Archive for the Category: Breton


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 Cornish, Irish, Language, Manx, Russian, Scottish Gaelic 25 Comments

Cvičení dělá mistra / Practice makes perfect

When learning a language I usually spend a lot of time listening to and reading it, and as a result become at least reasonably proficient at understanding it in speech and writing. In most cases though, I don’t spend as much time speaking and writing it, so my speaking and writing abilities tend to lag […]

Also posted in Czech, Language, Language learning 2 Comments

Lyrics Translate

The other day I came across a useful site called Lyrics Translate, where you can find, submit and request translations of songs. It currently contains translations between a wide range of languages, including English, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Polish and so on, and the site itself can be viewed in a variety of languages. There […]

Also posted in English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Translation, Turkish, Welsh 2 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 Cornish, 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 Cornish, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 2 Comments

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 Cornish, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Travel 4 Comments


Twndis [‘tʊmdɪs] (nm, pl: twndisau) = funnel – also twnffat [‘tʊmfat] I discovered the Welsh words twndis and twnffat last night. I’m not sure why the subject of funnels came up in conversation, but these words particularly appealed to me, especially the latter. This morning I found out that the word tundish is used for […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 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 Cornish, English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 21 Comments


Also posted in Cornish, English, Etymology, French, German, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments


An interesting word I heard yesterday on Raidió na Gaeltachta was tonnmharcaíocht or surfing – literally “wave riding”. I hadn’t heard it before, but was able to work out the meaning from its component words. Another word for this kind of surfing is tonnscinneadh (wave glancing / skimming). Surfing the internet is scimeáil ar an […]

Also posted in Cornish, Etymology, Irish, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 11 Comments
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