Cornish Matthi ab Dewi Level Up English Podcast 158

All About Cornwall

Matthi ab Dewi (Matthew Clarke) is a fluent Cornish speaker and radio host, and he joined me today to talk all about Cornwall – on topics of language, history, and a teeny bit of travel.


  • 3:48 – Matthi’s Introduction
  • 4:53 – How many people speak Cornish today?
  • 7:32 – Where is Cornwall? (in England?)
  • 9:23 – (A bit of ) The History of Cornwall
  • 15:51 – Cornish and Breton
  • 19:54 – Why didn’t English take over these languages completely?
  • 25:56 – Matthi teaches me Cornish
  • 31:40 – Best place to visit in Cornwall
  • 33:24 – Where to find Matthi

Where to Find Matthi
& Other Resources (Cornish Radio & TV show)

Radyo An Gernewegva (Radio)

An Mis (TV show)


Like a Buried City (Matthi’s Book on Amazon – English Version)

Like a Buried City (Cornish Version)


Cornwall’s First Golden Age (Recommended Book)

Vocabulary & Expressions

A lot of tough words were mentioned today! The full transcripts might help you more, but I hope this list will clear a couple of words up.

  • Defacto (07:54) – existing or holding a specified position in fact but not necessarily by legal right
  • Under the auspices of (08:06) – With the help or support of someone
  • Will (noun) (08:31) – A document that says where your possessions will go after you die
  • To put one’s stamp on something (09:53) – To claim that you own something (eg. land), to make a mark or impression on something
  • Mutually intelligible (11:55) – You can’t tell 2 things (languages) apart, they sound the same
  • Vice versa (12:14) – The opposite/reverse is also true
  • Void (13:15) – Emptiness, Lack
  • Incursion (13:27) – invasion, attack
  • To peter out (13:47) – To gradually decrease or slow down until it disappears
  • Strait (15:47) – A narrow passage of water connecting two seas
  • To get the gist (17:07) – To understand the main idea of something
  • Pervasive (20:30) – Something that spreads everything (ie. English languages spreading around the world)
  • Encroachment (20:49) – Moving in and taking over someone’s land or personal rights
  • Skew-whiff  (24:13) – Casual word for “wonky” or “not straight”
  • Gunk (25:18)
    Casual word for “dirt”

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