Finding free Irish language resources can be a daunting task, especially putting them together in one place but that’s what this post is exactly for.
These are some of the top resources that I use when I’m trying to perfect my pronunciation, particularly as I’ve an interest in Gaelainn Chorca Dhuibhne.
Free Irish language resources that will help you with pronunciation:
If you’re ever stuck on how to pronounce something that’s not just a single word, head to Abair.ie where they have a vocal synthesiser built into the site.
– Three dialects are represented, Connacht, Corca Dhuibhne, and Gaoth Dobhair.
– You can slow the sentences down, speed them up and change from a male to a female voice for playback.
– The site also has a brilliant breakdown of Irish sounds and spellings on a separate page on site here with sound files as well.
– Website is available in Irish and English.
– It takes a bit of time to get used to the synthesiser as it sounds a bit tinny.
If you’re planning on perfecting your pronunciation, then Fuaimeanna.ie is super useful. It’s a website that highlights the International Phonetic Alphabet in relation to the Irish language something that is so overlooked by learners (and myself too). I use a shadowing method when I use the site where I repeat out loud again and again.
– Native Irish speakers have created the sound files from Gaoth Dobhair, An Cheathrú Rua, and Corca Dhuibhne.
– Real examples of IPA in action with Irish words.
– Website available in Irish and English
– You can get a glossary of terms and a free chapter on site here.
– You need to put a lot of work into this to get the most of it. I own the accompanying book and while I really like it, it’s written entirely in Irish which feels a bit counter-intuitive when you’re trying to perfect your pronunciation. Plus the description of the book on site is “a beginner’s course in phonetics and phonology” which it isn’t since it’s entirely written in Irish.
3. Raidió na Gaeltachta
I’ll hammer this home but the best native Irish language presenters to listen to with superb pronunciation are on Raidió na Gaeltachta. While other stations can be good, the standard of speakers can vary which is understandable. However, RnaG, is an institution full of fantastic speakers.
– Top-quality native Irish language speakers.
– You can download podcasts from different shows here!
– The episodes are taken off the website after a while so make sure you download the ones you want.
Molscéal is basically a condensed version of Nuacht TG4’s stories and it’s a wonderful resource.
– Great selection of modern content
– Lovely older content too such as “on this day”
– You can organise the site by region e.g. I set it to Munster to see just stories from there.
– On the main site, you can only go back 6 pages for each topic, however, if you use the search bar for a specific word e.g. Ciarraí, then it goes further back in time.
– Entire site is in Irish (which is fine for me but might not be for you if you’re just starting out!)
Less about perfecting your pronunciation, this is more about acknowledging how rich the language is. This archive of Irish dialect sound recordings was made during 1928-31 and contains folktales, songs, and other material recited by native Irish speakers from 17 counties.
– Rich, dialectal, important content kept safe here on site.
– Transcripts are available too in Irish as well as translations
– You can download audio files.
– Footnotes and commentary on stories told on site
– The sound files can be hard to listen to and decipher at times.
– Some of the transcriptions are missing.