Irish Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, B b, C c, D d, E e, F f, G g,
H h, I i, L l, M m, N n, O o, P p,
R r, S s, T t, U u


Irish is a Celtic language with nearly 1.5 million people who have some knowledge of the language.

There is also the addition of an acute diacritic mark, the "fada."

Accent is almost always on the first syllable.

When the first letter of a word changes in what is called urú or "eclipsis," the spelling gives first the letter as pronounced, followed by the original letter before it was changed as in mb, gc, nd, bhf, ng, bp, ts, and dt.

Letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a   - a as in about
Á, á   - a as in father
E, e   - e as in let
É, é   - e as in hey
I, i   - i as in pin
Í, í   - i as in machine
O, o   - o as in mock
Ó, ó   - o as in note
U, u   - u as in muck
Ú, ú   - u as in duke
 
BROAD CONSONANTS:
 
D, D   - d as in duck
R, r   - slightly rolled
S, s   - s as in saw
T, t   - t as in turnip
 
SLENDER CONSONANTS:
 
D, D   - j as in jaw
R, r   - r as in raw
S, s   - s as in sugar
T, t   - ch as in church
 
ASPIRATED BROAD CONSONANTS:
 
Bh, bh   - w as in war
Ch, ch   - ch as in loch
Dh, dh   - ch as in loch but with a g sound
Fh, fh   - silent
Gh, gh   - ch as in loch but with a g sound
Mh, mh   - w as in war
Ph, ph   - f as in far
Sh, sh   - h as in how
Th, th   - h as in how
 
ASPIRATED SLENDER CONSONANTS:
 
Bh, bh   - v as in victor
Ch, ch   - ch as in church
Dh, dh   - y as in yes
Fh, fh   - silent
Gh, gh   - y as in yes
Mh, mh   - v as in victor
Ph, ph   - f as in far
Sh, sh   - h as in how
Th, th   - h as in how
 
LONG DIPTHONGS:
 
Ae, ae   - a as in bray
Ao, ao   - ee as in tree
Eo, eo   - o as in throw
Ia, ia   - a as in bray
Ua, ua   - ua as in truant
 
SHORT DIPTHONGS:
 
Ea, ea   - a as in travel
Io, io   - i as in pin
Ui, ui   - i as in pin


Copyright © 2014 by Dick Oakes