Make a real connection to your Irish heritage
Feeling like you could never crack Irish Gaelic?
Break it down into easy Bitesize portions, with the free "Irish for Beginners" email course by Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
Enter your name and email address below to get started (and we'll never spam you):
Lesson by "The Irish People"
letter "o" in Irish as a single vowel sound, with lips rounded
but not protruded. Do not spread the lips at the beginning of the
sound or you will get a faint (ay) sound before the "o".
Do not contract the lips at the end of the sound or you will get an
(oo) sound after the (oh).
When the "o"
has a síneadh (SHEEN-uh) over it, hold the sound for a longer
time than you would in English. If the "o" has no síneadh,
pronounce it in the same way but do not hold the sound as long.
Compare the English
word "loan" and Irish "lón" (lohn). Watch
your lips in a mirror as you say "loan" very slowly, and
you will see them contract for a slight (oo) sound after the (oh).
Then say Irish "lón", holding the (oh) sound and
going directly to the (n).
Practice on: ól,
óg, ón, ór, bó, mór, nós,
bábóg (bah-BOHG), pósta (POHS-tuh), gnóthach
For the shorter
sound, practice on: gob, obair(OH-bir), loch (lohk*), ordóg
(ohr-DOHG), coróin (koh-ROH-in), focal (FOH-kuhl).
Sometimes an "o" next to an "i" and without a
síneadh is not sounded but merely indicates that the consonant
beside the "o" gets its broad sound. Examples: coill (kwil),
of "o" with vowels have various sounds that we will review
The irregular verbs are not entirely irregular in the saorbhriathra
(say*r-VREE-uh-ruh), free form, in the future. These are they:
tiocfar (TYUHK-fuhr), people will come
people will go
people will hear, it will be heard
it will be seen
(DAY*N-fuhr), it will be done
it will be given
air (BAY*R-fuhr er), it will be seized
it will be gotten, found
(DAY*R-fuhr), it will be said
(EES-fuhr), it will be eaten
The negative form:
( nee HUHK-fuhr), people won't come
people won't go
(K*LISH-fuhr), people won't hear, it won't be heard
(EK-fuhr), it won't be seen
(YAY*N-fuhr), it won't be done
(HOOR-fuhr), it won't be given
air (VAY*R-fuhr), it won't be seized
(VWEYE-fuhr), it won't be said
it won't be eaten
In the question, "an" and "nach" eclipse the first
consonant of the free form. With "an", the forms are:
an dtiocfar? (un
DUHK-fuhr), will people come?
an rachfar? will
(GLISH-fuhr), will it be heard?
(VEK-fuhr), will it be seen?
(NAY*N-fuhr) will it be done?
(DOOR-fuhr), will it be given?
air? (MAY*R-fuhr), will it be seized?
(VWEYE-fuhr), will it be gotten, found?
(NYAY*R-fuhr), will it be said?
will it be eaten?
With these three word groups:
tiocfar; abhaile (uh VWAHL-e); go hÉirinn (goh HAY*R-in), go
through this drill:
abhaile? Ní thiocfar abhaile. An dtiocfar go hÉirinn?
Tiocfar go hÉirinn.
Go through the same pattern of drill for:
Rachfar; go dtí
an chathair (goh DEE un K*AH-hir), to the city; chuig na sléibhte
(hig nuh SHLAY*-te), to the mountains.
t-amhránaí (un tou-RAW*N-ee), the singer; an banna ceoil
(un BAHN-uh KYOH-il), the band.
Feicfear; an scannán
(skah-NAW*N), movie; an dráma (DRAW*-muh), play.
an obair seo; an obair sin.
é; do Sheán é.
ar an ngadaí (er ung AH-dee), the thief; ar an bhfear eile
(er un VAR EL-e), the other man.
Gheofar; an ceann
sin (un kyoun shin), that one; an dara (DUH-ruh) ceann, the second
leis an gcailín é; liom é.
an mhairteoil (vwahrt-YOH-il), beef; an mhuiceoil (vwik-YOH-il), pork.
Ciarán (keer-AW*N): Téanam (TYAY*N-uhm) isteach anois,
a Cháit (K*AW*-it). Tá sé ag éirí
níos fuaire (eg EYE-ree nees FOO-i-re). Kieran: Let's go in
now, Kate. It's becoming colder.
Cáit: Is fuaire atá sé anois ná a bhí
sé inné. Kate: It's colder now than it was yesterday.
Feictear dom go bhfeicfimid sneachta go luath (goh VEK-hi-mid SHNAHK*-tuh
goh LOO-uh). Kieran: It appears to me that we will see snow soon.
rachfar chuig ná sléibhte ansin? Kate: Won't people
go to the mountains then?
Rachfar, le sciáil (le SHKEE-aw*-il). Kieran: They will, to
you like to learn Irish Gaelic with audio pronunciation?
can really start to learn to speak Irish with Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
It's a full online learning program.
Then take the free
for Beginners email course by Bitesize Irish Gaelic. Every couple
of days, you'll get a mini-series of free Irish language lessons. Each
lesson is full of interactive audio recordings.
- Would you like
to make a connection with Ireland?
- And speak the
native language of the Irish?
- Do you find
it difficult to learn from reading only text?
Irish with Irish for Beginners, by Bitesize Irish Gaelic.
to top of page>>
(c) 1998 The
Irish People. May be reprinted with credit.