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> Cornish Coming Back From The Brink, Newspaper Article
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Sėmeag 
  Posted: 30-Jul-2009, 04:43 PM
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The Celtic language has been termed extinct. Just don't say that to the band of language activists who are pulling out all the media stops to raise enthusiasm for the ancient tongue.

Read the article at The Chicago Tribune.


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Tha mi'n dochas gu bheil an eadar theangachadh ceart!
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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 30-Jul-2009, 10:26 PM
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Glad to see its making somewhat of a comeback. We have a large cornish population here in the U.P. of MIchigan. The pasty is pretty much the standard Yooper meal. I guess they had a nationwide gathering in Calumet two years ago andf i was planning to go hoping to find some family history but I missed it. It in CA this year so I guess I have to wait. Untill then I guess I'm going to have a fun time learning the differences betwen Scots, Irish, and Cornish gaelic. I would have to have all three in the family tree.


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Antwn 
Posted: 31-Jul-2009, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE (Robert Phoenix @ 30-Jul-2009, 10:26 PM)
Untill then I guess I'm going to have a fun time learning the differences betwen Scots, Irish, and Cornish gaelic. I would have to have all three in the family tree.

FYI -- Cornish is not a form of Gaelic. The Celtic languages are divided into two subgroups, the Goidelic (Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx) and the Brythonic (Welsh, Breton and Cornish). Cornish is very similar to Welsh and very different to any form of Gaelic, except that they're all in the Celtic lanugage family.


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Fy nghalon ydyw hi
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 31-Jul-2009, 09:25 PM
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Wonderful article! Thanks for the distinctions, Antwn -- I never remember which side to put Cornish and Manx on.

Oh -- this is so familiar:

"Another major step forward took place last year when experts finally agreed on a standard written form -- a process fraught with the kind of rancor and tension that only the bickering die-hards of a tiny, almost cult-like community seem capable of generating."

I am a speaker of (and translator from) another feisty "dying" language -- no, not one of our celtic ones, but I did try to learn scots gaidhlig once and probably will take it up again. There is always that dire necessity of making a public language with a regular spelling and grammar system, for news reporting and education systems to use, and of course updating the lexicon for modern times and technologies -- and always open skirmishes about whose decision it's going to be, how those things are settled! It seems like there's a dialect from every village, all maintaining their differences with a vengeance . . .

But if there's energy for that kind of discussion, the thing is far from dead. smile.gif
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Patch 
Posted: 31-Jul-2009, 11:59 PM
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QUOTE (Sėmeag @ 30-Jul-2009, 05:43 PM)
The Celtic language has been termed extinct. Just don't say that to the band of language activists who are pulling out all the media stops to raise enthusiasm for the ancient tongue.

Read the article at The Chicago Tribune.

Irish Gaelic is alive still in Counties Kerry and Cork. I have friends in Scotland who send things occasionally in Scot Gaelic. I have to ask for translation of many parts but my comprehension of the written word has improved considerably. I doubt I will ever speak the language though. We have a Welsh festival here which consists mostly of a celebration of song. Though the vocals are impressive, most in the Welsh community do not understand the language. I learned to speak basic Spanish and some French quite easily but Gaelic has been tough.

I would like to see Gaelic offered as an option in our schools.

Slāinte,    

Patch    
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Antwn 
Posted: 01-Aug-2009, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE (Patch @ 31-Jul-2009, 11:59 PM)
I would like to see Gaelic offered as an option in our schools.


Wouldn't that be great!! There are only a few universities in the US that even offer Celtic lanugage courses and only two ( Harvard and Berkley) that offer degrees in them. Harvard offers a PHD program in Celtic languages and literature. I don't know where you live Patch, but there are some areas with a strong Welsh and/or Scottish Irish heritage where language courses are offered, but only at the Uni level. H

Problem is, there's no one to talk to in the US in a Celtic language. I've studied Welsh for about 5 years and can read and write it well, but my speaking skills are woefully inadequate. Would be nice to sit down have a beer and speak Welsh with some folks - but right now the only way I can do that is on line with message boards (like the one here before it died) email lists and blogs. All reading in Welsh on line is one way.
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Antwn 
Posted: 01-Aug-2009, 08:04 PM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 31-Jul-2009, 09:25 PM)
"Another major step forward took place last year when experts finally agreed on a standard written form -- a process fraught with the kind of rancor and tension that only the bickering die-hards of a tiny, almost cult-like community seem capable of generating."

I am a speaker of (and translator from) another feisty "dying" language -- no, not one of our celtic ones, but I did try to learn scots gaidhlig once and probably will take it up again. There is always that dire necessity of making a public language with a regular spelling and grammar system, for news reporting and education systems to use, and of course updating the lexicon for modern times and technologies -- and always open skirmishes about whose decision it's going to be, how those things are settled! It seems like there's a dialect from every village, all maintaining their differences with a vengeance . . .

But if there's energy for that kind of discussion, the thing is far from dead. smile.gif

Just out of curiousity, what's the language you mentioned that you translate? I think you mentioned it once. Was it Yiddish?

There has been a long standing debate over which form of Cornish to revive. Most of the differences are in what orthography to utilize. That's my understanding anyway. As you say, at least they're talking about it, and that's a very good sign, and if they've finally agreed to a standard written form, then education can commence. It won't be easy since its not enough to merely teach a language, that's merely an academic exposure, but to use it as a medium through which you live is the only real revival. That would involve a community level commitment. We'll see. There's certainly EU support, for whatever that's worth.
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RebeccaAnn 
Posted: 02-Aug-2009, 10:01 PM
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I would love to learn my family language. I know only a few words and have no teacher. Many of the American Indian languages fall into the same catagory as the Galic and other old languages of our ancestors. What's all this garbage about having a standard spelling for a language to be recognized? Until about 1920 there is no real standard of spelling even in English. Everyone spelled things as they sounded. To make a written language all you need to do is make a letter or symbol that stands for a certain sound or word and put them together to say what you want.
It was fun watching Jean-Thomas in Newfoundland talking with the dory men and wishing I could understand more of their words. Newfy is a strange language mixed of Welsh and Scots Galic, American Indian, with a bit of English. It is a beautiful language and as Jean-Thomas says, "one of the many languages of my grandfathers." As we lose the languages and ways of our ancestors we lose a very important part of our heritage and never truly learn who we are.
I work at the family history library and can read bits of most languages written in our alphabet. Yesterday a lady came in looking for her family and while helping her I figured out a few Checkoslovakian words and even found a picture that was written in their alphabet. It looks like Greek or Russian yet I figured out the name and found it on the map. I think no language is dead but many of our ancient ones are sleeping and we need to find how to wake them to know our ancestors. Forget standard spelling though. Spell it how it sounds. That works best and you can learn any language. I am not sure about British English but I know US English is a very mixed up language and Canadian is almost as bad. We have French, German, Spanish, English, and American Indian all mixed together. We learn in school all these nice little spelling rules only to find out much of our words don't follow the rules.
RebeccaAnn
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Sėmeag 
Posted: 06-Aug-2009, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 01-Aug-2009, 07:28 PM)
[QUOTE=Patch,31-Jul-2009, 11:59 PM] Problem is, there's no one to talk to in the US in a Celtic language. I've studied Welsh for about 5 years and can read and write it well, but my speaking skills are woefully inadequate. Would be nice to sit down have a beer and speak Welsh with some folks - but right now the only way I can do that is on line with message boards (like the one here before it died) email lists and blogs. All reading in Welsh on line is one way.

Have you tried finding a Welsh forum (for students) that also has Skype gatherings? [URL=http://www.foramnagaidhlig.net/foram/index.php?sid=3e76cce6f304dcf58dc6191e7271410f]Fōram na Gāidhlig
[/URL] often have get togethers on Skype to practice speaking skills. I am sure there is a Welsh equivalent out there, as they have far more resources than us Scots Gaelic speakers.

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 06-Aug-2009, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn @ 01-Aug-2009, 08:04 PM)
Just out of curiousity, what's the language you mentioned that you translate? I think you mentioned it once. Was it Yiddish?


Yes, Yiddish. smile.gif Which of course entails not only a spelling system to be regularized, but another alphabet. I'm working on some Spanish Civil War memoirs, and sniffing out a grant: the children of the old commies -- er, "republican supporters" -- who have some money will usually kick in out of patriotic sentimentality. And it's good and moving stuff. The main survival hook is that there are still many children being raised Yiddish-first -- almost exclusively the hard-core religious, but the social conditions around languages are longitudinally fluid, and as long as generations keep coming, languages live.

I did love the Scots Gaidhlig -- but the problem was as you say -- an hour's lesson once a week, translating back and forth in both directions, repeating vocab words after the teacher for pronunciation, and no real chance to speak it except practice tapes.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 07-Aug-2009, 03:04 PM
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Here may be something of interest, and coincidentally well timed to this conversation:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/explain.html

This is a segment from the Friday, Aug. 7, 2009 Leonard Lopate show on WNYC, public radio. The program today was about endangered languages. Not much was said about the celtic languages, but there was some interesting discussion about what makes a language "endangered", and what the progress is from there. A lot of the examples were indigenous American.
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Antwn 
Posted: 07-Aug-2009, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE (Sėmeag @ 06-Aug-2009, 05:22 PM)
Have you tried finding a Welsh forum (for students) that also has Skype gatherings? [URL=http://www.foramnagaidhlig.net/foram/index.php?sid=3e76cce6f304dcf58dc6191e7271410f]Fōram na Gāidhlig
[/URL] often have get togethers on Skype to practice speaking skills. I am sure there is a Welsh equivalent out there, as they have far more resources than us Scots Gaelic speakers.

Thanks! Yeah, I'm aware of them. Most are informal gatherings. I communicate mostly through message boards, email lists and with personal Welsh speaking/learning friends.
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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 08-Aug-2009, 08:57 PM
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If its any help I do know that Rosetta Stone has Welsh in their catalog of languages. I saw it several years ago and I was thinking of buying it but I thought I would hold off to see if they would come out with a gealic program which they did.
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Antwn 
Posted: 09-Aug-2009, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (Robert Phoenix @ 08-Aug-2009, 08:57 PM)
If its any help I do know that Rosetta Stone has Welsh in their catalog of languages. I saw it several years ago and I was thinking of buying it but I thought I would hold off to see if they would come out with a gealic program which they did.

Thanks Robert. I bought that several years ago. Personally I found it frustrating. I'm a grammar freak and like to know how things work in a language and they offer nothing by way of explanation. You just learn set phrases. Good if you want to pick up a lingo quicky - traveling to another country for example - but not my cup of tea for the long run study. Nice for a Celtic language though, because of pronunciation practice which you can't really get in the States. They're quite pricey too. Nice suggestion though.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 15-Aug-2009, 11:17 PM
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One of the problems systems like that run into is that adults after the age of early puberty don't really learn language the way children do, so it's somewhat disingenuous advertising. There is a virtual ton of research on this, if it interests you --- when I have taught Yiddish, I've had people say exactly this: Why do we have to learn grammar, why can't we just learn it naturally? My answer has been: if you want to spend five years learning this, and come out speaking like a five year old, go for it. The truth is, it would not even be that good. Adults have matured cognitively to learn by systematized categories and generalizations -- in other words, grammar. This is faster and more efficient, and it is not a kind of processing available to babies and small children, so they have to do mind-boggling, astronomical amounts of processing to learn language. Fortunately they have neural rates of development -- actual neural connection growth rates -- to burn at that stage, and for that reason. But that kind of learning does not go on throughout life. Approaching adulthood, we get efficient.
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