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  5. "Dia daoibh!"

"Dia daoibh!"


August 25, 2014



Why does duit and daoibh sound like "guit" and "gaoibh"? Is it just because the d is in front of certain vowels?


Hey! The answer to that is quite complex. Normally, "duit" sounds like "dit" and "daoibh" sounds like "dee-uv". When the 'd' comes between two vowels in speech, however - as it does in 'Dia duit' (the d of duit comes between the a of Dia and the u of duit), it is softened and becomes this 'gh' sound. I hope this is helpful.


This is the first satisfactory explanation in these threads, thank you so much.


That's not entirely true. In Connemara, where the speaker is from, it will always be pronounced as if it were dhuit and dhaoibh.


Is this also why sometimes I hear "mai-ghin" when people say maidin (morning)?


There are palatal and neutral consonants in Irish. The 'd' in "maidin" sounds close to the 'j' in English "jug", because it is a palatal consonant. This is a linguistic term to describe consonants made when the tongue makes contact with the hard palate in the mouth = the bumpy ridge just behind your teeth. The palatal nature of the 'd' is shown in the spelling of the word "maidin" by the vowels either side of the letter 'd' - 'i' and 'e' are what are known as "slender vowels", while 'a', 'o' and 'u' are what are known as "broad vowels". Slender vowels, as a general rule, palatalise consonants; while broad vowels neutralise them. For example: the word "lá" (meaning "day") has a neutral 'l' and sounds like an American saying the English word "law"; "leá" (meaning "melting"), on the other hand, has a palatal 'l' - shown by the slender vowel 'e' beside it - and sounds more like "lyaw". The same is true for "madra" (neutral d, made by pushing the tongue against the back of the teeth) vs. "maidin" (palatal d, made by the contact of tongue against hard palate).


Very interesting, thank you! Does it have a similar effect, then, to the Spanish cedilla eg in' 'man~ana' ? (couldn't get it to type above the 'n'!).


The broad consonants are velarised. The consonants in English are neutral.


Really helpful! Thank you!


THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!


Why is it that i knly hear one word tho i dont hear a dia i just here a dhueve


For much the same reason that you only hear "goodbye" when someone says "God be with you" in English.


As someone from NW Ireland (so Connacht dialect) whose trying to remember my school Irish I'd also like the proper answer to this.

There are certain syllables in Irish my teacher would always complain at me for pronouncing incorrectly, amoung them were words like Daoibh.

Anecdotally I think this is also the reason english and american people struggle to pronounce the surname Doherty correctly.


I'm replying to something a year old but I'm super curious -- how IS Doherty pronounced in Ireland? It's a pretty common last name where I'm from, but I'm from Boston.


Hi Colleen, I know it was a long time ago but did anyone answer your question? I'm from Cork and we say Dau her ty. Better late than never;


Thanks!! Same as here then. Some are different... like I knew a Jim Cahill in college who pronounced his name Cay-hill.


There are dialectal differences. In some areas the words are daoibh and duit, in others they are dhaoibh and dhuit. Unfortunately, here the text says daoibh, but the voice says dhaoibh....


Shouldn't "Hello all"Also be acceptable?


if im not mistaken that would be "dia dhaoibh gach duine"


You don't address a group of people as gach duine in Irish. For a start, Irish uses the vocative case, with the vocative particle a when addressing people - a Sheáin, a Mhamaí, etc, and you can't do that with gach duine.

The NEID suggests Maidin mhaith, a chairde as a translation for "Good morning, everybody", and the same reasoning would also apply to "hello all").


How about " Dia dhaoibh go lèir" ?



Yes, that is widely used.


As a US Southerner, I was delighted that Duo accepted "hello, you all."


What is the appropriate use of "dia duit" vs. " dia daoibh"?


Dia daoibh is the plural form of hello, so you would say it to a group of people. Whereas dia duit is just to one person.


This should be pointed out, since it's not obvious by the translation


Awww, and I thought Dutch spelling was horrible.... Daoibh = "Guiw"


Dutch is much easier, in my opinion.


How is Dutch spelling hard? :P Sorry, I'm a native, but I always found it quite consistent. :P


I feel the same way about Portuguese as a native. Most people do not agree.


I've also heard the pronunciation "yeeve" for "daoibh". Is that a particular dialect's version?


Think it might be Munster but someone would have to back me up on that


I heard "reeve" in Connaught.


Yes I think that "dhaoibh" = yeeve is probably Munster. And that Dia duit = dia rit somewhat different from other dialects - or it could be my hearing!


So this would be used if you're speaking to more than one person, correct?


Indeed, correct! I've found great use from the following, well-formatted webpage of prepositional pronouns. http://www.irishpage.com/quiz/preppron.htm


Query; I understand daoibh to be a preposition meaning 'with you' or ''on you' and Dia is 'God' - so literally ' God be with you (all)?' Correct?


Daoibh is a "prepositional pronoun", combining the preposition do and the 2nd person plural pronoun sibh.

The preposition do is usually "to" or "for", so a more "literal" translation would be "God to you", or "God for you"


Beaut - thank you very much!


This site with this particular language really needs some transcripts in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). I know that the problem comes partially from the fact that the learner is used to the orthography of English, but there seems to be no correlation whatsoever between the letters I see and the sounds I hear. Because there is so much history invested in the spelling system and because one set of letter correspondences is expected to meet the needs of at least three different dialects, it is highly unlikely that a modernisation and simplification of Irish spelling will ever happen, but it would be so wonderful if it did and it would vastly increase the ease with which non-natives could learn the language. In the meantime, what about some IPA glosses so I relate the "Teekweed" I seem to hear, to the "dia daoibh" I see.


There is no need for IPA transcripts that would be useless for 95% of the people using the site, who know even less about the IPA than they do about Irish. The issue of different dialects is a bit of a red herring when it comes to spelling, because the pronunciations are more or less consistent within the dialects - so you'd need 3 different IPA transcriptions for each word, whereas once you familiarize yourself with the basic rules for any one dialect, the pronunciation of a word is far more consistent with the spelling than is typical of English spelling and pronunciation. The spelling has already been simplified and modernized to reflect that.

(Having said that, just as "How are you?" sounds like "Howya?", a very common phrase like "Dia daoibh" is precisely the kind of phrase that tends to slip away from it's spelling).

If you think IPA transcriptions will help you, you can get IPA transcriptions for any sentence you want from www.abair.ie, in each of the different dialects.


I notice that the speaker of this particular phrase (here in Duolingo) pronounces it "yeeve", but in other comments I read that there is a 'g' sound making the whole phrase sound more like "Dia gheeve" I'm not hearing the 'g' sound. Is this just me?


The audio file was changed. When the writers of some of the comments first came to this sentence, the speaker did indeed say "daoibh" with a "g" sound. Now it's a "y" sound, as you noted.


Why is it that sometimes "daoibh" is pronounced more like "gwiv", and sometimes like "yiv"? Is there any real different, or is it just different ways to say the same word, like frustrated/fustrated pronunciation of frustrated in English? Is one more correct than the other?


Americans (southern ones) might also use Hello y'all here....


I am studying: English (I am Romanian), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, but Irish is strange. Very strange. Especially at pronounciation.


It should accept "Hello y'all!" for dia daoibh because that marks the plural/singular distinction of duit/daoibh


Can anybody break down the pronunciation of "daoibh"? It sounds like "wheeve" to my ear, and i just can't seem to connect any letters to any sounds. Thanks!


That's not the best word to start with - it's like trying to understand how "How are you?" works when what you are hearing is "howya" or "howdy" - the daily pronunciation of Dia daoibh and Dia duit don't really match the way they are written.

They are pronounced as though the "d" is "lenited" - as though the word was spelled dhaoibh. When consonants like "d" and "b" are lenited, their sound changes, and there isn't a simple equivalent in English for the sound that you are hearing for "dh", it's a sort of breathy "g". the "bh" is a more straightforward "v" sound.

You might find it useful to listen to some other examples from Duolingo:
Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire daoibh! Dia daoibh! Dia is Muire duit!


how do you pronounce "Dia Daoibh"? The person says it too fast to understand


I'm having trouble with pronunciation of the slender d /dʲ/ (Dia, cuidiú, leid), the slender l /lʲ/ (léim, bileog, cáil), and also the slender n /nʲ/ (níl, sloinne). Do you guys have any suggestions for how to pronounce these letters? Also having trouble with pronouncing "duit" and "daoibh". Is there a /ɤ/ in those words? Any help would be appreciated! :)


Does it mean in the formal/direct sense: "Good day!" ?


Closer to that then the given ""God to you all" Duo literally reports.


You are right. Now, I see it. Thank you!


What's the difference between "Ciamar a tha sibh" and "dia daoibh" ? They both mean hello right? Is one more common or acceptable?


"Ciamar a tha sibh?" is not Irish, it's Scotttish Gaelic and it means "how are you?". "Dia daoibh" is Irish and means "hello".


Cad é mar atá tú?, Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú? and Conas atá tú? are all reasonably common in Irish (in Ulster, Connacht and Munster, in that order), and are the equivalent of "How are you?".

As such, they're alternatives to Dia daoibh, in so far as "How are you?" is an alternative to "Hello", but they don't mean "Hello".


Di-yi-yiv, paíste.


Why have i always been told growing up that this was pronounced like 'dia ditch'?


Irish differentiates between the 2nd person singular () and the 2nd person plural (sibh). When these pronouns are combined with the preposition do you get duit and daoibh.

You say Dia duit! if you are addressing a single person, or Dia daoibh! if you are saying "Hello" to more than one person.


I love reading these comments. So helpful.


Does this sound like "teir reef" to anyone else?

[deactivated user]

    The Irish are very friendly people.


    "y'all" certainly not English as spoken in England!


    I'm very much struggling with the pronunciation of these particular words. I've listened to the robot voice speak it multiple times and I still feel like I'm not entirely grasping what my mouth should be doing.


    She's not a robot. This is a recording of an actual person.

    Be aware that this is like seeing "How are you?" but hearing "Howya?". It's not necessarily worth your while wasting too much time on it at this point - if you aren't comfortable with the way you are saying it, just move on to something else.


    How do I pronounce this word?!


    Everyone always says something like Dia ditch or dia detch which sounds completely different this can someone explain?

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