Thursday, October 12, 2006

Strange news on Thursday

As regular readers of this blog might know, I grew up in Cornwall. When I was about 10 I was part of a children's choir, and we toured the church halls of our county singing songs. It says something about the entertainment on offer in early 80s Cornwall that people would bother to come out to a draughty church hall to hear a bunch of kids sing, but we're talking about a place which wouldn't allow The Life of Brian to be shown in any cinema in the county.

Anyway, some of the songs we sang were in Cornish. Cornish is a little known language, and the last proper native speaker died in 1777. At one point, in about 1880, I think, they were down to just six people who could speak it at all. Since then, a small band of people have kept it up as a hobby, if that isn't a slightly demeaning word; there are about 400 fluent Cornish speakers, and about 5000 who can speak it to some extent. I never had much interest in it, or progressed more than singing a few songs in the choir, but it was a good experience. For anybody interested, it's a bit like Welsh, and very like Breton, which is spoken in Brittany. It's also related to Irish and Scots Gaelic.

Anyway, I was surprised to see this story today about a band who perform Beatles hits translated into the language. Go for it, Skwardya!


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