Saturday, June 3, 2017

Irish Names

The official languages in Ireland are English and Irish.  In Northern Ireland, only English is official.  You don't need to speak Irish to get around in Dublin.  The only reason to understand a bit of Irish is just so that you don't butcher people's names. 

It's real easy to mess up people's names here.  The spelling may make sense in Irish but for everyone else the way people's names are spelled looks quite dyslexic or something.

Here are a few rules to help...
"BH" and "MH" can each be pronounced like a "V" or a "W".
"FH" is silent.  "GH" can be silent as well.
"PH" is pronounced like "F".
"TH" is pronounced like "H".
"AOI" is pronounced like "EE".
"EOI" is pronounced like "OH".
"EÁ" is pronounced like "AWE".
"SI", "SÍ", "SE", "SÉ", or "S" at the end of a word, are all pronounced "SH".

 For example, here are a few Irish girl names (and how to pronounce them).
Caoimhe = Kee-vah
Siobhán = Shuv-awn
Niamh = Neev
Aoife = Ee-fa
Gráinne = Grawn-yah
Sinéad = Shin-ade
Mairéad = Murr-ade
Ciara = Keer-ah
Saoirse = Seer-sha
Ailish = Ay-lish
Eibhilin = Ay-leen

And here are a few Irish boy names.
Séan = Shawn
Séamus = Shay-muss
Oisín = Ush-een
Cathal = Caw-hull
Tadgh = Tye-g
Padraig = Paw-drig
Ciarán = Keer-awn
Niall = Nile
Diarmuid = Deer-mid
Eoin = O-win
Conchobhar = Con-er
Ruairi = Roar-y

This is just a sample.  I'm sure that there are plenty of other Irish names out there which are often mispronounced.  Here's a short, fun video I found out on YouTube making fun of Americans trying to pronounce Irish names.

©Test Tube News

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