Interesting reading, but not really surprising, thinking about the Kelts and the spread of their culture. Even in my nearest neighbourhood there’s a village called “Kalterherberg”, which means nothing but “settlement of Kelts”. No whisky there of course...
For more information go to http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk and search for "Glenfiddich" (article from Sept, 13th 2005).
Aidan, wasn't it the Romans who called those folks Scoti? Or am I confusing this with the Picts?
My Irish is not as good as it should be anymore, but it is quite close to Scots gaelic. I wouldn't understand a word of welsh, and I don't think I've ever heard breton or cornish.
Apparently, the gaelic spoken in Islay is a cross between Irish and Scots...
My father is a fluent irish speaker and has appeared in many irish language discussion programmes in TV.
MrTattieHeid wrote:Perhaps they are as closely related as the Germanic and Nordic languages. Any thoughts on that, Bernie, Christian, et al.?
I'm not an expert on Celtic languages either (neither?). All I know is that most of the Celtic (Gaul) tribes living in Central Europe were expelled or just absorbed by Germanic tribes coming in from Northern Germany and Scandinavia. The Celtic tribes in my Eifel-region close to the Belgian border were the 'Eburones', closely related to the Belgae, another Gaul tribe. You'll find some interesting archeological hints around here, some Celtic 'oppidae' as close as 30km from where I live - and - of course - some of those suspicious local names.
BTW - 'Wales' and 'Welsh' are originally Germanic expressions (as you'll find in Cornwall or Walloon as well). In the 19th century nationalistic Germans referred to France and the French speaking parts of Switzerland and Belgium as "Welschland".
"It may be the result of an early borrowing (in the 4th century BC) of the Celtic tribal name Volcae into early Germanic (becoming the Proto-Germanic *Walh-, "Foreigner" and the suffixed form *Walhisk-). The Volcae were one of the Celtic peoples that barred, for two centuries, the southward expansion of the German tribes in central Germany on the line of the Harz mountains and into Saxony and Silesia"
(For further information you may take a look at wikipedia).
Cornish as a spoken language was dead since the 1780ies when the last native speaker Polly Poltreath of Moushole (pronounced Mousle there) died. In recent years there was a revival of Cornish. I heard it once when I was at Keynance Cove, Cornwall. One of the wardens of the National Trust there explained the way to the cove to me in Cornish. It sounded very much like Welsh but a little less harsh and even more melodious to my ears.
Speaking of Kelts. In an earlier post I wrote that St Austell Brewery cooperates with a Devon cider farm to make Cornish whisky. That statement is wrong, I apologise.
St. Austell Brewery cooperates with the Cornish Cyder Farm at Penhallow. Cheers to that.
http://www.whiskymag.com/magazine/issue ... pirit.html
PS Ever heard of a malt called Ballechin? Seems Mr Symington at Edradour has something up his sleeve.
A Welshman and a Breton don't speak the same language any more because both languages have changed since they parted. It's not difficult for a Welsh man to learn Breton and vice-versa. A Welshman or a Breton can study the oldest Welsh poetry though - poetry composed in Edinburgh and Glasgow and Carlisle. Do a wikipedia search for these poets - Aneirin, Taliesin. Look also for the names of their kingdoms - Elfed, Gododdin, Rheged, Ystrad Clud.
Dolly Pentreath wasn't the last speaker of Cornish. This is a bit of a myth. There were some eight known in the first decade of the nineteenth century.
There is quite a good degree of mutual intelligibility between Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
I would quibble about Welsh being "the original native language of Britain"--the Celts were themselves invaders. I do think most of us are aware that the Anglo-Saxons came considerably later, and the Normans later still, and that it was after the latter arrived that anything we would recognize as English language developed.
Thanks again for the post.
yes thank you. I was not aware that at the beginning of the 19th century there were still people around who spoke Cornish as their native tongue. I heard a new Cornishman speak Cornish once. You can learn that in modern Cornwall in an attempt to revive it and to hold on to the Celtic herritage. It sounded like even more melodious Welsh like our Welsh friends speak it to my ears.
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