Discover Cornwall and Kernowek

My name is David McDonald, one of the General Managers within Coast and Country Hotels. I moved to St Mawes in November 2011 after spending the majority of my life in Devon, upon moving I was keen to discover Cornwall and the history of this beautiful part of the world.

My grandfather had been a farmer in Cornwall for over 40 years, and it felt right to discover Cornwall for myself and learn more. One of these things which interested me most is the Cornish language.

“Kernowek” – The language of Cornwall

Cornish Fishing Village

Cornish Fishing Village


What is it?

Kernowek is the name for the language which has historically been spoken by those in Cornwall.  The language is still important to many within Cornwall and is indeed spoken by many, it is seen as vital to the heritage and culture to some within Cornwall.

Where is it from?

Descending from a Brythonic Celtic language it is still recognised as a minority language, protected by the European Charter.  Kernowek was spoken for centuries within Cornwall until the English language became dominant, however in a minority it continued through the centuries to be used, and some still use it today!

Can you teach me some?

  • Dydh da! – Hello!
  • Duw genes! – Goodbye!
  • Mar pleg – Please
  • Meur ras – Thank you
  • Sowyn – Cheers

And finally most importantly

  • Pinta hweg yw hemma – Lovely pint this

Where can I learn more?

There is lots of information online and even some college courses which can be taken to learn the language.  Some links I found interesting are:

Discover Cornwall

St Mawes Castle

St Mawes Castle can be seen from the National Maritime Museum

Cornwall has a huge amount of attractions and locations to visit, a few of my favourite’s are St Michael’s Mount in Marazion now owned by The National Trust, originally the site of a Benedictine Chapel, the spectacular castle on the rock dates from the 14th Century. National Maritime Museum, you can explore many galleries laid out over five floors. The museum is not all about boats you can climb the 100ft “Look Out Tower” and see Falmouth’s famous harbour from the skies. No trip to Cornwall would be complete without a visit to The Eden Project, here you can wonder around the two distinct biosphere’s, the Humid Tropical Biome featuring a jungle environment and the Warm Temperate Biome, featuring plant species from the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. Whilst outside there is a series of landscaped gardens where you can enjoy a diverse collection of plants from the Wild Cornwall section to the terraced tea slopes.

If your looking for a Break in Cornwall, we can offer you two hotels, they are, Bay Beresford Hotel in Newquay or Bay St Ives Hotel in St Ives.

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About the Author:

Love any type of water-sport, especially sailing. Normally out each weekend in Torbay even in the winter months! Another passion of mine is anything to do with computers and technology.

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