Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek

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Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek (The Cornish Language Fellowship) is a Cornish language association which exists to promote, encourage and foster the use of the Cornish language. It is represented on the Cornish Language Partnership.

Unlike other Cornish language organisations, Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek recognises the validity of all forms of revived Cornish, and membership is open to all.

Nevertheless, although its members use all forms of Cornish, the society has long been associated by many with a particular spelling system called Kernewek Kemmyn. As a result, Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek received a boost in its membership after 1987 when The Cornish Language Board itself adopted, and declared its support for, Kernewek Kemmyn. It received a further boost when Paul Dunbar and Ken George claimed in their book Cornish for the 21st Century, published in 1997, that criticisms of this system were without foundation, as by that time Kernewek Kemmyn was very widely used - a large majority of people sitting examinations in the Cornish language were choosing to be examined in Kernewek Kemmyn.

Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek respects the rights of its members to use whichever form of Cornish they choose, although its written business is conducted in Kernewek Kemmyn because that is the form used by the majority of its members.

Every month the society publishes a Cornish Language magazine called An Gannas which consists of articles, stories, news, comment and puzzles. Publishing is an important aspect of the work of the society. Amongst the variety of materials that have been produced are books, diaries, stories and language learning materials. Books with accompanying tapes and CDs are also published to assist beginners. The society also produces tea-towels, mugs, car stickers, pens, cards, T-shirts and other items for sale, all displaying the Cornish language. During the year the society organises a number of language days, often supported by Cornish music or dancing, giving Cornish speakers the opportunity of meeting together in a Cornish speaking environment. Beginners are, of course, made very welcome too!

For many people the highlight of the year is a fully residential weekend, the Pennseythun Gernewek, held usually around Easter time. Cornish speakers of any ability, including complete beginners are very welcome. Other social activities include guided walks, Yeth an Werin (a chance for a chat in Kernewek, usually held in a local pub) and Dydhyow Lowender (fun days where all events are organised in Cornish). The Kowethas offers a free advice and information service to any individual or organisation on any aspect of language including history, study, family and place names, naming children, streets, houses, boats or pets in Cornish, translation and the use of Cornish in business names and advertising.

The society is closely associated with the running of Cornish classes throughout Cornwall and beyond. It maintains links with a wide range of other cultural organisations both in Cornwall and beyond, including language and educational organisations in other Celtic countries. The society is a voluntary body, (charity no. 1065527) and its funding is raised through grants, membership, sales and donations.

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