Archive for the Category: Cornish

Bangor Polyglots

Last night the Bangor Polyglot conversation group met for the first time. I’ve been wanting to set up a group like this for a while as a way to practice my languages and to meet other polyglots. Last month it finally started to come together: first I found a suitable place and time for it […]

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Cars, carts and chariots

Last week I was told that the English word car originally comes from the Irish word carr (donkey cart). Apparently when cars came to Ireland Irish speakers thought it was better to come up with a new word for them than to name them after the humble donkey cart, so the term gluaisteán (‘moving thing’) […]

Also posted in Breton, English, Etymology, French, Irish, Italian, Language, Latin, Manx, Proto-Indo-European, Spanish, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Gleann Cholm Cille

I returned to Bangor from the Isle of Man yesterday after a very enjoyable week at Yn Chruinnaght. I spoke and sang lots of Manx, and heard all the other Celtic languages, except Breton, being spoken and/or sung. I also spoke a bit of French and German, and even some English. I was even inspired […]

Also posted in English, French, German, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 5 Comments

Yn Chruinnaght

Tomorrow I’m off to the Isle of Man for Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’) – a celebration of Manx and Celtic music and culture featuring performers and participants from the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. I’m really looking forward to it as it’s a great opportunity to see old friends and make […]

Also posted in Breton, English, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Travel, Welsh 3 Comments


In the Celtic languages when you want to say that you have/own/possess something, you say that the thing is at/by/with you, often with the prepositions merging with the pronouns. For example, this is how to say ‘I have a book’ in those languages: – Irish: Tá leabhar agam [lit. “is book at-me] – Scottish Gaelic: […]

Also posted in Breton, Irish, Language, Manx, Russian, Scottish Gaelic 25 Comments

Komz a rez brezhoneg? / Wyt ti’n siarad Llydaweg?

I decided to have a go at learning Breton today and listened to some of Le Breton sans peine. I just listened without looking at the book to see if I could understand anything – one of my friends is convinced that Breton has more similarities with Welsh than with Cornish, but I thought that […]

Also posted in Breton, French, Language, Language learning, Welsh 5 Comments

Panceltic concert

Last night I went to a great concert in St John’s (Balley Keeill Eoin) at which all the modern Celtic languages were sung and/or spoken, as well as English and French. It was wonderful to hear them all, and I even understood odd bits of the Cornish and Breton, the only Celtic languages I haven’t […]

Also posted in Breton, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 2 Comments


Last night I went to a fascinating talk by Cass Meurig about the history of the crwth (a type of medieval bowed lyre) and its place in Welsh music and tradition, which included songs in Welsh. After the talk there was a very enjoyable ‘Come-all-ye’ singing session lead by Clare Kilgallon and members of Cliogaree […]

Also posted in English, Language, Music, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 1 Comment

Yn Chruinnaght

At the moment I’m in the Isle of Man for Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’), the Manx National and Inter-Celtic Festival. Yesterday I heard some Scottish Gaelic and odd bits of Manx at a fantastic concert featuring Capercaille and a bunch of local musicians (David Kilgallon and Some Thoroughly Nice Folk), and expect to hear all […]

Also posted in Breton, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Travel 4 Comments

Jumpers and sea pigs

Llamhidydd, (n/m) [pl. llamhidyddion] – porpoise, dancer, acrobat, jumper Today’s word appears in a book I’m reading at the moment and is a new one to me. I’m not sure about the etymology of the hid part, but llam means jump, and the suffix -ydd indicates a person or agent. As well as jump, llam […]

Also posted in Breton, English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 21 Comments
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