Some more news from September on Celtic languages: Welsh, Cornish, and Manx

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Celtic languages: Scottish Gaelic in blue, Irish / Irish Gaelic in green, Manx in red, Welsh in yellow, Cornish in orange, Breton in purple.

Some more news I've found from the past month on some Celtic languages after this morning's post on a demonstration for unification of Brittany where the Breton language is spoken.


Shoppers at Tesco will now be able to operate automatic tills in Welsh:

Friday, 26 September 2008 06:50 UK

Felix Gummer, the Tesco's corporate affairs manager for Wales said the change allowed the supermarket to "serve communities in the best possible way".

"In response to customer demand and multilingualism in Wales all our new stores signs have been fully bilingual for some time, but today is a further step forward as we have listened to the views of customers for more services to be in Welsh.

"This roll out programme which started this summer is now complete."

The change was also welcomed by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language Society.

Dafydd Lewis from the society said: "We've been in discussions with Tesco and large similar companies and this is one of the things we've been asking them to develop. This is a first step towards developing a full language policy.

"What we'd really want is a language act that would mean all companies in the private sector developing a Welsh language policy without having to have any pressure put on them," he added.


Finally they've agreed on a single form for writing the language. I missed that news but it's great to see as all the strife over which form to use was weakening an already nearly-extinct language. You can download a pdf of the Standard Written Form --> here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Is Cornish still spoken?

Increasingly, yes. The Cornish language, or Kernewek (various spellings), was spoken by an estimated 300 people in 2000 and struggled to get official acceptance because there were four different written forms. But this year the Cornish Language Partnership agreed a single form, paving the way for the language to be taught more widely.

Now Cornwall County Council wants the language recognised within the European charter for regional or minority languages. One survey now estimates the number of speakers at 2,000. "In my village they have evening classes that are always popular," says Bird. "And lots of businesses are choosing Cornish names to cash in on the resurgence of the language."


Sep 10, 2008

Irish Government Minister Eamon O Cuiv will visit the Isle of Man and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Eamon de Valera who helped save the native language 60 years ago.

De Valera stopped off on the island in 1947 when he was Taoiseach and was shocked to learn that the tongue was dying out. When he returned to Dublin he despatched Irish folklore experts to record the last native speakers of the Manx Gaelic language. The recordings sparked renewed efforts to preserve the language and it led to its revival from the 1950s onwards.

Gaeltacht Minister Mr O Cuiv has been invited by the Isle of Man government to advise it on the introduction of a new Manx Language Act. "Gaelic and Manx are actually very similar so it makes perfect sense to explore possibilities to share information and expertise with the goal of the preservation of both languages," Mr O Cuiv said. "My grandfather actually conversed with some of the old speakers and they could understand each other very well."


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