I'n sodhva bost


A playlet for use with Skeul an Tavas Lesson 18

 

© 2019 Ray Chubb and Ian Jackson

With grateful acknowledgments to John Parker and his original conversation Dhe’n lytherva


2nd edition July 2020


Mrs Treloar wants stamps. Jacket is on duty at the counter in the post office. Mrs Treloar knows her quite well.

JACKET

Myttyn dâ, Mêstres Treloar.

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Myttyn dâ, Jacket. Fatla genes hedhyw?

JACKET

In poynt dâ, meur ras. Ha why inwedh?

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Ogh, nyns yw ow heyn pòr dhâ i’n eur-ma, saw ny dal dhybm croffolas, dell dyba’.

JACKET

Drog yw genef clôwes hedna. Pandra alla’vy gwil ragowgh hedhyw?

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Wèl, gas vy dhe weles. Soweth, gasa ow rol prenassa i’n chy my re wrug. Eâ, me a garsa prena whegh stamp kensa class, mar pleg. Usy an re teg genowgh, stampow specyal?

JACKET

Usons, ottensy ha lywans palores warnedha. Whegh stamp – peswar pens whêtek dynar ha dew ugans, mar pleg.

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Â, ro dhybm inwedh whegh stamp secùnd class.

JACKET

Whegh stamp hag ëdhyn warnedha kefrës? Hèn yw eth pens, whegh ha dew ugans in cowl-sùm.

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Ot obma deg pens, Jacket. Drog yw genef nag eus tra vëth le genef.

JACKET

Ny vern, yma lowr a vona munys genef. Eth pens, whegh ha dew ugans – eth ha dew ugans, hanter-cans, naw pens, deg pens. Eus whans dhywgh a neppyth ken?

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Ogh, eus, namna wrug vy ankevy. Pëth yw an lytherdoll airbost rag danvon lyther dhe Jermany? Ev a vëdh lyther ha carten pedn bloodh ino. Y fëdh pedn bloodh ow whor in Coloyn an seythen a dheu.

JACKET

Â, ny wodhyen vy bos whor dhywgh. Pes bloodh yw hy?

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Dew ugans hy a vëdh. Heb dowt, polta cotha agesof vy.

JACKET

Otham vëth a’y leverel, Mêstres Treloar. An lyther yw moy ès ugans gràm. Ytho an pris yw udn pens, eth dynar ha try ugans, mar nyns yw an lyther moy ès cans gràm.

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

A worowgh pes termyn erna dheffa an lyther dy?

JACKET

Ogh, treddeth, dell gresa’.

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Gromercy dhis, Jacket, me a vydn gorra an lyther dhe’n post hedhyw dohajëdh.

JACKET

Dâ lowr. Ha me’yll glusa tôkyn airbost dhe’n mailyor ragowgh.

MÊSTRES TRELOAR

Meur ras, Jacket. Now, py eur yw? Ogh, qwartron dhe hanter-dëdh. Y coodh dhybm fystena ha kerhes ow meppyk in mes a’n bagas gwary. Duw genes, da weles.

JACKET

Duw genowgh, Mêstres Treloar, gàs gweles.


Jacket is the Cornish form of Jacqueline. A ‘jacket’ is jerkyn. Note how Mrs Treloar mixes informal ty-forms and more formal why-forms in her conversation with Jacket. Such mixing is quite common in traditional Cornish when speaking to someone you know well. But Jacket stays strictly with why-forms, because she is dealing professionally with a customer. Note also the idiomatic alternatives da weles (= dha weles) and gàs gweles (= agas gweles).


Extra vocabulary

sodhva bost (also lytherva) post office

in poynt dâ in good shape, fit, well

i’n eur-ma right now

saw here but

ny dal dhybm I ought not

croffolas grumble, complain

dell dyba’ I think

gas vy dhe let me (do something)

gasa leave

rol list

my re wrug I have (done something)

an re teg the pretty ones

ottensy here they are

warnedha on them

dynar penny

ro (also roy) give – imperative form of ry

kefrës also, too

cowl-sùm total

vëth any (with negative)

le smaller, less

lowr a lots of

mona munys small change

neppyth ken something else

namna wrug vy I almost (did something)

ankevy forget

lytherdoll airbost airmail letter rate

danvon send

lyther letter

Jermany Germany

carten card

pedn bloodh birthday

ino in it

Coloyn Köln, Cologne

an seythen a dheu next week

ny wodhyen vy I did not know

pes bloodh? how many years old?

polta cotha agesof vy quite a bit older than me

otham vëth here no need

moy ès more than

gràm gram

pris price

a worowgh? do you know?

pes termyn how long

erna dheffa an lyther until the letter arrives

treddeth three days

dell gresa’ I believe

hedhyw dohajëdh this afternoon

glusa glue, stick

tôkyn here label, sticker

mailyor envelope

y coodh dhybm I should

meppyk young son

bagas group