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  5. "Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire dao…

"Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire daoibh!"

Translation:Hello! Hello to you too!

August 25, 2014



Note: this is saying hello to multiple people. If you're saying hello to one person, then rather than 'daoibh' (to you all), you use 'duit' (to you).

Also, 'is' here is 'agus'. In normal speech, 'agus' is often abbreviated to 'is'.


Can you please volunteer to help out with the Irish lessons, if you're not doing so already? I think the whole community would greatly appreciate it, and it might make it less random and inaccessible in terms of what's actually going on in the syntax and pronunciation if someone knowledgeable helped out.


I'm afraid I can't. I try an fit in my own language learning whenever I can, but that doesn't leave me a lot of free time. I can recommend good books, sites, and the like, and I try to help people out here whenever I can, but I simply don't have enough free time to help out.

There are plenty of other people here in the forums more than capable of helping out, and I know they're all trying.


What books and sites do you recommend?


An excellent, thorough book is Learning Irish by Micheal O'Siadhail. There are more modern ones, but this one gets a lot right.


Another site perhaps and a beginner book would be nice


Memrise has very good Irish language courses. This is one and it continues to others.



Thanks for the suggested site. It's wonderful.


,this means God with you all And Mary with you all Conas ata tú is how are you


And it's only plural? It's not also a more formal way of speaking?


Nope, it's only plural. Irish doesn't use the second person plural as a formal singular.

On the other hand, Scottish Gaelic does.


I'm just curious, how close are Irish and Scottish Gaelic?


The written language is mutually comprehensible, and the grammar and syntax are quite close. There are some vocabulary and orthographic differences (because the spelling of Scottish Gaelic is more conservative than Irish), but nothing too difficult.

Where they really differ is in the pronunciation, and that's what trips people up. For instance, for Irish speakers, if a Scottish Gaelic speaker was to say 'Alba', it would sound to them like 'alapa'. In Irish, there's a contrast between voiced and unvoiced consonants, but in Scottish Gaelic, the contrast is between unaspirated and and aspirated consonants, so the SG 'p' sounds like a 'p' with a puff of air after it, as in the English word 'pull', while their 'b' sounds like a 'p' without the puff of air, as in the English word 'sip'. For an English speaker, it can be difficult to hear the difference, however, but Scottish Gaelic speaker definitely hear it.

There are a number of other differences, but that's the single biggest one.


I'm new so I don't know what it means to "give a lingot" but here you go, dear sir! Thank you!


I was kinda hoping I could finally find a free venue of learning Scottish Gaelic, but never suck luck..


There is a free, older dictionary available online, that gives all the Irish words in Irish and in Scottish Irish. Google Alexander McBain's dictionary to download it - you can find it in various text formats. I have it on my Kindle. It also lists where he reckoned the Irish words came from. The roots of Irish words range from Old Norse to Sanskrit as well as more familiar Continental roots.


Thanks:-) Just wanted to clarify while I'm still fixing it in my brain:-)


How exactly do you say 'daoibh'?


Yes I have such a hard time really hearing the pronunciation on this word!!!


So you could say "Dia duit" and "Dia is muire duit" and it would be correct?


Is there a reason "y'all" isn't accepted in the English answer, the way it is with other "you plural" answers in other languages?


Every language course is maintained by a different group of people, and they may make different choices about things such as whether to use "y'all" or whether to accept "singular they" or many other points.


Thanks for asking. I entered Hello to you all, but it wasn't accepted. I wish it would accept a French translation because at least I know how to express you plural in French. English has lost its ye.


You're awesome. Been trying to sort that.


God be with you. God and Mary be with you.

is a correct answer. . .


thanks, its a lot easier to remember this long phrase now that i know the word for word translation.


Nobody really thinks of it that way. It's an empty formula at this point.


Like saying "Bless you" after a sneeze, I guess.


can you say hello like that without sounding kind of 'religious'?


Again, it's an empty formula, so you don't really end up sounding religious. However, you could also say 'haló'.


Came here specifically for this.


Thank you. We need exact translation too for these kind of languages to fully understand the second meaning.


Oh Irish.. how on earth did "daoibh" come to be pronounced "gwiv" D:


It's a bit complicated.

The speaker is actually saying 'Dia dhaoibh', which is a Conamara-ism. In other dialects it'd be 'daoibh'.

The broad (non-palatalised; velarised) 'dh' (which used to sound like /ð/ centuries ago) sounds much like the Dutch 'g' sound - /ɣ/, a voiced velar fricative. 'bh' is a lenited 'b', and under lenition, palatal 'b' becomes /v/.

Irish has to resort to using vowels to indicate whether consonants are palatalised or not as the Latin alphabet simply isn't all that well suited to a language with as complex a phonology as Irish. The vowel cluster 'ao' represents the vowel /i:/ and that the consonants to the left and right are broad. Slap an 'i' on the end of that to get 'aoi' and you're indicating that the vowel is /i:/ and the consonants to the left are broad and those to the right are 'slender' (palatalised).

The rules seem arcane, but the spelling is actually pretty phonemic for all the suface craziness. It's a natural consequence of trying to use an alphabet ill-suited to a language with that language, yet somehow it actually works better than it ought to.


Oh, so I'm not losing my mind when I keep misspelling it with an "h" after listening to the speaker...thanks.


Ahh! Thank you so much! I was wondering which letter clusters and such were making which sounds. It's good to know why they do what they do. As it is, when people are giving advice on pronunciation I find they often use English-word examples from the point of view of an American speaker. While the American accent generally lacks inflection this doesn't help me much as an Australian. That you use such a clear and phonetic approach is so helpful. Dia dhuit and all your lovely symbols my keyboard can't replicate. My vocal instructor used a similar alphabet to teach me foreign songs.


You're welcome! That's the International Phonetic Alphabet. Your computer likely has a program that can help you to type them - look for 'Character Map' - and there's also this webapp: http://ipa.typeit.org/


Oops, I meant thank you. Obviously talking and typing are not something I can do simultaneously. At least not well.


They should have used Cyrillic.


Irish was a written language long before Cyrillic existed, and believe me, you're not the first person to make that observation: it's a long-running joke in some circles.

  • 2329

Would this mean that one group of people was greeting another group of people, or only that the first person is greeting 2+ people? If, say, this was me greeting two friends, would it the exchange go "Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire duit!"?


The former — this is a group greeting another group.


I think you're right. Well spotted.


I was taught "Dia 's Muire" was acceptable as well as "Dia agus" or "Dia is". Is that not correct?


Yes. 's = shortened is = shortened agus (which means 'and')


God be with you is used as a greeting in English not to mind as Gaeilge - ba cheart go mbeadh sé mar fhreagra ceart


Except that God be with you became Goodbye in English although originally it was probably for both.


Is the pronunciation the same for Dia duit and dia daoibh? I' m not hearing a difference.


No. They sound very different. For a start, 'duit' ends with what's almost a 'tsh' sound further north or a 't' with a slight 'y' sound further south, whereas 'daoibh' ends in something close to a 'v'. The vowel in the middle of 'duit' is a lax 'i' sound as in 'bit', whereas the 'vowel in the middle of 'daoibh' is a long tense 'i' as in the 'ea' in 'beach'.


Thanks for the explainer. I've only studied Romance languages before so Irish pronunciations are a challenge for me.


Since you seem good at explanations... can you clarify what sound the broad "d" is supposed to have? Based on random charts around the internet, it looks like it's supposed to be a voiced dental fricative (like in Óðinn) so I had expected "daoibh" to sound sort of like /ðiv/. (Sorry if this is not understandable. I'm struggling to remember my singular linguistics course from about five years ago... Pronunciation is hard to type!)


It's meant to have a voiced dental stop: [d̪]. The same goes for /t/, which is realised as [t̪]. Basically, you make a 'd' with your tongue against your incisors rather than against your hard palate as you do in English. This makes it sound a bit like [ð], but it's a stop, not a fricative.

Aside: The realisation of /ð/ in Irish English is actually [d̪], and the realisation of /θ/ is [t̪], though many people erroneously think that they collapsed with /d/ and /t/ in Irish English, but the contrast is actually maintained, though with a shift from the sounds being fricatives to being stops.

Added aside: 'dh' and 'th' used to represent voiced and voiceless dental fricatives, but due to sound changes, that hasn't been the case since about the 12th century.


Thanks so much! I have a feeling that d̪ is probably what those charts were going for. I had never seen that symbol before. Thanks for your in-depth answer!


Interesting discussion. I originally started with the Ulster dialect through the "Now You're Talking" program - quite excellent - so the pronunciation was more like "jia gwich" - (not a terribly hard sound on the d or the du and a softened ch on the end). I am specifically hearing "Dia DiT" (with a hard T on the end - a pronunciation I never heard before, including in Ireland). I am hearing a hard "d" on the ends of words as well, which I never heard before. But I never made it to the south of the island, so maybe that's where it comes from? I was of the understanding that "duit" should be used when greeting one person and "daoibh" when addressing more than one person. In the South here in the U.S., it's like the difference between y'all (which is actually singular) and "all y'all" which is plural.

I didn't mean to insult anyone with my comment about religious connotations. I should have added that the greetings I learned were literally "How are you? I'm fine and how are you?" (Sorry, all of a sudden my fadas aren't working, so I can't type it out in Irish). That is what I heard throughout most of Ireland, but especially throughout Ulster. "Dia duit" was rarely used. I should also have written that I wasn't objecting to the USE of "Dia duit," but to the translation given. If you are learning a language, it helps to have a literal translation and THEN an explanation of it as an idiom or colloquialism. Irish has specific greetings for "Hello" and "Hello to you too," and "Dia duit is not it. That's what I was talking about.

The other pronunciation I have never heard, which they use here, is "agoot" for "agat." That one really stunned me. I thought my hearing had gone. Duolingo has made a point of saying that they are using "standard Irish" as opposed to any regional dialect. Is there really such a thing as "standard" Irish? That's a bit like saying "standard English." Someone from Brooklyn is not going to sound like someone from Louisiana and none of us are going to sound like someone from England.

It's what makes language interesting - a lot of regional dialects and even different dialects within regions. This course really is terrific and the discussions make it even more so. Thank you!


dia is irish for god and muire is irish for mary


Is "daoibh" pronounced like the English word "weave"? Because thats what I'm hearing.


I looked this up on Forvo, and half the pronunciations seemed to use a "b" rather than a "v" sound for "-bh", and also "dia" sounded more like "jia", and the "d-" in "daoibh" sounded more like "r-" or "y-". Any insight from a native speaker?


The 'bh' is pronounced more or less as /v/: http://www.fuaimeanna.ie/en/Recordings.aspx?PhonemeID=58

The 'd' in 'dia' is pronounced as 'j' (/ʤ​/) further north. I'd pronounce it like that. Further south it's pronounced as a 'd' with a slight 'y' sound after it. This is a palatal/slender 'd' and is indicated by the having the vowels 'i' and/or 'e' adjacent to it.

The 'd' in 'daoibh' doesn't sound like an 'r'. I'm guessing you're either American or the variety of English you're most familiar with is American English, and intervocalic 'd' (such as in 'ladder') can sound like that. The actual sound is a 'd' pronounced against your teeth: http://www.fuaimeanna.ie/en/Recordings.aspx?PhonemeID=9

The broad/velar 'dh' is pronounced like a 'gh' (/ɣ/) sound. 'dhún' is a good example of the sound: http://www.fuaimeanna.ie/en/Recordings.aspx?PhonemeID=68

In the Connamara dialect, the 'd' in 'daoibh, 'dom', &c., sounds like it ought to be 'dh', but this is purely a Connamara thing, and other dialects don't pronounce them that way.


"Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire daoibh" (pronounced: Dee-a yeev! Dee-a s'mwuira yeev) Would be said from a group of +2


Would you normally say the whole "Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire daoibh" when greeting people or would just a "Dia daoibh" or "Dia is Muire daoibh" suffice?


You say Dia daoibh! and the people that you addressed respond with Dia is Muire daoibh.

Note that daoibh is plural - you are greeting a group of two or more people, so you use the plural form, and if you are part of a group, they respond with the plural form.

If you are addressing a single person, you replace daoibh with duit - if you are on your own, addressing a group of people, you say Dia daoibh, and they respond with DIa is Muire duit


According to Foil, Arms, and Hog, there should be a gwitch sound in there somewhere...


According to Foil, Arms, and Hog, there should be a gwitch sound in there somewhere...

You're probably thinking of duit, which is used when you're speaking to one person.

If you're speaking to several people, then it's daoibh.


Seriously? I realize that this is how they greet one another in Gaeilge, but the literal translation is hardly "Hello! Hello to you too!" It is specifically a blessing, "God is with you. God and Mary are with you." Since I am not Catholic or Christian, for me, there is a great difference between "Hello," and a religious salutation. Interesting that they use this translation.


As I understand it, for many people it has lost its connotations and become as empty a phrase as "Goodbye" (= God be with ye) has for English speakers.

Or saying "Bless you" (= God bless you) after a sneeze, which is not "specifically a blessing" but an empty, situationally-appropriate phrase.


"Slán" literally means safe, "slán abhaile" is safe home, it's "slán agus Beannacht" which means something along the lines of be safe and blessed. Source - I'm Irish


So this is basically one person saying, "Hello everyone!" and the people say, "Hello!" in response? Could the people instead respond "Dia duit!" since they are only responding to one person?


Put 'Hello! Hello to you all too!" Is this something that should also be accepted, considering daoibh indicates an audience of more than one?


What is the difference between "Dia duit" and " Dia daoibh" when both have come to mean 'hello'


The first is singular, the second is plural. Hence my wish that "y'all" was a suitable translation for "daoibh" <g>


My contractor has an Irish laborer...who is just an amazing older gentleman. He corrects me when i get it wrong too, thanks Talideon


With the pronunciation in this phrase, I cant help but notice it sounds like the first 'Dia reeve' and the second half, saying the same word combination, sounding like 'dia dareeve'. Is it the recording itself or am I mishearing?


Is the woman who is talking from, like, Galway or somewhere? Im from Dublin and we pronounce it like dia gwich. Spellings still the same. Becouse she was saying duit as it looks in the word while we would say it with a "g" sound.

Excuse my grammar!


Uair amháin: Dia Daoibh! Dia is Muire daoibh! = God To You! God and Mary To You Too!

Anois: Dia Daoibh! Dia is Muire daoibh!! = Hello! Hello To You Too!

………………comhghairdeas ag an máisiúnachas!!!

[deactivated user]

    Cad is brí le "God To You"? Níor chuala mé éinne ag úsáid an frása sin i mBéarla riamh!


    Mo Chara Uasail............ B'fhéidir an tusa duine óg??? An bhfuil eolas agat? Dia daoibh = God to You: is aistriúchán ó Gaeilge go Béarla é!!! Slán Tamall.


    This really is just hello, hello. That shouldnt come up as a wrong answer for me.


    Out of curiosity, if there are any native Irish speakers watching - how common is this form of address? Is it still used or is this one of those highly formal types of address not commonly used in casual conversation?


    It is a common form of address, used in casual conversation.


    I can't get used to this pronunciation: how on earth do they manage to pronounce [ riiv] something that is spellt daoibh!, or [niiv] what is written naomh!

    [deactivated user]

      They manage it the same way that English speakers manage to pronounce "How do you do?" as "Howdy" and "How are you?" as "Howya" or even "Hi".


      Well they have some common origine, haven,'t they,? But for foreigners it's very tricky, especially as we have no idea when a i is written i, ío, or ao... the gh is not bad either! Sometimes I dream of a logical pronunciation as in German or Hungarian! Or in Russian


      Why is Mary written in?

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