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Lesson by "The Irish People"
Read the phrases
below out loud, referring to the pronunciation guide if necessary.
When you can read the phrases readily, look at the translation and
then go over the phrases again, visualizing the meaning as you say
Irish pronunciation of some words varies from region to region, just
as in other countries, such as Germany, France, and the United States.
Ireland is small in size, compared to those countries, however, and
the variations in the pronunciation in Ireland are less evident than
in most countries in Europe.
If you are working
with a fluent or native speaker, you have undoubtedly encountered
some differences between our simplified pronunciation guide and the
pronunciation of the speaker. Our pronunciation guide tries to give
you a system which will be easy to apply, fairly uniform and consistent,
and readily understood over as wide an area of Ireland as possible.
It is not tied exclusively to any single region. From time to time,
we will describe some of the regional variations in pronunciation.
There are three
basic regions in Ireland, as far as the language is concerned: Munster,
in the south; Connaught, in the west; and Ulster, in the north. One
general rule on pronunciation difference among the three regions is
that accent in a word tends to be toward the end of the word in Munster,
toward the front in Ulster, and evenly distributed in Connaught.
For example, with
"agam", on me, the Munster pronunciation is (uh-GUHM), and
the Ulster pronunciation is (AH-guhm). In Connaught, the pronunciation
is (ah-guhm), with a more even distribution of accent.
is pronounced (gu-ruh-MAH-huh-guht) in Munster and (gu-ruh-muh-HAH-guht)
with pronunciation differences of this kind will make them readily
understandable, just as they are in English. Whether you say (eye
KANT) or (eye KAHNT) for "I can't", you will understand
(ah KAYNT) from some speakers from the southern United States.
Read this passage
slowly without looking at the key below it. Then read it a second
time, making use of the key if you are unsure. Do not try to make
sense of the words; concentrate on the pronunciation and on grouping
the words into phrases:
Is iad an cineál
dreama, gur leag siad síos, an bhunsraith, go bhfaca sé
ceadmhach sa dara cás, an smuta mailíseach seo, roimh
iarratais ar an bpost, a thug sé formhór a shaoil. As
sin amach, gur toradh meatachta is mímhacántachta, agus
bíonn na tuismitheoirí as an iarsma, le linn na gcúirteanna
dóibh siud a bheidh i láthair.
SHEE-uhd un KIN-aw*l
DRAM-uh gur lag SHEE-uhd shees uh vun-SRAH, goh VAHK-uh shay* KAD-uh-vwahk*
suh DUH-ruh kaw*s, un SMUT-uh mahl-ee-SHAHK* shuh, rev EER-uh-tish
er un bohst, uh hug shay* fohr-uh-VWOHR uh HEEL. as shin uh-MAHK*,
gur TOHR-uh MYA-tuhk*t-uh is mee-vuh-KAW*N-tuhk*t-uh, AH-guhs BEE-uhn
nuh toosh-mi-HOH-i-ree as un EERS-muh, le lin nuh GOO-ir-tyan-uh,
DOH-iv shood uh ve i LAW*-hir.
In the present
habitual tense, some verbs have slightly different forms from the
forms that you began to learn last week. These verbs are the same
two-syllable ones that you studied in Lesson 27. These verbs have
forms like "cheannaíomar" (hyan-EE-uh-muhr), we bought,
in the past.
To say "I buy", etc., the forms are:
(kan-EEM), I buy
(kan-EE-uhn) tú, you buy
sé, he buys
sí, she buys
(kan-EE-mid), we buy
sibh, you (pl.) buy
siad, they buy
And then: ní cheannaím (nee hyan-EEM), I don't buy
(nee hyan-EE-uhm) tú, you don't buy, etc.
(un gyan-EEM) do I buy?
tú? (un gyan-EE-uhn too), do you buy, etc.
seacht gcarr (shahk*t
gahr), seven autos
ocht gcarr (ohk*t
gahr), eight autos
naoi gcarr (nee
gahr), nine autos
deich gcarr (de
gahr), ten autos
snámh, ag snámh (snaw*v, uh SNAW*V), swim
pósadh (pohs, uh POHS-uh), marry
clis, ag cliseadh
(klish, uh KLISH-uh), fail
ag éirí (EYE-ree, eg EYE-ree), rise, get up
To improve your
fluency with the present habitual tense and with aspiration and eclipses
of initial "d" and "f", go through these four
nuachtáin? (un NEE-lim NOO-uhk*-taw*-in) Do I sell newspapers?
Ní dhíolaim nuachtáin (nee YEE-lim NOO-uhk*-taw*-in).
Díolann tú (DEE-luhn too) nuachtáin. An ndíolann
tú nuachtáin? Ní dhíolann tú nuachtáin,
etc. The last sentence is: Díolaim nuachtáin.
An ndúnaim na fuinneoga? (un NOON-im nuh fwin-YOHG-uh) Do I
close the windows? Ní dhúnaim (nee GOON-im) na fuinneoga.
Dúnann tú (DOON-uhn too) na fuinneoga, etc. Last sentence:
Dúnaim na fuinneoga.
An bhfillim abhaile ar a sé a chlog? (un VILL-im uh-VWAHL-e
er uh shay* uh k*luhg) Do I return home at six o'clock? Ní
fhillim abhaile (nee ILL-im uh-VWAHL-e) ar a sé a chlog. Fillean
tú (FILL-uhn too), etc. Last sentence: Fillim abhaile ar a
sé a chlog.
An bhfanaim leis
an bhfearr sin? (un VAHN-im lesh un var shin) Do I wait for that man?
Ní fhanaim (nee AHN-im) leis an bhfearr sin. Fanann tú
(FAHN-uhn too), etc. Last sentence: Fanaim leis an bhfearr sin.
Write or say the "we" form for these verbs: díolaimid
(DEEL-uh-mid); dúnaimid (DOON-uh-mid); fillimid (FILL-i-mid);
Count doors and windows from one to ten. Doras, dhá dhoras,
trí dhoras, ... seacht ndoras, etc. Fuinneog, dhá fhuinneog,
trí fhuinneog, ... seacht bhfuinneog, etc.
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(c) 1997 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.