THE St Dogmaels author of an unusual new handy pocket-sized book is hoping to use humour to inspire people to learn a few basic bits of Cornish after her success with her Welsh language version.

Unlike many traditional phrase books, Teach your Dog Cornish shows that learning useful expressions doesn’t have to be boring or daunting, and makes picking up a few basics accessible to everyone – and Dawn French is already a fan, commenting: “At last, my dog and I will be able to understand each other!”

The book is part of a series designed to help learn a language while engaging with your favourite furry friend and was inspired by illustrator Anne’s bestseller Teach Your Dog Welsh, published by Y Lolfa,i n 2018. That has also been followed by Teach Your Cat Welsh.

Every phrase is shown in both Cornish and English, accompanied by appealing 1950s-style retro illustrations as well as help with the Cornish pronunciation.

There are over 100 expressions to practise, from Na wra kravas (‘Don’t scratch’) to Ny vedhav vy pell (‘I won’t be long’) to A allav vy kavos pasti? (Can I have a pasty?).

It’s an excellent and really fun introduction to learning Cornish for all ages – and most of the phrases can also be used in non-dog related situations.

“In 2010 UNESCO classed Cornish as a language that was in the ‘process of revitalization. I want to help promote language-learning, especially languages such as Cornish and Welsh as they are of huge cultural and emotional value as well as being important to communities,” said author and illustrator Anne Cakebread.

“The popularity of the series has been amazing! I was thrilled when Teach Your Dog Welsh was reprinted for the first time – but I’m amazed that it’s been reprinted three more times since.”

The inspiration for the original book came to Anne after she rehomed Frieda, a rescue whippet. Anne came to realise that Frieda didn’t understand English and would only respond to Welsh commands.

Slowly, while dealing with Frieda, Welsh-learner Anne realised that she was overcoming her nerves about speaking Welsh aloud by talking to the dog, and her Welsh was improving as a result – this gave her the idea of creating a books to help other would-be language learners while also using her skills as an illustrator.

“It’s about revitalising the language of the original inhabitants of our islands,” said Anne. “The book has also been translated into Māori, and Gaelic and Irish versions will be available later this year.”

Anne is a freelance illustrator with over 20 years’ experience in publishing and TV set design, including cover art and illustrations for numerous books, magazines and adverts.

She grew up and went to school in Cardiff and now lives with her partner, two whippets and lurcher in St Dogmaels, where they run the Oriel Milgi boutique B&B. Anne also manages Canfas, an art gallery in nearby Cardigan.

Teach your Dog Cornish by Anne Cakebread (£5.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.