"Jowal Lethesow" dyllys in Kernowek

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:47 am

However, as Tim probably won't bother to stir himself to look, here's Dolly Pentreath ranting and rumbling from 'Seat of Storms' (1995); Late Cornish by my own fair hand (as Dolly won't have used anything else), and Neil K thought it pretty decent.


Me reeg ownackhe hanter maraw!  Hedda vedn deske thotha ha eve toaz ubba omsenge dresta nye.  Scoggan coath!
Ha pew igge goofen?  Thera why clappia onketh, pecarra Price, an scoggan.  Mava crya e honen 'Squeer'!
Trevelyan!  Thew hanaw pleaw, nag iggeva pecarra Price.  Eea, moze, dreffan why tha boaze Kernowas, me vedn laull thewh a peath venga why gothaz.  Pandra wheal tha goz coweth why?
Poison onketh?  Nag ewa wheal rag skeeans lozo.  Why dale meeras than ventidniow zans.
Lebben, peniel an ventidniow a vetha?  Madern?  Na . . . diswreze ew.  Gulval?  Thew eve vaze rag fortidnia en ednack.  Cheple Euny, metessen?  Na termen ew droag.  Nag ew vaze buz war an kensa Marhar en Meeze Mea.  Alsia?  Eea, Alsia, hedda ew a niel da.  Dowr Venton Alsia ra owna goz coweth why.  La joy, laverez ew.  Lebben, voyde alebma; staver o ve!


Happy now, Tim? (Although I expect there's something there to nit-pick at - no one has in the 14 years since that was published, though)

pietercharles
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Post by pietercharles » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:43 am

marhak said:
And how about the 'fluent speaker' on YouTube who comes out with 'lies lyvrow'?   I didn't see you people criticise that.



Unlike some, who declare themselves  in print  to be 'an authority on the Cornish language' the person on YouTube is not claiming to be a 'fluent speaker'.  That's marhak's assessment. 
It is however evident that they have a good command of the language, and can do more than reproduce a few phrases with the aid of a dictionary, even if they make the occasional mistake.  As we all do.
I suspect the person has not been subject to any criticism from 'you people' because everyone can see that they're clearly just busy using the language and enjoying doing so. 
Rather than preening their ego by posturing and pontificating about the language, in English, on C24.
And taking every opportunity to lambast and criticise anyone that appears not to share their point of view.

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:54 pm

I was wondering when you'd appear.
Anyway, thanks for taking Tim etc. to task in your last two sentences.  Have you anything nice to say about the publication that this thread is actually about?

Gorvrywi
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Post by Gorvrywi » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:15 pm

Oll an gwella, Marhek... hope it does well, unfortunately it's well out of my comprehension zone no matter who translated it!?!


However, I would be interested to hear where Lethesow comes from for Lyonesse?

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:20 pm

No, Reeves, it is people like you, Keith, Pieter and others who put people off with your constant hostility and carping towards those of us who are actually doing something constructive for the language, while we have yet to see one single contribution from any of you.  We opposed (and still oppose, and always will oppose) KK.   That, and that alone, demonises us in your eyes, which you then try to peddle to others.We write in Cornish, teach Cornish, publish in Cornish, promote Cornish.  What exactly do you do?  Apart from bItch, carp, moan and insult?  And, in your case (and yes, I've seen you latest blog entry in which the dead horse appears yet again), be as offensive as you can.(I'm not going to include Tim in any of that because, to be fair, he actually contributes quite a lot, and much of what he says is tongue-in-cheek).

pietercharles
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Post by pietercharles » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:22 pm

Gorvrywi said:
I would be interested to hear where Lethesow comes from for Lyonesse?


It's referring to the Seven Stones reef (where the Torrey Canyon floundered) which legend has it is the site of the city that was in Lyonesse.

The stones are also known, or rather were known perhaps, as 'the milky ones' - maybe because of the violent surf around them.

So 'leth' = 'milk',  plus '-es' = abstract noun or feminine suffix,  plus '-ow' = plural suffix - 'milky ones'.    

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:46 pm

Basically, that is correct.  The mystery is where "Lyonesse' came from.  There are various theories, none of them very convincing.  Commentators from Carew onwards state that the Cornish referred to Lyonesse as 'Lethowsow'.  There is an extremely detailed discussion of Lyonesse and Lethowsow in Charles Thomas's excellent book: Exploration of a Drowned Landscape: Archaeology and History of the Isles of Scilly" (Batsford 1985, ISBN 0 7134 4852 0), which will almost certainly be in your local library (and a damn good read it is, too).
Local fishermen used to refer to the area within the Seven Stones as 'Trigva' (dwelling place), because it was believed that this was the site of the Lyonesse's capital city, named by some as the City of Lions.  In 'The Lyonesse Stone', I made it the site of a hill fort and called it 'Caer Trigva' (yes, I'm quite aware that it should mutate to Caer Drigva, but place-names don't often conform to "the rules".  Caer Bran,Caer Dane, Caer Kief have never shown lenited forms, but Caervallack does).
For the translation into Cornish, some place-names caused us a problem.  The Longships Lighthouse hasn't a Cornish name, but the rock on which it stands does – Carn Bras (before the second and present lighthouse was built, this was by far the tallest rock in the reef – see the follow-up, 'Seat of Storms'), so we decided to name it Golowty Carn Bras.
The Runnel Stone was another.  Again, it doesn't have a Cornish name (being from Middle English rynel, 'channel').  However, it is one of several rocks, others having Cornish names, so we picked that of the closest one.
Naming the Logan Rock (at Treryn Dinas) as Men Omborth might raise an eyebrow or two, but Bottrell (1870) referred to it as 'Men Amber' - same name as the loggan stone near Nancegollan (both stones with connections with Merlin, strangely enough).  This is omborth, 'balance, poise', with the customary Late Cornish dropping of the final -th.

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Eddie-C
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Post by Eddie-C » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:56 pm

I'm very much looking forward to reading 'Jowal Lethesow'. Other than this title (with 2 more parts of the trilogy yet to be translated!), there's precious little else in the the Fantasy and SciFi genres -- other than Myghal Palmer's excellent omnibus trilogy volume 'Godros' and a couple of satirical fantasy miracle plays (from Spyrys a Gernow).


Having just proof-read his latest novel, I find Craig Weatherhill to be a talented writer of fiction, while his factual writings are equally well crafted, and based on sound scholarship. Nicholas Williams' talents in the Cornish language as scholar, writer, translator and bard are well enough known to need no praise from me, and have won him both renown and awards.
The combination of these two working together, with Michael Everson undertaking the design of the book, is bound to have produced a work memorable in both form and content.


I can't wait to get hold of my copy!


Well done all of you!


ps. Am I smelling the faint whiff of sour grapes here from the usual begrudgers? Surely the appearance of a good new book in Cornish should be cause for rejoicing by all Kernewegoryon of good heart.

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:13 pm

Memo: add Eddie to my Christmas card list.
Gorvrywi – if you have the English language original (if not, I think you can still get them on Amazon), you can compare the two and see how each sentence has been worded in Cornish – this is a great way of learning how Cornish is constructed).
Re: golowty in the last post: this is the genuine Cornish word for 'lighthouse', as opposed to Nance's surmised and unrecorded 'golowjy'.  Gendall records it (from Sennen Cove) as 'goleity' (m.), (equivalent to the Welsh: goleudy), which retains the -ty suffix rather than -jy (much as survives with lety, 'dairy').  This got into West Cornish dialect and there's a record of builders at Tater-du in the early 60s being mystified when a local man asked if they were building a new "golty" (does this point towards the stress being on the first syllable of golowty?  I assume so, as it's all the oral evidence we have).

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:45 pm

I had no inclinations to write until about 1979 when the late Peter Pool pointed out that West Penwith – arguably the richest archaeological region in Europe, if not wider (i.e. sites and monuments per square mile) had never had a definitive field guide written about it.  As I had, by then, measured and surveyed a good 200 of the sites, he suggested that I write it, as I'd come to know every stone of those sites.  So, I took him up on it.  That was 'Belerion' which remained in print for more than two decades.  I then followed that with the original 'Cornovia' which took the next four years to write.  Then I realised that people actually liked what I was producing, so kept going.  13 books, now (I think), and God knows how many articles and papers.  Scores.
By then, I'd also discovered Alan Garner's superb novels 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and 'The Moon of Gomrath', both based on a single powerful legend of Alderley Edge in Cheshire.  These presented a challenge: if he could do that with a single legend, what was possible with a place like West Penwith, with its hundreds of legends?  ';The Lyonesse Stone' and its two successors were the result.  I had huge fun writing and devising them, and found that writing fiction wasn't a chore but a massive enjoyment, especially if readers enjoyed them too.  And they did, too, which was a huge incentive to carry on.
Being a massive fan of Jules Verne, I'd wanted to write a sequel to 'Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas" and "The Mysterious Island".  That took ten years to research and 5 to write – including wangling a 24-hour trip on an Upholder class conventional sub which was pretty near the size of Verne's 'Nautilus'; same length (70 metres), just a tad heavier (they wouldn't let me train the tubes on Seaton and Downderry but it was tempting!).  That's the book Eddie has just proof-read and it's 135,000 words long!  Now I have firm ideas for two more.
Then there's the day-job (the one that pays the bills and buys my beer).  And the horses (the great escape).
And people wonder why I haven't spent more time on improving my Cornish!  Hell – I need two parallel lifetimes!

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Eddie-C
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Post by Eddie-C » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:26 pm

marhak said:
Memo: add Eddie to my Christmas card list.


Abarth an Mal! What's a chap got to do to get onto yer Crimbo prezzie list then, my bird? Turn up in your local looking thirsty, perhaps?!


marhak said:
Gorvrywi – if you have the English language original (if not, I think you can still get them on Amazon), you can compare the two and see how each sentence has been worded in Cornish – this is a great way of learning how Cornish is constructed).


That's a good suggestion, imo, and it's what I did with Nicholas's 'Alys yn Pow an Anethow'. For a month or so, I was sitting in the bus every day commuting, with both the Cornish and English versions open to the same page. It's not only a good way to improve your reading comprehension, it offers an invaluable lesson into the art of translation as well -- even if you think in places, 'Well, that's not how I'd have done it!'


Karesk
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Post by Karesk » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:39 pm

Marhak, I still have some things I bought on my first visit to Cornwall as an adult, around 1980, including Richard Gendall's record "Tam Kernewek" and a book called "The principal antiquities of the Land's End district" by Charles Thomas, PAS Pool, and Craig Weatherhill. If Belerion was your first book, who was that Craig Weatherhill?

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:53 pm

Well, that doesn't really count.  I was able to add a few things to an existing text, and I did the drawings.  It's really Charles and Peter's booklet (and now way out of date, as is Belerion and the original Cornovia).


Karesk
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Post by Karesk » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:34 pm

Well, whoever's book it was, and however out of date it is now, I made good use of it at the time and it helped me to get to know Penwith a bit better than I would have done without it.
I'm looking forward to reading Jowal Lethesow" when it arrives.
What I've heard is that Lyonesse was originally the name of the country Tristan came from, maybe from Leon in Brittany, and at some point it got attached to the drowned country story which is very old and exists in Wales and Brittany as well.

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