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How to pronounce Irish words

Hello all,

I've been teaching myself English to connect with my roots but the pronunciation is throwing me for a loop! According to the audio on duolingo, dia daoibh is pronounced something like "dee-uh hoowib" (using English sounds) However, when I go on other forums and Irish websites, it varies from "jee-uh hrrayeev (the double rr being like the Spanish perro) or "jee-uh deeuv"

From what I've learned about the Irish spelling system, it should sound something like "jee-uh dwuv" because the "d" is broad and the "bh" slender.

Any help would be awesome, pronunciation is very important when learning a language!


January 13, 2019


  • 1320

It's really not a good idea to spend too much time trying to relate well worn phrases like Dia daoibh to their spelling. It's like trying to figure out how something that sounds like "howiya?" is spelled "how are you?".

Phrases that people say all the time in any language get eroded in this way - "God be with you" ends up as "goodbye". Obviously, these phrases are going to be part of your introduction to any new language, precisely because they are so common, but don't get too hung up on the spelling of those particular words - focus on the other words that you are encountering that are a bit more regular in spelling and pronunciation.


Don't use the english sounds they just through you off I speak from experience


See this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIokUII7LX0 It's a video by Karen Reshkin on how to pronounce Irish.

  • 1320

Karen Reshkin was interviewed (in Irish) on Raidió na Gaeltachta this week - not about this video but on the impact of the ongoing Government shutdown in the United States on employees of the Federal Government.

It starts about 33 minutes into Thursday's edition of Tús Áite:


I have always found writing down the phonetics of Irish (Gaeilge) down when I come across new words and phrases useful and helpful. For instance I'd put Dia Daoibh as jee-ah deeve. Just write it down how it sounds, with time I have been able to understand Irish spelling as per Irish phonetics rather than English phonetics, but I still find writing down English phonetics helpful as I can pronounce it right away. It takes me longer to understand Irish spelling as regards to its pronounciation- to understand the link there. With English phonetics I can start speaking right away and say it right. Hope this helps! Ádh mór ort! Good luck


Hello, I'm Irish and have lots of experience with the pronunciation of Irish words. Firstly, "dia daoibh" is pronounced "dee-a yee- ov". You don't pronounce the second "D".

Secondly, don't use english sounds because they are not the best way to sound things out with.

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