The UK has failed to uphold its treaty obligations to promote the minority languages of Cornish, Irish and Ulster Scots, a council of European ministers has found.

A report by the Council of Europe, a civil and legal rights body, has accused the UK of failing to support indigenous minority languages in schools, the media, public life and in government, despite signing the European charter on regional or minority languages.

Cornish isn’t an indigenous language. Haven’t been any native speakers for generations.

34 thoughts on “Fools”

  1. pendanty Have to correct you there, Tim. I do have a mate speaks Kernow. Learnt it from his parents. Old Cornish family on his mother’s side. And logically, there must be at least one other speaker. Or he’d have nobody to talk to in it./pendantry

  2. Cornish (Standard Written Form: Kernewek or Kernowek;[3] Old English: Cornwielisc) is a Southwestern Brittonic language of the Celtic language family. It is a revived language that became extinct as a first language in Cornwall in the late 18th century.

  3. I want to know what happened to support for my native Cockney? (And no. Not Dagenham Drawl. Not even a related dialect) Where’s the moolah?

  4. I’d say tell them to fuck off (in Cornish maybe) but why bother? We are no longer in the EU. If it wishes to waste its time filing reports about the UK, let it do so.

  5. By “Irish” I presume they mean Irish Gaelic. Gaelic used to be known as Erse in lowland Scotland. I once had the pleasure of pointing out to a Gaelic scholar that the naughty lowlanders were deploying a double entendre. He was furious – he had never noticed.

  6. Does the government or the EU supporting minority languages have any effect? In any case, if people want to speak a minority language isn’t it up to them to keep it alive?

  7. I’m on holiday in Wales at the mo’. All public signage is bilingual, even though there’s probably only one monoglot Welsh speaker left, and I understand he doesn’t get out much. All schoolchildren learn Welsh, which means the ones from Welsh-speaking households are fluent (as they would be anyway) and the rest leave school with a smattering of a useless language (compared to French, German or Spanish).

    All very pointless and expensive, but at least it’s a real language, unlike the invented Scots or the dead Kernow, which are almost as much living languages as Klingon.

  8. Cornish is spoken today ! I’ve seen it on those adverts for Kellys Ice Cream on telly.
    And what about Jethro, eh ?

  9. @ Chris Miller
    I’m pretty sure that Scots is a living dialect of English and so is the “Ulster Scots” that is the “language” in issue. When I was five I spoke Scots but read and wrote English. When I was six my family moved back to England and, it was alleged, after two weeks I had reverted to speaking English.

  10. dearieme said:
    “Gaelic used to be known as Erse in lowland Scotland. I once had the pleasure of pointing out to a Gaelic scholar that the naughty lowlanders were deploying a double entendre”

    Are you just referring to it sounding similar to “arse”, or am I missing something erudite?

  11. “Stonyground
    September 10, 2020 at 3:07 pm
    Does the government or the EU supporting minority languages have any effect?”

    It did in Wales when they made cosy public sector sinecures contingent on it. Welsh was a live but slowly declining language but now it’s slowly increasing.

    Of course it’s also been the thin end of the wedge for dividing Wales from the U.K. You’d be surprised at the level of simmering resentment even amongst a part of the Welsh population at the enshrining of Welsh speakers as some kind of bureaucratic priesthood.

    I’m surprised the Scots Nats aren’t more into their Gaelic promotion but that’s probably because basically none of them actually speak it and it would all be a bit embarrassing.

    Cornish is largely a reinvention. We might as well all go round speaking Old English.

  12. sounding similar to “arse” … ?

    In Scots English “arse”; in Scots “erse”; in American English “ass”, and in much English English “ahss”.

  13. @BiWL
    Thanks for the correction, my mistake, confusing the two.
    These supra-national organisations do seem to proliferate though, don’t they!

  14. Why should a Gov’t promote a minority language?

    If speakers believe it’s good, up to them to promote it.

    Gov’t, rightly, doesn’t promote BP petrol

    Any Unis selling a BA Klingon?

  15. I of course believe that governments should promote the language of state so everyone in the country can understand everyone else.

    If people wish to speak some other language as well, good luck to them. But I’d say they’d be better off learning some language spoken by plenty of foreigners. It’d be worth more.

  16. I’m in Wales right now. A couple of miles inside the border. Everybody we’ve met seems to be English. I can still feel an oppressive aura of resentment, although none has been expressed. It’s the signage that does it. What a waste of time and money. As Oblong states above, a sinecure for local government. You can’t work for the council unless you speak Welsh. And the council seems to have a far larger footprint in the community than it does back in Oxon.

  17. Pcar said:
    “Any Unis selling a BA Klingon?”

    There was one – a local US University I think. Not a full degree but an option paper on fictional languages that was marketed as a Klingon degree course. Can’t find it on google so might no longer exist.

  18. @Gamecock
    Only the James Scots fled Ulster, replaced by William Dutch like my ancestors

    Google censored as Klingons against “The Federation”?

  19. Pcar, I would contend that “William Dutch” were not Ulster Scots. They migrated to northern Ireland, not just Ulster.

  20. @Gamecock
    Northern Ireland and Ulster are considered the same – the RUC did not police Donegal

    You do know the ref to James & William? Replaced means new peeps from else-where not Williamite Ulster Scots springing forth from the soil

  21. I think NI and Ulster are still and generally have been considered formally distinct, and the use of one to refer to the other was always pars pro toto, like calling the Netherlands “Holland” or calling the UK “Great Britain”. The fact the RUC didn’t police Donegal doesn’t mean Donegal isn’t part of Ulster, it just means the PSNI has a more geographically accurate – or at least, less synecdochical – name than the RUC did… I mean, nobody thinks Donegal is in Connacht, do they?

    There’s even a code under ISO 3166-2:IE for IE-U, for those who care about such things…

  22. @MBE

    Common usage is they are same. Ulster Unionist Party don’t contest RoI elections. UDR didn’t patrol RoI. PSNI is a Blair abomination over riding Royal charter of RUC

    Royal Ulster Yacht Club HQ in my home town

  23. Should have said “totum pro parte” for use of Ulster for NI, as opposed to “pars pro toto” which is more like Holland for Netherlands…

    Still, plenty of Dutch people not actually from Holland say they’re “from Holland”. They would not deny Friesland or Zeeland form part of the Netherlands too, it’s just a verbal shorthand.

    If Ulster is a mere synonym for that part of the island that lies within the UK, then what province does Donegal lie in? What ISO 3166-2:IE code does or should it have? I think the Irish (republic’s) statistics office class it under “Ulster (part of)” which seems fair enough to me.

  24. @MBE
    You’d be hard pushed to find a Donegal resident who’d say “I’m a proud Ulster man”

    In all but dictionary pendants Ulster = NI, same as Holland = Netherlands and same as foreigners who think England = Britain = UK

    Do we even have a widely used word for a UKer other than British?

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