Leff Kernow
The Voice of Cornwall

The Cornish Language: an Kernowek or an Kernewek.

an Kernowek/Kernewek

Pobel ver in weth ny a ve,
oos an Bretennyow in tyr ma teg.
Prydythyow a gana aga hanow coth
y thesa materneth, arluthy, haga marogyon,
ha breselaryon Keltek bras oberys ha cref
gans gota grohan, haga hletha po gwarrak
ha lavrak gwyn palys gans grohyn thu.
Pan alsa Bretten sevall vhell ha gwer
the leverell y bredyryow hay whans y honen
in tavas Brethonek y honen the gows
clowys in pow ma kyns myll vlethan ha moy
hag in forth Keltek stella clowys in pow
"Coweth, ow hothman haw goos ow honen",
po matern, po gwycor, poscader, po tyak,
den whel vyth mas oll par ha frank.
Ha perth cof an tew arell, bys mar goth
oos an grumbla goth han hendresa Keltek
an bys arell ma pub den oll a worthya per tha
na veva pub tra oll bew gwellys dre lagas,
an oos kyns the thos an Sowsen then pow.

Rowlyys gans dorn ancuth
myll vlethan ha moy
in deweth y ma gillis
pan vs kellys agan pow
esperans the vos frank
ha Brethonek arta.

Na predyr na moy, na moy in y gever.
Kell tha thewhan rag tyrmynnyow gillis.
Kemer gwedran ha lenow hy lene
gans wyn roos ha wheg, lowena the thry.
Po downs gans an mosy jurna ha nos;
wherth gans gowetha in gwaryow an lvk.
Kene cusk, cusk heb hendresa vyth,
ow crewetha in crys in dewvreh the gerensa.

Mas whath an hendres han golon Gernowek
a dreg inna ve hag a gry them in cosoleth.
Pandr' yllaf ve gull rag an dythyow na gwell.
Me a vyn clappya eyth ow hendasow whath
ha gwytha barha ve an heynes Brethonek coth,
nena lef Kernow a clowir whath in bys.


A great nation we were once too
the age of the British in this fair land.
Bards would sing their old songs.
Kings, lords and their knights there were,
and Celtic warriors brave and strong
with leather coats and their sword or bow,
and pale breeches laced with black leather;
when a Briton could stand tall and strong
to speak his thoughts and his own desire
in a British tongue his own to speak
uttered in this land a thousand years before
and in the Celtic way ever heard in the land
'Friend, my equal and my own kin',
whether king, or merchant, fisherman or farmer,
no servant but everyone equal and free.
And remember the other side, a world so old:
the age of the ancient tombs and the Celtic dreams.
This other world which everyone knew very well:
not all with life was seen by the eye,
the age before the English came to the land.

Ruled by a foreign hand,
a thousand years or more,
finally has gone,
since our land is lost,
hope to be free
and British again.

Don't think any more, no more, on it.
Hide your sorrow for times gone by.
Take a glass and fill it full
with wine red and sweet, to bring you joy.
Or dance with the maidens day and night;
laugh with friends in games of chance;
or sleep, sleep without any dreams,
lying in peace in the arms of your love.

But still the dream and the Cornish heart
live on in me and call to me in quietness.
What can I do for those better days?
I will speak again the language of my ancestors,
and keep the old British tradition beside me:
then the voice of Cornwall will be heard still in the world.



The order of the words in the vocabulary follows their occurrence in the story. The letter (f) signifies that the noun is feminine. All nouns without a letter are masculine. Remember that the first letters of words in Celtic languages mutate to other letters in various situations.

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Cornish English Cornish English
pobel (f)people, nationan ... mathis, these
mergreatpub den olleveryone
in wethtoo, alsoworthyaknew
nyweper thavery well
vewerena vevanot was
oosage, timepub tra oll beweverything living
inindre lagasby the eye
tyrlanddosto come
tegbeautiful, fairan Sowsenthe English
mathisthento the
prydythyowpoets, bardsrowlyysruled
canato singdorn (f)hand
cotholden dewethat last, finally
y thesathere was/werey mathere is/there are
hagaand theirvsthere is/there are
KeltekCelticbosto be
bras oberysvaliantartaagain
crefstrongpredyryto think
ganswithin y geverabout him, about it
cotacoatkelasto hide
crohyn (f)leatherthayour
clethasworddewhan (f)sorrow
lavraktrouserskemerasto take
gwynwhitegwedran (f)(a) glass
palyslacedlenwellto fill
dublackhyshe, it
sevallto standwhegsweet
vhelltall, highlowenajoy
gwerstrongdryto bring
thetodownsyato dance
leverellto saymosygirls
predyryowthoughtsnos (f)night
hayand hiswherthinto laugh
tavaslanguage, tonguegwaryowgames
y honenhis own, himselfkeneotherwise
cowsto speakcuskato sleep
powlandcrewethato lie
myll (f)(a) thousanddewvreh(two) arms
blethan (f)yearkerensalove
moymorewhathstill, yet
forthwaycolon (f)heart
stellaalways, everKernowekCornish
clowysheardtregato live (on), to continue
cowethfriendinna vein me
owmycryato call
cothmancomradethemto me
goosbloodpandr' yllaf vewhat can I?
tyakfarmergullto do
den whelservantan ... nathat, those
vythno, nonemeI
ollallclappyato speak (fluently)
frankfreeow hendasowmy ancestors
perthy cofto remembergwythato keep
tewsidebarha vebeside me
cothold, ancientKernow (f)Cornwall
crumbla (f)(prehistoric) tombclowirwill be heard
hanand thein bysin the world
hendresa dreams    

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The Cornish Language: an Kernowek or an Kernewek.

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