15 June 2008

After the spats about how to spell the Cornish language, spoken fluently by about three hundred people, there is positive news. No, not the agreement last month on a spelling system – the arguments still continue – but six books written by Will Coleman in Cornish for young children. Every year three pupil in Cornwall will get a free copy of one of the books which are about an imagined village and its people and animals.

The books were commissioned by the Cornish Language Partnership (CLP), a body of various language interests and the county and district councils in Cornwall, funded by the British government, the EU, and Cornwall county council.

Look, I’m not a Cornish nationalist and I don’t share the heady linguistic visions of some, I don’t believe for one moment that Cornwall will become bilingual, but I welcome this positive move to introduce some of the language to young people. It stands in stark and magnificent contrast to the unhappy nonsenses that have bedevilled and apparently still bedevil the language. Coleman and the CLP deserve warm congratulations on a constructive move.