How to Pronounce Irish Names 🗣️👂🇮🇪☘️ (and other Irish words): A quick guide

20 Mar 2017 05:23 5,387
Benny Lewis Download
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Seán, Niamh, Ciara, Oisín, Cathal... can you say these right? Maybe this video will help!

It can seem daunting to meet someone whose name you've seen written down, but have no idea how its pronounced & this is especially true with Irish people. This is because a lot of our names are based on Irish orthography (spelling & pronunciation rules).

Having a full understanding of this can take some getting used to, so instead of giving a thorough lesson, I decided to simplify things and give the most practical tips that work the majority of the time. I realize that I had to generalize and there are a few exceptions, but what I covered in this video will genuinely help you the vast majority of the time :)

(I also referred to lenition, implying that it only happens with the letter 'h', but this ignores when it happens with a 't' at the start of words. I didn't bring that up in this video because making notes of all the little things like that would have made this much longer and the remaining rules don't apply as much to names)

I hope I show in this video that it's really not that bad - Irish spelling is very consistent actually, especially when compared to English. If you keep the rules of thumb from the video in mind, you should find it much easier, whether you have Irish friends, or are learning the Irish language :)

To prove the point, here is the video I mentioned near the end, where I read a ridiculous poem in English:

Otherwise, I referenced some other links, so be sure to check out my page on Irish resources here:

And here is a playlist of videos about learning Irish and videos that I've made IN Irish (with subtitles):

Since a few people were asking, here's a link to the background music:

I expect nitpicking in the comments because of things that aren't perfect (not possible to be thorough in a short video), but I hope some of you get genuine use out of this!!

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