17.9.18 Press release “Support for the Cornish language is growing” says the new Grand Bard of Cornwall

“This is one of my first duties as the new Grand Bard of Cornwall,” said Elizabeth Carne, Melennek, as she prepared to present graduation certificates to successful candidates of the Cornish language, Kernewek at Lys Kernow (Cornwall Council Offices) in Truro.

Bardh Meur Melennek,  KESVA ceremony 2018
Bardh Meur Melennek, KESVA ceremony 2018

The Cornish Language Board, KESVA – set up in 1967 by Gorsedh Kernow and the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, recently announced an impressive set of results from the 77 candidates who took their exams back in the summer.

“I am so proud to congratulate our successful students, almost 15% up on last year, who are joining the growing number of people learning and taking exams in our precious Cornish language, Kernewek,” said the Grand Bard “and as a Cornish language teacher myself I would like to encourage everyone to think about learning a little Kernewek to use in their everyday lives.”

KESVA graduates 2018
KESVA graduates 2018

Taking time out after a hectic few months in the run up to Gorsedh Kernow’s Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture, where Mrs Carne was installed as the new Grand Bard, she expressed her enormous gratitude to all those, many of whom are bards of Gorsedh Kernow, working hard to help the language thrive.

“I can hardly believe it myself, but it’s now forty years since I was invited to join the College of Bards for proficiency in the Cornish language and I have never lost my love for it.”

She gave particular mention to fellow bard Keith Syed, Gwyk Los, who was recently awarded a Gorsedh Kernow Awen medal in recognition of 34 years work on a translation of the Bible into Cornish.

Keith Syed, Gwyk Los and Grand Bard Merv Davey, Telynyor an Weryn
Former Grand Bard Merv Davey, Telynyor an Weryn with Keith Syed, Gwyk Los.

“This is not the first time the Bible has been translated into Cornish,” said the Grand Bard, “but access to such large volumes in print is not always easy and we are delighted to announce that this new translation is available through newly launched downloadable apps for tablets, smartphones, pc and laptop.”

While warmly welcoming this move towards greater access to the Cornish language the Grand Bard once again drew attention to the lack of support from the British government for such an important part of Cornish culture.

“The Council of Europe has long since recognised the Cornish people and the importance of our cultural assets, such as Kernewek, under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities ” said Elizabeth Carne, “and once again we call on HM Government to honour their commitment to the Cornish people and reinstate funding to the Cornish language.”

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Gorsedh Kernow exists to promote and maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit, to encourage the study of Cornish history and literature, the Cornish language Kernewek, to foster Cornish art, music, dance and sport and to link with other Celtic countries.

The revival of Gorsedh Kernow started in 1928, and the organisation immediately began using the Cornish language Kernewek as the language of all their annual ceremonies.

69 of the successful candidates of the Cornish Language Board examinations are from Cornwall including one from the Isles of Scilly, 2 are from England and 5 are from Brittany.

There are currently four grades of examinations offered by the Cornish Language Board.

Students can learn Kernewek in a variety of ways to suit their own preference and time availability.  Details of regular classes, online and other learning methods can be found on the Learn Cornish Now website https://www.learncornishnow.com/

The Cornish Bible Project is run under the auspices of the KESVA Cornish Language Board and the Bishop of Truro’s Ecumenical Advisory Group for Services in Cornish. For more information about the Project and the new downloadable apps please see http://bibelkernewek.com/

 For more information about the KESVA Cornish Language Board please contact Tony Hak, Karer an Yeth, Examinations Secretary, email  apposyans@hotmail.co.uk

For more information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Honorary Secretary, Gorsedh Kernow,  email  hon.secretary@gorsedhkernow.org.uk

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