Archive for the Category: Breton


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 […]

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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

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 […]

Also posted in English, French, Language 12 Comments


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), […]

Also posted in English, Language 5 Comments

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 […]

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