Archive for the Category: Breton

Cuckoo bells

I discovered this week that in Welsh bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are known as Clychau’r Gog (“cuckoo bells”), which I really like the sound of. They are also known as Bwtias y Gog (“cuckoo’s boots”), Croeso Haf (“welcome summer”), Cennin y Brain (“crows’ leeks”), Clychau’r Eos (“nightingale’s bells”), Glas y Llwyn (“green blue of the grove”), […]

Also posted in English, French, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments


This month I will focusing mainly on Breton (Brezhoneg). I’ve been learning it, on and off, for a year now and can make some sense of written and spoken Breton, though my speaking and writing lag behind quite a bit. I have been using Le Breton sans Peine, which I’ve nearly finished, though I can’t […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 1 Comment


An interesting word that came up in my Breton lesson today is archerien, which means police. It caught my attention because it has no obvious connection to the word police, and because it is completely different to the equivalent words in other Celtic languages: – Welsh: heddlu (“peace force”) – Cornish: kreslu (“peace host”) – […]

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Korriganed are apparently small creatures that live under standing stones (dolmen/menhirs) in Brittany. They feature in one of the lessons in my Breton course and are explained thus: “Les korrigans doivent être des êtres particulièrement petits, puisque ce mot est formé de korr, “nain”, puis du diminutif -ig puis du’un autre diminutif – obsolète aujourd’hui […]

Also posted in English, French, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments


I learnt a new word in French today: bouder, which means to sulk; to pout; to avoid; to turn one’s nose up at (sth); to refuse to have anything to do with (sb). Related expressions include: – boudant = sulking; pouting – bouder son plaisir = to deny oneself a good thing; to sulk one’s […]

Also posted in English, French, Language, Words and phrases 10 Comments

Goel Peran Lowen!

Today is St Piran’s Day and a special day in Cornwall as Piran is regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall (and of tin miners), along with Saint Michael and Saint Petroc. Piran or Perran was an abbot of possibly Irish origin who lived in Cornwall in the early 6th century and later became a […]

Also posted in Cornish, English, Language, Welsh 6 Comments


When I learnt that the Breton word for television is skinwel, I wondered where it came from. Today I think I’ve found the answer (via TermOfis) – skin means ray, and appears in words such as: – skinek = radiant – skinad = radiation – skinañ = to radiate, shine, beam – skinforn = microwave […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 11 Comments

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 […]

Also posted in Cornish, English, German, Language, Welsh Comments Off on Bangor Polyglots


This week I reached the half-way point in my Breton Assimil course (lesson 50) and have entered the ‘active phase’. So for every new lesson I also go back to an earlier lessons and translate the French versions of the dialogues and exercises into Breton. I also translate them into Welsh, just for fun. So […]

Also posted in French, Language, Language learning, Welsh 2 Comments


Happy New Year to you all! If you make New Year’s resolutions, have you resolved to learn a new language or to learn more of language? I don’t really make resolutions, but plan to continue my studies of Breton and Russian this year. I don’t know how long it will take me to get to […]

Also posted in Language, Russian 9 Comments
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