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Useful Cornish phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Cornish, a Celtic language spoken mainly in Cornwall in the UK. These phrases are in Common Cornish (Kernewek Kemmyn), unless otherwise indicated.

Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.

Key to abbreviations: sg = said to one person; pl = said to more than one person, MC = Modern (Late) Cornish (Kernuack Nowedga)

English Kernewek (Cornish)
Welcome Dynnargh dhis (sg) Dynnargh dhywgh (pl)
Hello Dydh da, Hou, Ha, Hou sos
Lowena dhis (sg) Lowena dhywgh (pl)
How are you?
I'm fine, thanks. And you?
Fatla genes?
Yn poynt da, meur ras. Ha ty?
Long time no see Hirneth heb dha weles
What's your name?
My name is ...
Pyth yw dha hanow?
Ow hanow yw ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Ple'th os ta trigys?
Trigys ov yn ...
Pleased to meet you Da yw genev metya genes
Good morning Myttin da
Good afternoon Dohajydh da
Good evening Gorthugher da
Gothewhar vaze (MC)
Good night Nos dha; Nos da
Noze daa tha whye (MC)
Ternestatha (MC)
Goodbye Duw genes (sg) Duw genowgh hwi (pl)
Dha weles (see you) Agas gweles (pl)
Dha weles skon (see you soon)
Dha weles diwettha (see you later)
Dha weles a-vorow (see you tomorrow)
Benetugana (God bless) - MC
Dew boz geno (God be with you) - MC
Tereba nessa (until next time) - MC
Anowr (until then) - MC; Comero weeth (take care) - MC
Good luck Chons da!
Cheers/Good health! Yeghes da! (good health)
Ehaz ha sowenath whath tho why ha tho goz henath! (MC)
(Health and prosperity ever to you and yours)
Have a nice day Lowena dhis (sg) Lowena dhywgh (pl)
Bon appetit Omlowenha dha voes! (sg) Omlowenhewgh agas boes! (pl)
Bon voyage Hyns diogel! Vyaj salow!
I understand Gonn; Konvedhav
I don't understand Ny gonvedhav
Ne ellam convethas (MC)
I don't know Ny wonn
Please speak more slowly Kows moy lent mar pleg
Peidy clappia mouy cuzal? (MC)
Please say that again Arta mar pleg
Please write it down A vynn'ta y skrifa mar pleg
Do you speak English? A wodhes'ta kewsel Sowsnek?
Ello whye clappia Sowznack? (MC)
Do you speak Cornish?

Yes, a little
A wodhes'ta kewsel Kernewek?
Ello whye clappia Kernuack? (MC)
Gonn, kowsav boghes
Speak to me in Cornish Kows orthiv yn Kernewek
How do you say ... in Cornish? Pyth yw ... yn Kernewek?
Pandrew an Kernuack rag ...? (MC)
Excuse me Gav dhymm!
Peidgy gaffans (MC)
How much is this? Pygemmys yw hemma?
Sorry Drog yw genev
Please Mar pleg
Thank you


Response
Meur ras
Durdaladawhy (MC)
Merastawhy (MC)
Heb grev (no problem)
Wolkomm os ta
Where's the toilet? Ple'ma an bisva?
Ple'ma an privedhyow?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everything An den ma a be oll (gentleman)
An venyn ma a be oll (lady)
Would you like to dance with me? A vynn'ta donsya genev?
I miss you Ty a fyll dhymm
I love you My a'th kar
Get well soon Bydh gwell yn skon!
Gwra mendia wharea! (MC)
Go away! Ke dhe-ves!
Voyd alebma! (MC)
Leave me alone! Ke war gamm!
Help!
Fire!
Stop!
Gweres! Harow!
Tan!
Hedh!
Call the police! Gelwel orth an kreslu!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Nadelik Lowen ha Blydhen Nowydh Da
Nadelack looan ha looan blethan noueth (tha whye) - MC
Happy Easter Pask Lowen
Happy Birthday Penn-bloedh Lowen
Pedn bluth looan tha whye (MC)
One language is never enough Nyns yw unn tavas nevra lowr
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
Leun a sylli yw ow skath bargesi

Recordings mainly by Adam Jones, with corrections and additions by Stephen Gainey, a Cornish language Bard.

Download all the audio files (Zip format, 492K)

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

Information about Cornish | Cornish phrases | Numbers in Cornish | Tower of Babel in Cornish | Cornish learning materials

Links

Other collections of Cornish phrases (some with audio)
http://www.magakernow.org.uk/default.aspx?page=314
http://www.howlsedhes.co.uk/dallether/dlan0.shtml
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ukrab/elb.htm
http://www.cornwallinfocus.co.uk/language/phrases.php
http://eurotalk.com/en/resources/learn/cornish

Phrases in Celtic languages

Breton, Cornish, Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh


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