Sunday: 0800 Breakfast; 0900 to 1230 Kernewek lessons; 1245 Lunch, followed by a final get-together, summary of the weekend, and goodbye until next time!

The hotel where it’s being held is offering special prices for accommodation and meals for those attending the weekend, so that will make it easier for those who need to travel from outside the local area.

It sounds like a great opportunity to meet and get to know lots more people who love Kernewek — I’m really looking forward to it, as I don’t have any other Cornish speakers near me and haven’t been able to take any classes as yet, apart from SSi.

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Just a reminder about this event in case there are any new SSiCornish learners here who might like to attend — I gather the closing date for applications is the end of February.

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I’m going :grinning:


Splannadoudel! :star2: (to quote a Cornish children’s book I’ve read… it’s apparently the Kernewek equivalent of “Cool!” :wink:) Glad to know someone else from here will be there.

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I’m going to be really interested to hear how it goes for you, Courtenay… :sunny:


Though if you missed the date but still want to make it, don’t despair!

Tony Hak grumbles about it every year but some people do send in their applications right up until the event itself… or even afterwards….

Accommodation and meals in the hotel may not be guaranteed if you book too late, but I don’t think the event organisers will turn anyone away from participating in the Weekend itself.

Cornish speakers are a nice bunch and don’t bite!


Oh, that’s a relief to know. :wink: Are you planning to be there too, Philip?

I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it this year but I did attend three times (I think) in the past.

Perhaps I shall be able to make it next year.

The problems of being a polyglot rather than focussing on one language: not enough holiday time and budget to attend all meetings every year, so I have to cycle around a bit :slight_smile:


That’s why I’m focussing on Cornish — I absolutely love languages too, but one new one at a time is enough for me! :smile: I chose Cornish because I’ve wished for years that I could help to save an endangered language, and when I realised that Cornish had been revived and it’s a language that some of my ancestors (way way back) would have spoken… :smiley:


And? Did you make it, @Courtenay? How was it?

Hi everyone,

I’m so sorry I’ve neglected this forum and haven’t come back to answer @philipnewton’s question!

The Pennseythun Gernewek (Cornish Language Weekend) was WONDERFUL! There were probably more than 100 people in attendance, of all ages, too, which was a delight to see — families with small children, young adults, working people, retirees, the whole spectrum. Several different nationalities involved, too, including a few Breton and German visitors! Kernewek attracts a much wider range of people than I’d expected, which is very heartening.

There were classes during the weekend for all the different levels (along with a playgroup for the little kids) — complete beginners, first grade (my level), lower (second grade), middle (third grade), advanced (fourth grade), and fluent speakers , so everyone fitted in. Plenty of time to socialise, too. The hotel was a bit run down but they offered a decent price for the weekend, and the food was very good.

As well as the classes, we had a walk on the Saturday to visit a historic set of cottages that are now a museum, and entertainment during both evenings. On Friday we had a concert with songs from a Cornish language choir (Keur heb Hanow) and a singer/songwriter duo (Tir ha Taves). Saturday evening we learned some traditional Cornish dances with a live band and caller, followed by a sing-along session for everyone led by Revd Jane Kneebone, singing folksongs in Kernewek. Jane also held a short Sunday morning prayer service in Kernewek for anyone who wanted to attend.

One very interesting session we had was a talk from Stephen Gadd, co-author of this new book about Robert Victor Walling, one of the early Cornish language revivalists who hand-wrote his own magazine entirely in Cornish while in hospital during WWI. (All talks/speeches during the Pennseythun were given in Cornish with English translation, so we novices could hear the language spoken while not missing out on any of the information! :smile:) There was a very active bookstall throughout the weekend with a big range of Cornish language publications, textbooks and other items.

We finished the weekend with a rousing rendition of Bro Goth Agan Tasow (“Old Land of Our Fathers”, the unofficial Cornish national anthem) and of course a shout of “Kernow Bys Vykken!” (“Cornwall Forever!”) :smiley:

For anyone who’s interested in attending next year (it’s held in early April each year as far as I know), I would highly, highly recommend it. It was full of fun and friendliness and I met lots of new people — when you study a language that isn’t commonly known, it’s a real buzz to be with and get to know others who share the same interest. There’s a real sense of community among Kernewek speakers, probably because there aren’t that many of us, so it’s good to stick together. :wink:


Sounds like a really wonderful occasion :star: :star2:

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I asked about the next event and it’s the weekend of 7th April 2017. I hope to go. I speak several other languages but I am really interested in minority languages. Gaelic died out in my family so I have been learning it and I should finish my Scottish Higher in February then I was planning to have a break from studies and do some Cornish in April.


That’s excellent — hope to see you there, as I’m planning to go next year as well! :smile:

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Next years details are online,it’s a great weekend and I recommend it for all levels including those with no knowledge at all!


It’s a great weekend indeed! :grinning: I’ll be going next year as well.

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I’m going to be there too - I felt too new to the language to go last year, but I’m going to gather my courage and go in 2017. Also want to get to some of the Cornish Quest events in Penzance in February.


All levels are catered for, from complete beginners to fluent speakers :grinning:


I’ve just got back from a week in “Kerra Kernow”, including the Cornish Language Weekend in Newquay — the second time I’ve attended, and just as much worth it as the first time. Especially for someone like me who can’t currently attend classes in person and doesn’t often get the chance to speak directly with other Kernewegoryon, it was just a real buzz to be surrounded by others who are learning and helping to revive this wonderful indigenous language. As always, there were activities for young kids, for absolute beginners and for all other levels up to fluent speakers. (At one stage the fluent group had a session on writing songs in Cornish — my own class was next door and several of us couldn’t help cracking up as we heard the unmistakable strains of “Yesterday” in Kernewek… :grin:)

I was in the 2nd grade group this year (I’m not currently studying for exams, but am wanting to see if I can be prepared for one by this time next year) and it was great to learn new words and new ways of putting them together, as well as to revise and practise things I’ve already learned. Plus there are so many nice people there and it’s just heaps of fun to try out as much Kernewek as you can (even if it’s only simple sentences or with some English words interspersed if needed) and to realise you can understand when someone answers! :grinning:

There was also an evening of singing in Kernewek and another evening of traditional Cornish dancing with a live band and professional instructors, and an informative history walk through Newquay in absolutely beautiful weather. And if anyone is thinking of going next year but isn’t quite convinced, I must just put in a word for the food at the Sandy Lodge Hotel — it was DELICIOUS. :yum: I almost wish the weekend could have lasted longer, but I’m so glad to have been part of it again!