1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Irish
  4. >
  5. What dialect?


What dialect?

Dia diaobh, duolingo and everyone else :)

I was just wandering what dialect the Irish course on Duolingo teaches.

I'm asking because I noticed some pronunciation differences compared to other teaching methods (e.g. dia duit = dee-ah guit = djah ditch - deeah hit etc). I'm getting very confused by this!

Also, are the different dialects mutually intelligible?

Thanks in advance :)

October 23, 2014



Writen, it's the Caighdean, with some Bearlachas. Spoken, it's the "learner's dialect." There is no official standard pronunciation, and this speaker makes very common learner's mistakes, not conforming to any naively spoken dialect.

And, yes, generally the dialects are mutually intelligible, especially since the advent of TG4 and RnaG.


You mean that the speaker isn't a native?


Yes, Duolingo went ahead and hired a non-native speaker. That's the main reason I'm putting the Irish course off for a while. I'm waiting to see if there's going to be a resolution on that before I dive in.


I’ve been doing the course without the audio component, so you don’t need to wait for it to be corrected before starting the course.


Well, Irish isn't doesn't have a purely phonetic orthography. That is, you can't just read it and know how it's pronounced right away. Certainly I understand that there's a pattern, but it's not 1 sound and only 1 sound per letter. So the voice in my head might make a good guess, but it will probably be wrong. So, I would like a native speaker (or a good TTS) to give that little voice in my head some direction. Further, if a native speaker is promised (by the Duolingo team), I expect a native speaker. The fact that many people say that there are dead giveaways that the speaker is not a native speaker is rather upsetting. Either way, I'll wait and see if anything develops.


You mean that you only learn the written Irish?

But isn't it so that the different dialects also have different spelling rules and grammar structures? :P I'm still a bit confused and I would have appreciated it if Duolingo provided a short explanation about the dialect(s) used in this course. In some cases it already does, though.


Yes, my primary focus is on the written language. There are differences in the written language between the dialects, but this course teaches the Caighdeán rather than the written form of one of the three spoken dialects.


The speaker claims to be native, but everyone who has experience with the language is saying she isn't. So far, Duolingo has been silent, and so have the mods, except to tell us they can't do anything and it will be fixed.


Yes, I'll definitely acknowledge that there has been no confirmation that the speaker is non-native, but the wide consensus by those with experience is that speaker is not in fact a native speaker. However, benefit of the doubt and all that, there has been no official confirmation. That said, I'm still put off enough by the whole thing that I'm going to wait on the Irish course until there's more official word on the matter, or better yet that it gets fixed.


I am really put off about it, too, especially since they claimed it was "dialect" at first. I've also started to see a lot of Bearlachas in the translations (such as "having" a nightmare), and a lot of odd translations (like translating a passive construction as active). I've sadly given up hope for a correction on the speaker, as nobody seems to be willing to admit she isn't native...


I wonder if she did actually claim to be a native speaker or have others made that claim about her. Either way, it's completely untrue.


The more I think about this, the more I wonder honestly. I never recall seeing anything about the speaker in the days leading up to the release except she "sounds native." But it would shock me if Duolingo chose a non-native...


There are several dialects of Irish, yes whether you are from Cork or Dublin, you will more than likely speak a different type of Irish. While almost everything in Irish is the same wherever you head, there's regional words which may be different depending where you are.


I don't have an answer for the exact dialect that is being used maybe this link will help you contact someone who does:


As for dialects having some sort of relation; in general I'd say they all share a base which mainly just varies certain words and pronounciation. I hope this helps.


It's the official standard.

Learn Irish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.