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  5. "Labhraíonn sé."

"Labhraíonn sé."

Translation:He speaks.

August 26, 2014



I'm sure there will be a constant influx of questions about pronunciation.

I'm really struggling with this verb. What's the rule of thumb for remembering the different ways "bh" is pronounced? Does it depend on the surrounding vowels/consonants as well?


From my book Complete Irish:

"bh, mh: Pronounce v when broad... In the middle of a word, broad bh/mh are also pronounced v after a long vowel (one with the accent), e.g. ábhar (subject) is a ávar... The sequence short vowel + bh/mh in the middle of a word gives an ow sound as in pound e.g. leabhar (book) is lyowr.

Slender bh/mh are v in all positions."

So if I'm in doubt, I guess v as it seems the most likely.


what is a slender vowel and what is a short vowel?


I believe a short vowel is a vowel without the 'accent' on it and the slender vowels are e and i


From an article about Irish pronunciation:

The Pronunciation of mh or bh varies regionally. In Ulster the General rule is that they are pronounced w when broad and v when narrow. In Munster (as in the Western isles of Scotland) the tendency is to pronounce as v at the beginning or the end of a word and w in the middle. I've never been able to figure out exactly how it works in Connacht.


bh generally sounds like v in english so Labh would be Lahv, but the way it's being pronounced by the automation on this lesson almost sounds like Lahw instead of Lahv. I think it depends on the dialect you're speaking in as well.


It's not automation! (All of the other languages are automated, but not Irish.) It's a real person, I believe from Connaught.


oh wow! that's awesome! i didn't mean any offense. Tom-Morgan actually pointed out what i was inquiring about and misinterpretating!


Ah, that makes sense. So a "v" sound would also be correct pronunciation?


"bh" after a broad vowel (a, o, u) makes roughly a "w" sound in english. After a slender vowel (i, e), it takes on a more "V" sound (like in "victor").


Basically as /w/ when broad and /vʲ/ when narrow.


I'm assuming that seeing as "he is speaking" isn't correct, that Irish has a different form for the continuing present?


Yeah, but I'm not sure what it is :P

Google Translate isn't very helpful for Irish phrases.


"He is speaking" = tá sé ag labhairt


Check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_orthography#Vowels It may look intimidating, but it does help!


Yes. More important than the table is the few lines of explanation before it.


re Tom Morgan's comment, how is Siobhan (with accent) pronounced? It's my name but I have never pronounced it with a "w" sound, neither did my parents, who came from Ireland. I am totally confused by the consonant/vowel combinations.


In Irish, "Siobhán" it can indeed be said with a /w/. However, among English speakers, it's always with a /v/.


It was always my understanding that "Siobhan" was pronounced "shu-VON"


Siún (Shoon) is how it was pronounced, it is still pronounced that way by many native speakers.


Does anyone know the difference between she and he


She/sí, he/sé


Could someone explain the pronunciation here please? Labhraionn sounds to me like "loud-en". Is the bh said like a D sound in this case? or is it the R that sounds like the D (when you flick the R it sometimes sounds like that). Thank you :)


The sound you hear is coming from the "R" - it's a quirk in the way she pronounces labhraíonn (in her dialect, labhair is treated as a first conjugation verb, so she says labhrann, even though it is a second conjugation verb, and in other dialects the pronunciation more closely follows the spelling labhraíonn, so the í is pronounced).

You can hear her pronounce labhraíonn in some other exercises for comparison - there is quite a bit of variation (which isn't a bad thing - that sort of variation is natural in ordinary speech), and that "d" sound isn't there:
Labhraíonn sé Gaeilge
Labhraíonn an fia Gaeilge
An labhraíonn tú Rúisis?
Labhraíonn an leon


This word looks Nothing like it sounds. Any tips on remembering how to spell this?


The way I think of it is, the bh in this case makes a 'w' sound, so it's lah-ww. The R sounds a bit like a 'd' in this accent, so put together, labhr- sounds like lah-ww-d ("loud").
Next is -aionn, which sounds to me like 'ah-on' but the 'ah' is fast, so it kind of just sounds like 'on'. All together, labhraionn --> loud-on (sort of)

Hope that was helpful! Anyone with more knowledge than me, feel free to correct me haha


As pointed out above, there are other examples of this speaker saying labhraíonn that don't have this "D" sound that some of you think is there (I don't hear it).

The second part of the word is not "aionn", it's aíonn with a fada on the í, which should have an "ee" sound, but she is rushing it so much that it's more like "rin" than "reeon".



I was here before the pronunciations were fixed. Is this going by a specific dialect?


Sounds like french to me


For heaven's sake what's wrong with he talks?!!


How is the L pronounced in the verb pls .

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