Saturday, 14 May 2016

What's The Cornish For 'About Bloody Time!'..?

Cornwall has harsh words for David Cameron in a language that he is no longer willing to support. Westminster has slashed the annual £150,000 budget for the Cornish language, without explanation and with immediate effect.
Well, he won't bother to read 'em, then, will he?
But when it is estimated that fewer than 500 people speak Cornish fluently, and (at time of writing) fewer than 6,000 people have signed a petition asking the government to reconsider, the effects of the cuts aren’t immediately clear.
Au contraire, I'd say they were very clear!
Steve Double, Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, says he can’t see how Cornwall council could have spent £650,000 it has received over the past four years, and that the language is not a priority for his electorate. But campaigners such as Loveday Jenkin, who chairs the Cornish Language Fellowship, argue that great value was extracted from the tiny sum. Core staff at Cornwall council facilitated volunteer groups, who translate road signs and documentation for the council and local businesses. Maga Kernow, the Cornish Language Partnership, offers educational resources and training. Pensans primary school, in Penzance, has been teaching Cornish since 2005, which wouldn’t have been possible without Maga, says the school’s Sarah Crummay.
 Hmm, I think I can see where they've spent it. On jobs for the boys!
But why is it important to keep Cornish alive when so few speak it? Jenkin calls Cornwall a place of low aspirations, and suggests that renewed regional pride, coupled with a local rise in high-value creative and digital jobs, might stop people from leaving the county to find work.
That's the biggest load of bollocks I've read since...well, since the last 'Brexit will cause XXXX' statement from the 'Remain' campaign.
Dr Merv Davey is the grand bard of Gorsedh Kernow, which maintains the region’s Celtic traditions. He is angered by the cuts, but remains optimistic. “We have to carry on fighting for proper recognition and what we’re owed, but I don’t think we should be obsessed with that; we must get on with it ourselves,” he says. “We’re quite resourceful, as Cornish people. We’ve never really kowtowed to central government, and we’re not going to start now.”
No-one expects you to kowtow - we'll simply be satisfied if you just stop holding your hand out for more taxpayer money!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

One way to make your point is to reply to any official letter or document in written Cornish. Verbally respond to any official request in Cornish. Request any official documents be written in Cornish as well as English. Officialdom bends over backwards to have documents written in numerous (foreign) languages so they could be accused of racism if they don't include Cornish. I can't speak or write Cornish but I am all for winding up overpaid officials :-).
Penseivat

Andrew Scarborough said...

When I worked for a digital printing company we occasionally produced small numbers of very thick documents written in Welsh for HMSO/COI. I was assured that none of the copies would be opened, in fact the room which they clutter won't be opened either. Still, having said that the Welsh language went from just a handful of speakers to many. Keeping one's own language alive is important for the local area, self-esteem and confidence really will grow. A small budget from Local Government wouldn't be too much to ask for, and might pay dividends in the long term.

Anonymous said...

You7 want to be a foreigner -then speak foreign.
Otherwise grow up.

Quiet_Man said...

If the Cornish people wish to learn and speak Cornish. They should fund it themselves. Same with the Welsh.

Anonymous said...

Cornish is nothing special it is just the same welsh dialect that was spoken all over what later became England before the English arrived.

The Stigler said...

Andrew Scarborough,

"Keeping one's own language alive is important for the local area, self-esteem and confidence really will grow. A small budget from Local Government wouldn't be too much to ask for, and might pay dividends in the long term."

No, it won't. Historically, human history is all about reducing languages. As people connect more more widely, languages die out. OK, we might have beaten English into the kids and maybe that wasn't a nice thing, but if we hadn't, they'd have just learnt English anyway. That's what happened in France, Italy, Switzerland and all over. No-one's speaking Ligurian or Sardinian in Italy except as a hobby.

Just Trevor said...

Substitute 'insufferable chippiness' for 'self-esteem and confidence' and you get a bit closer to describing the situation in Wales.

Nice Mr Pierrepoint said...

500 speakers is not so much a language as a hobby, but I've no problem with Cornishmen who are proud of their heritage and want to preserve some aspect of it, funding such efforts themselves.

JuliaM said...

" I can't speak or write Cornish but I am all for winding up overpaid officials :-)."

Heh! I wonder if Babelfish can translate into it?

"Keeping one's own language alive is important for the local area, self-esteem and confidence really will grow. "

Can we say, hand on heart, that it's worked for the Welsh..?

"Cornish is nothing special it is just the same welsh dialect that was spoken all over what later became England before the English arrived."

Combine it with the budget for that then!

"...I've no problem with Cornishmen who are proud of their heritage and want to preserve some aspect of it, funding such efforts themselves."

Nope. Me neither.