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Speak Irish Gaelic Instantly

Updated on March 31, 2016


You will never find an Irish Gaelic phrase book on the shelf of an airport or station bookshop. This is due to the fact that it's a minority language even in Ireland. Despite their turbulant history, Irish are a very upbeat, cheerful nation of people, who certainly know how to celebrate. Learning how to speak a few phrases in their fascinating language is a must for anyone planning to visit this beautiful, emerald country.

Irish Gaelic

A Goidelic branch of the Celtic langauges, spoken by around 94,000 people in Ireland daily and 1.3 million occasionally. There are several thousand speakers in Northern Ireland. Like Scottish Gaelic and Welsh, it is spoken by people who can already speak English as well. Still it will be fantastic to speak to the Irish in their own language by learning 10 invaluable Irish Gaelic language phrases. so are you ready to Speak Irish Gaelic Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.

Exercise 1 : Hello

The first word we will learn is the word every person, around the world, uses to greet each other: Hello. There are formal ways of saying this greeting, but we are on vacation so we'll use the pleasant, informal word.

Dia Dhuit

Try these English words: near-twit.

Irish phrase : Dia Dhuit.

What it means : Hello.

English words : near-twit.

Pronounced : de-uh-gwit.

The "g" in "gwit" is only just pronounced making the word sound like Whit. You will get the idea by listening to the native speaker.

Not everyone seems to pronounce this phrase the same way. Another way of pronouncing it is "jee-uh-gwitch". Whichever way you say it I'm sure they'll understand what you are saying and correct you.

Thanks To STAR Translation Services Dublin

Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

My first port of call when I arrive at any destination are the toilets. We need to know where they are. We can already say "hello", now let's ask where the bathroom is.

Cá bhfuil an leithreas

Try these English words: bah-till-man-leth-puss. The "leth" is pronounced as the "leath" part of "leather"

Irish phrase : Cá bhfuil an leithreas?

What it means : Where Are The Toilets?

English words : bah-till-man-leth-puss.

Pronounced : cah-will-an-leth-russ.

I use English words to give you a guide on pronunciation. When you have listened to the native speaker, you might think a different word would be better than the one I've used. By all means, use your word. Whatever it takes to make yourself understood.

Irish Gaelic instructional videos are sparse and I haven't been able to find one for every phrase, but there are some by Diolúin O'h that have plenty of words and phrases. To hear the word for toilet, skip to 0:40.

Thanks To Diolúin O'h For These Excellent Videos

Exercise 3 : Thank You

What a pleasant word this is. It will always get a response whenever we say it in any language and it can be used in hundreds of situations. Not a single day of our holiday will pass without us needing to use it.

Go raibh maith agat

Try these English words: no-kev-bah-nugget.

Irish phrase : Go raibh maith agat.

What it means : Thank You.

English words : no-kev-bah-nugget.

Pronounced : go-rev-mah-ugget.

Gaelic is spoken so subtly that it's not easy to pin a single English word that sounds exactly the same. When heard at speed this phrase sounds like "Gorreh ma uggert". Ergo, the videos are a must to listen to.

Speak Irish Now LLC..Skip To 8:00 minutes

Exercise 4 : Excuse me

Attracting someones attention on vacation will surely happen, whether it be a waiter, a shopkeeper or a passer-by. Use this phrase:

Gabh mo leithscéal

Irish phrase : Gabh mo leithscéal.

What it means : Excuse me.

English words : love-low-mesh-gail.

Pronounced : guv-moh-lesh-cail.

The video clips I show throughout these lessons are for reference of listening to the phrases we are learning, you need not master everything they have to offer, but it is still good practise to listen to a native speaker.

Another Video By STAR Translation Services Dublin

Exercise 5 : How Much is it?

As nice as it would be to travel and not spend a single penny, it's just not going to happen. Sooner or later you will want to know how much something costs.

Cé mhéad atá ar?

Irish phrase : Cé mhéad atá ar?

What it means : How Much is it?

English words : way-laid-a-nor

Pronounced : cay-vayd-a-tawr

The next video is littered with phrases we are learning. Skip to 3:10 to hear this phrase.

Diolúin O'h Fabulous Irish Video

Exercise 6 : I Would Like

This is a great phrase. We can just point to whatever it is we want and say "I would like". It saves us having to learn the name of everything we might want.

Ba mhaith liom

Try these English words: car-pal-numb.

Irish phrase : Ba mhaith liom.

What it means : I Would Like.

English words : car-pile-numb.

Pronounced : bah-vile-lum.

As with any language if you know a native speaker of Irish then you could try out these phrases with them. They will help you perfect your pronunciation.

Skip To 2:00- I Would Like Used In A Sentence

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Eventually during our stay, we are going to need some refreshment. Why don't we go to a bar or cafe and order some drinks?

Cupán...Gloine...Caife...Tae ...Bheoir...Bainne...Fíon...T'uisce

Irish phrase : Cupán caife...Cupán tae.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : pup-on-cafe...pup-on-day.

Pronounced : cup-on-cafe...cup-on-tay.

Irish phrase : Gloine bheoir...bainne...fíon...t'uisce.

What it means : A glass of

English words :

Pronounced : glinner-vee-our...ban-yeh...fee-earn...toosh-keh.

Diolúin O'h

Exercise 8 : Numbers

When we order our drinks we may want more than one. Let's learn the numbers from one to five.

A Haon... Dhá ... Trí ... Ceithre ... Cúig

Irish phrase : A Haon ... Dhá ... Trí ... Ceithre ... Cúig

What it means : One...Two...Three...Four...Five

English words :

Pronounced : a-hain...doh...tree...ka-hair...coo-igg.

Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

In Ireland, both north and south, they have a long standing custom of wanting you to pay for the refreshment and services they have provided. Hence, we will need to ask for the bill.

An bille, más é do thoil é

Irish phrase : An bille, más é do thoil é.

What it means : The bill, please.

English words : gone-villa-basher-the-puller.

Pronounced : on-billa-masheh-der-hulleh.

The video for this phrase can be found at 2:05 on the Exercise 5 film.

Port Rush

Exercise 10 : Goodbye

We began with saying hello, now our vacation is at an end, let's learn to say goodbye.


Irish phrase : Slán.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : barn.

Pronounced : slahn.


Sadly, our trip to Ireland has reached it's end. Don't worry though, you are just as likely to meet an Irish person in the USA, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe or "mainland" Britain, as you are in Ireland. They are a very migratory nation of people and if you know an Irish native and they can speak Irish, why not try out your newly acquired phrases on them. Good luck!


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