You would be forgiven for thinking that English is the only indigenous language of the United Kingdom, but in truth, numerous other indigenous languages are spoken on UK soil: specifically, Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Cornish, Scots, and Shelta. These languages have persevered despite repression and the pervasive influence of English, although they remain endangered to this day. Cornish and Manx in particular have a more turbulent story, and today, we focus on Cornish.
Cornish, or Kernewek, as it’s known in the language, has around 550 speakers today, but here’s the kicker: almost all of them are Cornish enthusiasts who have learned Cornish as a second language through diligent private study. Cornish went extinct at the end of the 18th century, but a revival movement was launched in the early 20th century, leading to a growing number of speakers and even a few families raising their children as native Cornish speakers. As an important aspect of Cornish identity, the Cornish language is a point of pride for its speakers and receives significant government funding to support its growth. At TranslationServices.com, we want to help Cornish grow by offering our own professional Cornish translation services.
For a free quote regarding our Cornish translation services, reach out to us today!
Diving into Cornish, a successfully revived language
Cornish’s successful revival from extinction into a passionate community of fluent speakers offers hope for the thousands of endangered languages around the world. The language is native to Cornwall, a small peninsula at the southeasternmost tip of England. A Celtic language, Cornish is descended from the Common Brittonic language once spoken across most of Great Britain. It’s related to but not mutually intelligible with Welsh and is even more closely related to Breton in France, with which it does share mutual intelligibility.
Cornish has somewhat free word order, with subject-verb-object usually the most common but verb-subject-object also normal. A particularly notable feature of Cornish (and other Celtic languages) is its initial consonant mutations, wherein the first consonant in a word undergoes a sound change in specific grammatical situations. This phenomenon only applies to certain initial letters, however. Cornish features four distinct consonant mutations, compared to three in Welsh, two in Irish and Manx, and one in Scottish Gaelic. The language features a definite article (equivalent to English “the”) but no indefinite article (equivalent to English “a” or “an”).
Our team is passionate about translating to and from Cornish.
When you consider the grammatical complexity of Cornish, it’s all the more impressive that 550-odd people have privately studied the language to fluency. Our Cornish translation team is staffed with these passionate enthusiasts who truly pour their heart into their translation work. In some cases, it’s translation from Cornish to English—particularly for historical documents in Cornish or traditional Cornish folk stories, which help showcase the beauty and wonder of Cornwall’s national identity. In other cases, it’s translation from English to Cornish—we can work with you to translate promotional documents demonstrating your organization’s passion for Cornish revival, pedagogical materials that help young Cornish-speaking children receive an education in their ancestral language, and entertainment content (e.g., books, websites, apps, games, poems) that give Cornish’s passionate speaker base more opportunities to use and enjoy (and learn!) their precious language.
If you’re looking for high-quality Cornish translation services, look no further. Just send us a message detailing your Cornish translation needs.