[Spellyans] KK ha'n SWF - pronunciation - re DG

Harry Fraiser harryfraiser at googlemail.com
Sat Aug 9 12:47:54 IST 2008

Lot in what you say, but if the chap learnt Cornish at 4 he surely
must be fluent in it.


On 8/9/08, Penny Squire <pennysquire at ymail.com> wrote:
> Many thanks, Jan, for bringing this to our attention. I have only listened
> to it once through, but when I have time I will study it properly and make
> some notes on his pronunciation.
> Yes, Craig, Dick Gendall certainly gallops through the story in fine style -
> he is a natural storyteller, and he tells it in a very lively fashion.
> Having said that, even from a single viewing it is obvious that he has
> learned the story by heart - few people could read a piece, cold, at that
> speeed in their first language . So, in itself, it can't indicate anything
> about his abilites in spontaneous speech. I'm not knocking him, but it is a
> fact.
> When my brother was at school his class learned the Chinese national anthem
> by heart and sang it at the school concert, and as they ended it an enormous
> Communist flag rolled down behind them as a backdrop. (They did it to wind
> up the Head, who was known to be a member of the Conservative Party!) They
> had got one of the staff at the local Chinese restaurant to record it, and
> they all got it off by heart and it sounded totally convincing especially as
> none of the audience spoke Chinese. But - none of those who sang could speak
> a word of conversational Chinese.
> As I say, I'm not at all knocking Dick Gendall, and I haven't heard him
> speak spontaneously and you have, but comparing recordings of very well
> rehearsed tours de force with cold readings and spontaneous conversation has
> limited value for the purpose of comparison and can be totally misleading.
> Thinking in Cornish: I've seen plenty of people do this at the Kowethas
> events I've attended - it is impossible to be fluent if you can't, but
> again, if we are arguing about pronunciation, it tells us nothing.  One can
> be fluent in a language and still have poor pronunciation.
> Penny
> From: Craig Weatherhill <weatherhill at freenet.co.uk>
> I never knew that was on Youtube.  If anyone was ever in any doubt the
> most fluent speaker of Cornish alive today is Dick Gendall, then this
> must surely convince you.  He's in his 80s now, but he started to learn
> the language when he was 4.   This man can THINK in Cornish.  I have
> seen him do this in front of an audience with not a scrap of paper in
> front of him.  For me, at least, THIS is Cornish as it should be
> spoken.  Remember the descriptions of the spoken Cornish from years when
> it was still a community vernacular.
> "Lively and manly spoken" - William Scawen (c. 1680)
> "Spoken rapidly" - Don Antonio Ortes (1600) [coming from a Spaniard,
> that must be taken seriously!]
> This clip shows extremely well what these two gentlemen were
> describing.  Now, compare this to the KK speakers on the Youtube menu.
> (Well, you can't.  There's no comparison whatsoever).
> Craig
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