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Reliable Irish pronunciation guide?

Dia duibh, everyone!

I'm pretty much sure that this question has been raised before, but I haven't found any suitable answer so far.

The audio of Duolingo Irish course doesn't always seem correct. I also tried using forvo.com, but most of the words are either pronounced in different dialects, or they have poor recording quality. I am not going to stick to any dialect (Munster, Ulster or Connacht), but I'd rather like to learn standard Irish pronunciation (An Caighdeán Oifigiúil), if possible.

Do you have any suggestions as a source of decent-quality audio recordings in Standard Irish, or at least a reliable pronunciation guide with audio examples? I'm just so confused about all these slender and broad consonants, diphthongs and clusters pronounced differently in all the dialects!

Hope you can help me. Go raibh maith agaibh in advance and have a nice day!

February 13, 2016


Sorted by top post


Well, there is no such thing as 'Standard Irish pronunciation'. The goal of the Caighdeán was to provide a written language, with each dialect keeping their own pronunciation. If you can understand the IPA, I suggest reading Wikipedia's article on Irish Orthography, which caters towards the Connacht dialect, which is the most spoken one.

There is a Youtube video that's been posted, but I don't have the link. While it does have errors, it's a decent introduction.

February 13, 2016


Talking about this video? https://youtu.be/oIokUII7LX0

I certainly found it to be very helpful.


Yep! It's good, but not perfect.


True, for a 15 minute video it does a really good job of going into the intricacies of the pronunciation of a natural language.

I certainly wouldn't be able to do the same with Dutch (my own language) in a way that would be understandable for a novice.

I would however like to find a couple more videos that follow up on this, to go into the subjects that this video doesn't cover, or got wrong.


They're uploading new audio files which will (hopefully) be correct! They should release it soon so just hold a little while longer (I've been waiting patiently for it to happen too).


As many of the complaints (not all) are about the current speakers dialect, even when her pronunciation is appropriate, don't bet on new audio being entirely satisfactory for people who want to follow a written orthography. Spoken Irish has a large degree of variation because of the dialects, and there can be quite different correct pronunciations of many words.


maybe a suggestion whenever possible would have the sentence spoken in the 3 (or however many) main dialects ..


It's unlikely. They don't even have 1 recording for many of the sentences, so having 3 isn't likely to happen. (It would also be a pain to have to listen to the same sentence 3 times over in slightly different voices, especially if the dialect that you were most interested in came last every time! It would also triple the expense of managing the Irish course - aside from the cost of making the recordings, bandwidth usage would increase if every audio clip was 3 times as long.


or then in the future be able to select the dialect you want to primarily listen to the audio in ..


That's not going to happen. Duolingo doesn't teach different dialects of French, English or Spanish, it's not going to start doing it for Irish.


Will they add audio to the early lessons when words are introduced (where audio is currently lacking altogether)?

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