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Which dialect of Irish is it that Duolingo teaches?

I often read wikipedia when I'm bored, just flipping through different links to read what I want to read, and I somehow got from Neil DeGrasse Tyson to different dialects of Irish. Apparently, according to wikipedia which I'm too lazy to verify, there are three major dialects of Irish; Munster, Connacht and Ulster, based upon geographic region. Whenever I look at things that I know something about on wikipedia they seem to have it mostly correct, which indicates that there are, in fact, multiple dialects of Irish, which is supported in the lesson thingy for Basic 1 when they say that they teach standard Irish, and by simple logic which dictates that old languages are bound to have evolved some different dialects.

As such, this brings up the obvious question - which particular dialect is this (or, to better word it, which dialect is considered "standard")? It doesn't really matter particularly much, as I assume that all three dialects are mutually intelligible in much the same way that American English and English English are mutually intelligible, but it'd be interesting to know anyway.

August 15, 2015



In case anyone still looks at this post, a new set of recordings were introduced around May 2016, by a native speaker from Connacht. Old posts about wrong recordings are no longer relevant - but there still are some other interesting points in the thread.


In theory, this course teaches the Caighdeán Oifigiúil (“Official Standard”), which was formed after WWII from parts of each of the three major dialects. However, some of the exercises here exhibit dialect-specific features.

Irish is pluricentric; it doesn’t have an equivalent of “General American” in US English or “Received Pronunciation” in UK English, a “first among equals” dialect.


While Duolingo actually teaches the Caighdeán, the pronunciation is not in any dialect. Despite what people believe, there is no standard 'pronunciation'. The voice is often just plain out wrong, using English sounds when she even gets it half right. So be wary of using audio.


Ow. That's bad, because it's the only source I have for pronunciation, and I'm trying to find patterns in it.


Use focloir.ie. Or, better, teanglann.ie, where it also shows related words, which sometimes contains phrases.


In www.abair.ie you have the pronunciation in 3 dialects for every word you write.

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