An overview of dialects
As you may or may not know, there are three main Irish Gaelic dialects:
- Munster dialect (south of Ireland, such as counties Kerry, Cork and Waterford)
- Connacht dialect (Connemara and Aran Islands in the west of Ireland - both in County Galway, and County Mayo)
- Ulster dialect (north of Ireland, such as Donegal and Belfast)
Now and Then on Irish-Sayings.com
Originally, the only pronunciation featured on Irish-Sayings.com was the Munster dialect. Now we have recordings by native speakers of all three dialects. Please note that all phrases are recorded in Munster and Connacht dialects, and half are also available in Ulster.
How different are the dialects?
On Irish-Sayings.com, you may only hear a slight difference of pronunciation between both speakers. For single words this is true, but the dialects can differ in their word and phrase selection, and there are even some grammatical differences. Given the existance of national Irish language radio (Radio na Gaeltachta - opens in a new window) and Irish language television station (TG4 - opens in a new window), speakers across Ireland can mostly understand eachother. However, quickly-spoken conversation in another dialect may be difficult at times to understand.
Which dialect is the proper dialect?
None and all of them! It doesn't matter which dialect you learn or use, you'll be understood by any Irish speaker.
I want to start listening!
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You have found quite a unique web site, if we may say so! No other site will allow you to easily listen to all three dialects of the Irish language side-by-side. It's an excellent way to get to know the sounds of the language, at your own pace. Or you can just impress your friends by learning off your favorite phrases.
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By signing up to become an Irish-Sayings.com Gold Member, you'll have access to more that just those free phrases above. You'll be able to listen to a massive 900+ recordings of the Irish language, ready to listen to at your own pace. What's more, membership is non-expiring. Gold Members can even download the MP3 version of each recording.Want to hear more? Become a Gold Member!
More reading - Other web sites
Each site will open in a new window.
- Wikipedia - Irish Language
- Discussion of Irish dialects on IrishGaelicTranslar.com's translation forum.
- Stories to listen to by a speaker from Donegal, Ulster.
Visit our top categories: Love, Irish Words, Irish Blessings, Numbers, Irish Proverbs, Months, Family.
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