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Already find MPs hard to understand Some have now signed up for Cornish lessons in bid to attract more speakers of ancient tongue to Parliament
00:26 GMT, 9 December 2012
The lessons have been arranged by North Cornwall Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson, who recently failed in an attempt to have Commons leaflets for tourists printed in the ancient Celtic tongue
Have you ever felt that MPs speak a different language from the rest of us Well, now some of them are.
A number of politicians have signed up for free lessons in Cornish – or, as they say west of the Tamar, Kernowek.
At the moment MPs are practising basic greetings such as ‘Hello’ (Dydh da!), ‘How are you’ (Fatla genes) and ‘What’s your name’ (Pyth yw dha hanow)
But soon they could be mastering such essential Westminster phrases as ‘Send me an expenses form’ (Danvon dhymm furvlen rag gorholeth spenyansow) or ‘That’s another political fudge’ (Gohel politek aral yw henna).
Or, to be truly Cornish, ‘Kyfeyth a-woles, dehen molys a-ugh’ – that’s the cream-tea ritual of ‘jam first, clotted cream on top’.
The lessons have been arranged by North Cornwall Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson, who recently failed in an attempt to have Commons leaflets for tourists printed in the ancient Celtic tongue.
Those taking the classes include three MPs with Cornish constituencies, plus one Scottish Nationalist and a member of Plaid Cymru.
Mr Rogerson said: ‘MPs are allowed to swear the oath of allegiance in Cornish so I thought it would be a good idea to do more to welcome Cornish-speakers to Parliament.
I also think MPs should help boost the revival of Cornish and to protect the language for future generations.’
The number of fluent Cornish speakers has increased from 300 in 2000 to an estimated 3,000 now.
A sign nears Land's End in Cornwall. Those taking the Cornish classes include three MPs with Cornish constituencies, plus one Scottish Nationalist and a member of Plaid Cymru