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Alphabet in Irish Language

Knowing the Irish alphabet is crucial in learning the Irish Language. Irish alphabet configuration is used in a daily conversation. Without the Irish alphabet, it is extremely hard to speak the Irish phrases properly even if you can write those words in Irish. Learn More

Like in any language, the better you pronounce a letter in a word, the better grasped you will be in speaking the Irish language. Listed below are web links which redirects you to the Irish alphabet and how it is actually pronounced in English.
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Vowels in Irish Alphabet

These are the pronunciations of the vowels when stressed (stress with word-initial). Unstressed short vowels (not marked with an accent) are generally pronounced like an 'uh' sound.
alike 'o' in "cod"
álike 'aw' in "flaw"
elike 'e' in "peg"
élike 'ay' in "hay"
ilike 'i' in "tin"
ílike 'ee' in "heel"
olike 'u' in "bud"
ólike 'o' in "home"
ulike 'u' in "bud"
úlike 'oo' in "cool"
vowel combinations/diphthongs in Irish (e.g. 'Gaeilge, 'seachtain) are slightly rounded and pronounced in the back of the mouth without using the lips at all. (e.g. 'Gaeilge' should not, strictly speaking, be pronounced with a w after the g.) Thus, correct pronunciation can be obtained only from imitating spoken Irish, but the pronunciation guide given here is an adequate enough approximation in that by using it, you will be perfectly understood by any Irish speaker.

Consonants in Irish Alphabet

Consonant combinations with h are sometimes written with a dot (séimhiú, shay-VOO) on the letter instead of the h and are sometimes silent. All consonants have two versions called caol (narrow, palatalized) and leathan (wide, velarized) (except for h, which is neither palatalized or velarized); this is indicated in writing by adjacent vowels.
As a rule, if the nearest vowel is a, o, or u, the consonant is broad. If the nearest vowel is e or i, it is slender.
blike bed
bhlike W sound when broad; like a V sound when slender
clike kid when broad; like the ty in Hungarian when slender (does not occur in English)
chas in Scottish 'loch' when broad; as in German ich when slender
dlike dog but sometimes slightly softer, like the Icelandic ð or th in them, often like the English 'j' when followed by an 'e' or 'i'
dhvoiced h sound when broad, y when slender; sometimes vague gh sound (Munster dialect especially), always silent after long vowels
flike fun
fhsilent (except in Ulster, where it's said like an h)
glike go when broad; like the gy in Hungarian when slender (does not occur in English, with the closest approximation probably being the d in the French dure)
ghsee dh
hlike help
llike lean
mlike mother
mhsame as bh but slightly softer
nlike nice
nglike sing when broad and word initial (follow with a broad g otherwise); like onion when slender and word initial (follow with a slender g otherwise)
plike pig
phlike phone or whom
rrolled or flapped
slike soon when broad; like sheen when slender
shlike hear
tlike th in 'the', or occasionally like t in 'tin', depending on its placement in the word; sometimes pronounced as the English 'ch' in China when slender
thlike hear

Semi Vowels/ Diphthongs in Irish Alphabet

Diphthongs are generally irregular and can be learned only by experience. For example, 'ai' in "Corcaigh" (the city and county of Cork) is pronounced like the 'i' in "dig" but the 'ai' in "faic" (nothing) is pronounced like the 'a' in "hack", and the 'ai' in "haigh!" (hi!, transliteration of a loan-word) is pronounced like the 'i' in "high".

[table id=irish filter=”Special Consonant Cluste

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