European Parliament's call to protect "endangered" Cornish language
The European Parliament is to call on governments to do more to preserve regional languages such as Cornish, which is described as “endangered.”
The move follows a report by the United Nations cultural body UNESCO, which said the Cornish language was “endangered”.
Language campaigner Sir Graham Watson, who represents Cornwall in the European Parliament, backed the report saying: “Protecting our regional culture and diversity is vital. Protecting ancient languages is just as important as protecting our regional food, drink and geography.
“Even with the spread of English as a language of communication, it is still dwarfed as a mother tongue by Mandarin and still less widely used than Spanish. Languages less widely used than these three often need active support.
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“Artifacts such as sculpture or scripture can be saved when a culture becomes extinct. A language cannot. It lives and dies with the people who speak it. We must therefore do all we can to preserve our languages.”
Lib Dem MP for North Cornwall and campaigner for the Cornish language, Dan Rogerson said he was pleased with Parliaments vote to press governments to save local languages.
He added: “It is my belief that the Cornish language is intrinsically worth supporting and encouraging - but it also brings benefits to the region in terms of cultural tourism and raising the status of Cornwall.”