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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.

To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions.

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)
(General greeting)
Dydh da, Hou, Ha, Hou sos
Lowena dhis (sg) Lowena dhywgh (pl)
How are you? Fatla genes?
Reply to 'How are you?' Yn poynt da, meur ras. Ha ty?
Long time no see Hirneth heb dha weles
What's your name? Pyth yw dha hanow?
My name is ... Ow hanow yw ...
Where are you from? Ple'th os ta trigys?
I'm from ... Trigys ov yn ...
Pleased to meet you Da yw genev metya genes
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Myttin da
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Dohajydh da
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Gorthugher da
Gothewhar vaze (MC)
Good night Nos dha; Nos da
Noze daa tha whye (MC)
Ternestatha (MC)
(Parting phrases)
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!
(Toasts used when drinking)
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 /
Have a nice meal
Omlowenha dha voes! (sg) Omlowenhewgh agas boes! (pl)
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
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
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
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
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!
Call the police! Gelwel orth an kreslu!
Christmas and New Year greetings Nadelik Lowen ha Blydhen Nowydh Da
Nadelack looan ha looan blethan noueth (tha whye) - MC
Easter greetings Pask Lowen
Birthday greetings 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. You can make recordings on you computer, tablet, phone or other device and email them to me. Audacity is a good, free sound recorder and editor. You can also make them online at, or similar sites.

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


Other collections of Cornish phrases (some with audio)

Phrases in Celtic languages

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