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How To Say Hello In Irish (as Gaeilge)

Updated on June 28, 2011

Cúpla Focal

Irish, or Gaeilge as its known in Ireland, is a very beautiful language. While being quite a hard language to master, it is not hard at all to learn to speak enough to have a chat with your friends down in the pub, or to read signposts and other things in Irish speaking areas. Going hand and hand with the easy going, friendly nature of Irish life, native speakers will always be glad to give you a hand with learning a cúpla focal - a few words!

Greetings - How to say hello

When you first meet someone, the normal way of saying "hello" would be "dia duit".

This is usually pronounced "Djee-ah Dit" depending on the area.

In English, "dia duit" would translate to "God be with you"

The correct response to this, would not to reply with the same phrase, but to say "God and Mary be with you" which is "Dia is Muire dhuit"

This is pronounced "Djee-ah is Smura Dit"

Although it is unlikely for a greeting to go on longer than that, one must bear in mind that Irish people are famous for talking for a decent amount of time, without saying all that much at all. But anyhow, if you were to reply back again to "God and Mary be with you", you must reply with "God and Mary and Patrick be with you".

"God and Mary and Partick be with you" in Gaeilge is "Dia is Muire is Pádraig duit".

The pronounciation of this is "Djee-ah is Smura is Paw-drig Dit"

In Conversation

So a basic greeting as Gaeilge would unfold like so..

Person 1 - "Dia duit"

Person 2 - "Dia is Muire duit"

Person 3 - "Dia is Muire is Pádraig duit"


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      Ciarán 3 years ago


      Please TOTALLY ignore Caoimhe - her condescending, belittling attitude is EXACTLY what has been the reason for the decline in the Irish language (people sniping, correcting, etc.... hence leading people to hate it). She obviously got out of the wrong side of the bed and her Irish isn't the best either.

      Note: Typically these condescending people get their corrections wrong! For example: "Cúpla Focal" is 100% correct as 'cúpla' is a singular form depite meaning two; If, however, there were three words, it;d be "Trí Focail"

      Go n-éirí leat, a mhac!

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      caoimhe 3 years ago

      i have a few things to say about this article:

      1. it's "cúpla focail", not "focal" as it is in the plural form when with the word for few.

      2. your pronunciations are pretty unnatural, it's "dee-a gwit" and "dee-a iss mur-a gwit"

      3. if you're gonna play the game where you just keep adding saints then don't forget that people tend to put their local saint before patrick, e.g. in glencolmcille the order is dia - muire - colmcille - pádraig - bríd - etc.

      4. "partick" are you for real??

      although i suppose i shouldn't really be surprised considering you're the person who says "go dtí abhaile"

      tá súil agam go dtiocfaidh feabhas ar do chuid gaeilge, toisc nach bhfuil sé ró-mhaith faoi láthair. ceapaim b'fhéidir nach bhfuil tú ó éire thú féin, agus má tá sin fíor tá tú go hiontach ag an ghaeilge. ach ní cheapaim ba cóir duit a bheith ag múineadh daoine eile mura bhfuil tú líofa sa theanga. más éireannach thú, bhuel, tá do ghaeilge ceart go leor ach d'éadfadh sé a bheith níos fearr. an céad uair eile déan cinnte go bhfuil do gramadaí go léir i gceart agat roimh a chuireann tú rud éigin thuas ar an idirlín!!


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      Fiona 6 years ago

      you could add a 4th person to the conversation, who'd say: " Dia agus Muire agus Pádraig agus Brighid dhuit"! and for the next ones, you can say whatever you like, use your imagination!!