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Helston council to promote Cornish language
12:00pm Tuesday 6th August 2013 in News
Dydh da and indeed dynnargh. Any town councillors in Helston who don't know what that means ('hello' and 'welcome' by the way) soon will, after voting to use more Kernewek, to give the Cornish language its proper Cornish name.
It is at the request of Martine Knight, who speaks Cornish herself and was until recently the secretary of Helston Old Cornwall Society.
She asked her fellow councillors to adopt an official policy on using the language, saying: “It is at no cost to the council but can promote Cornish at the same time.”
Mrs Knight said she was not asking for the council to have everything translated into Cornish, nor - in what will no doubt come as a relief to town clerk Chris Dawson and his assistant Pamela Lavelle - did the staff have to be fluent.
The policy she was promoting has been adopted by several other councils and includes encouraging, where appropriate, the use of the language in naming streets and providing bilingual signs and other public information documents where practicable.
For example, next time the council orders headed letter paper Cornish should be included, as well as on civic event notices.
After allaying initial fears that members would be forced to speak Cornish in meetings, Mrs Knight had the support of the majority of councillors, who voted in favour of the idea with only Ronnie Williams voting against.
Gillian Geer decided that the “odd word here and there” might be “quite exciting,” while John Boase suggested starting with the letter heading and then looking to see where else it could be featured.
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