Archive for the Category: Breton

Blue stones

An interesting Breton word I came across today is mein-glas, or slates (literally, ‘blue stones’). The French equivalent is ardoises, which I had to look up as it’s not a word that crops up every day, unless you’re a roofer or builder. The Breton word is made up of mein (stones – singular maen) and […]

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I came across a word that particularly appealed to me in my Breton lesson today – zizolo (discovering) in the sentence Ar vro a zizolo bemdez en doare-se (He discovers the country every day in this way) – referring to Gwennole who goes cycling a lot. It is a mutated form of dizolo (to discover), […]

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Kig yar gant piz-bihan

The more Breton I learn, the more connections I am finding with Welsh, and to some extent with French, in terms of vocabulary. Today’s lesson, for example, includes these words: – korn = cornel (corner) – straed= stryd (street) – e korn ar straed = ar gornel y stryd (on the street corner) – iliz […]

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Tête en l’air

Penn-skañv ac’hanout? Es-tu tête en l’air? Is your head in the clouds? Recently I came across the French expression (être) tête en l’air (‘(to be) head in the air’) which is given as the French equivalent of the Breton expression penn-skañv (‘light head’). I hadn’t seen it before and wasn’t quite sure from it meant. […]

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


Spontus is a Breton word I learnt recently that means scary or terrible, as in spontus eo an amzer hiziv (the weather is terrible today). It doesn’t sound like it comes from a Welsh or Cornish root, and I wondered where it came from. According to the Wikeriadur spontus comes from the word spont (to […]

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


My Breton studies are progressing and so far I’ve learnt a bit more everyday. Last week I worked through the first five lessons of my textbook (Le Breton, par Assimil) and today I got to the seventh lesson, which summerises what you’re learnt in the previous six lessons. The lessons are all short and don’t […]

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My language studies

This week I decided to start learning Russian and Breton again. I’ve learnt bits and pieces of them before but haven’t managed to get back into the habit of studying any language regularly for quite a while. I keep on making plans, and then due to inertia, laziness and procrastination don’t implement them. So I […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Russian 6 Comments

Sentence bank

I’ve decided to learn some more Breton and have found a very useful website – the Breizh-Llydaw Sentence Bank (y Cronfa Frawddegau Breizh-Llydaw / Ar gevredigezh Kembre-Breizh) – a bilingual corpus of sentences in Breton and Welsh from the magazine Breizh-Llydaw. I can understand the Welsh sentences and can more or less work out the […]

Also posted in English, Language, Language learning, Welsh 3 Comments

Yezhoù, kanaouennoù ha sonerezh

The Breton couchsurfers arrived yesterday, with an Austrian friend, and we’re having a great time. They’ve taught me a bit of Breton, we’ve also talked in French, English, Welsh, Irish and German – I love having opportunities to use my languages like this. I’ve learnt more about Brittany and Breton and have shown them round […]

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Couchsurfing and languages

Last week when looking for people in Bangor to practise my languages with I found mention of a polyglot conversation group on I’m not sure if it’s still going, but after looking around the site I thought I’d register. A few days later I got a couch request for this coming weekend from some […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 1 Comment
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