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Irish Language Questions Collection: Pronouncing “Dia” and More

Irish Langauge Questions Collection: Pronouncing "Dia"

Members of Bitesize Irish Gaelic, and non-members alike, often contact us with questions. Here are some recent answers to them that might also be of interest to you.

Irish Language question about pronouncing “Dia”

John is a free trial member, and was taking Bitesize Lesson 1: How to start a conversation in Irish Gaelic. He asked:

The pronunciation of dia (in “Dia dhuit”, which is “Hello”) with a j sound is common to what dialect in Ireland? I understand there are several dialects in the country and some have different pronunciations.

Though Eoin speaks a Munster dialect, the letter d sounding like j is more common in the Connaught and Ulster dialects. Here is an example from three native speakers http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/dia_beag Of course, there are more local dialects and accents which affects the pronunciation of the letter d. (Eoin’s note: we can’t all be perfect!)

Advanced verbs Irish language question

Ian is a Bitesize member, and was all the way down in Bitesize Lesson 109: Verbs: The present tense. His question was not for the faint-hearted:

Dia daiobh, is there a rule for when you use the synthetic and analytic forms , or can both be used interchangeably?

Siobhán, our language assistant for members replied:

Yes, both the synthetic and analytic forms are interchangeably. However, the same suffixes used for the present tense cannot be used in the past tense etc. Both the synthetic and analytic forms are commonly used in the present tense but the synthetic form isn’t as common in the other tenses, it all depends on if it’s singular or plural, for example http://www.teanglann.ie/en/gram/mol

  1. Synthetic form in which the subject pronoun is suffixed to the verb and the two become one word.
  2. Analytic form on the other hand consists of the verb and a separate subject pronoun.

Learning Irish through song

I’m interested in finding A group that enjoys the culture and language in the northern Utah area as much as I do. Also I would like to find more children songs in the Irish language. I learn much better through repetition and songs seem to stick. I have found a few on youtube but only one or two. Any suggestions or links would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your time
Derrick W.

We would like to recommend you this group that posts videos on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tglurgan

They are translating and singing all the popular hits and well known songs on Irish.

Starting to learn, Russian is my native language

Dear Bitesize team,

First of all, congrats for doing a wonderful job with the site 🙂

Do you have any piece of advice for a person outside Ireland, of completely different origin (not even native English speaker), but who loves the country and would (REALLY) like to learn Irish?

Go raibh maith agat 🙂

First of all, you’re at no great disadvantage because you live outside of Ireland. I’m sure that it will help to you a lot that you have already learnt another language, English.

I would recommend that you read simple texts aloud, like little children’s stories. Such sites as http://www.teanglann.ie/en/fuaim/ and http://forvo.com/languages/ga/ will help you with the pronunciation.

Irish has many similarities to many Indo-European languages. One amazing example is that the Irish and Russian share the same word for a paw, “lapa.” The Romanian word for up or upwards sounds quite similar to the Irish word of the same meaning, “suas”. Many words also came directly from Latin. You will come to see many similarities and patterns as time goes on.

Irish Language Questions Collection Final thoughts

Your question might seem “too simple to ask”, but we’re happy to help. Siobhán, our language assistant, is even known to make voice recordings if it helps. Contact us with your question.

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