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About Irish Consonants Chart

Need to know what are the consonants when it comes to Irish language? In articulatory phonetics, the Irish consonant is actually a speech sound that’s articulated using complete or perhaps partial closure in the vocal system. The term consonant can be used to make reference to a letter of the Irish alphabet which signifies a consonant sound. Learn More

Irish Consonants Chart

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Irish Consonants in 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

Irish Diphthongs in 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".

Click on the links directly below to see a list of helpful Irish travel phrases which you’ll find sorted by category. For each travel word or phrase in Irish, you will see the English interpretation.

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