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It is hard to divide ireland accents into categories. Even as ireland Gaelic has ceased come be spoken in the vast bulk of the island, Irish civilization often take into consideration English as, spiritually speaking, a 2nd language.

Below is a list of the broadest categories of decided in Ireland.

Please note: ns am open minded relying ~ above the category system developed by research in the language Raymond Hickey (whose invaluable ireland English resource can be found here), due to the fact that I uncover his language groupings to be the many accurate.

East coastline Irish English (Dublin)

This category comprises the mainly urban accents spoken from Drogheda in the north to Waterford in the south. Possibly the most famous of this dialects is working-class Dublin.


Unlike most Irish accents, non-rhoticity can happen in some an extremely working course variants (i.e. The “r” in ~ the finish of “water isn’t pronounced).The vowels in goat and face are pronounced asdiphthongs comparable to most American and British accents (this contrasts with the rest of Ireland, wherein these phonemes room monophthongs).The dipthong in kite regularly starts from a centralized place: IPA kəit. To American and British ears, kite have the right to sound a little like “koyt.”The diphthong in mouth is regularly fronted come something prefer IPA ɛu or æu or ɜu, amongst other variants. Thus mouth have the right to sound choose “meh-ooth.”Th becomes IPA t and d in words choose thing and also this (i.e. “tin” and “dis”).There is a tremoundous amout of variation, ranging from some suburban Dublin dialect which sound faintly American, to working-class language which room nearly-incomprehensible to outsiders.

Famous Speakers: Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleason, Damien Dempsey, the members of U2.

South-Western irish Accents

This is the team of ireland accents spoken from ar Cork on up through County mayo of the West and also Southern shores of Ireland. These have tendency to show a good deal of affect from irish Gaelic, also if the speakers have no knowledge of the language.


The diphthong in mouth is regularly heavily backed and rounded, pronounced IPA ʌʊ or ɔʊ. Therefore “about” have the right to sound a bit like “a boat” to American ears.The diphthongs in “goat” and also “face” tend to be monophthongs (i.e. IPA go:t and also fe:s).The accent tends to have actually a an extremely “musical” intonation.

Famous Speakers: Cillian Murphy is the only really renowned person I deserve to think of (he’s indigenous Cork), there room a variety of other celebrities native this region, yet they have virtually all softened the features of this dialect.

Northern irish Accents

This is the group of irish accents talked in the district of Ulster (and a few “border” areas). Although many of this accents room to be uncovered within the boundaries of northern Ireland, this additionally includes English together it is talked in county Donegal (in the Republic). Because of the background of Scottish plantation in this region, plenty of of this accents share attributes with Scottish English.


Centralized proununciation that the diphthong in words choose mouth or mound: this have the right to be IPA məʉnd, mɑʉnd, or a number of other variants. For this reason mouth deserve to sound a little bit like “maith” or “moyth” to a brothers or American listener.As in various other Irish accents the dipthongs in face and also goat often tend to be monophthongized (see above).The “oo” in “goose” is pronounced very far in the prior of the mouth (as in Scottish and London English). This can be IPA ʉ, ʏ, or a number of other variants.

Famous Speakers: Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, van Morrison


But wait? Isn’t Ireland the floor of a million accents? Why space there only three categories here?

The problem is, Ireland in some ways has too manyvarieties of English to easily classify into smaller sub-areas.

Take Dublin, for example. It seems there room as many accents in the city together there are people, and also many of this accents are wildly various from every other. These differences are found in numerous parts of Ireland, whereby it frequently seems that every village has a completely different method of speaking from the one next door.

As with most of these language overviews, this is a really incomplete guide to a large region. In the future, this page will it is in updated details on various exterior sources the will offer you a much more complete summary of ireland accents and also dialects.

Copright (c) 2011 through Ben Trawick-Smith. All legal rights reserved


"enry "iggins says:

I really prefer the means you walk this. However, I wanted to mention a pair of points I’ve noticed (and probably you have too) in the accents of the Emerald Isle. An initial of all, I’ve noticed that in East coast Irish English and specifically in working-class Dublin English, face can be a monophthong at least some that the time. Possibly it’s together varies in between a diphthong and a monophthong, i.e., in between <ɛi> and also <ɛː>. Right here is a hilarious YouTube video clip I discovered with two trolls who have really strong, working-class Dublin accents (not “Norn Irish” accents, despite the name of the video) talking around Northern irish accents. You’ll notification one of castle pronounces name through <ɛː> as soon as he says, “…a lorra difficulties pronouncing ours name.”

I’ve additionally noticed that the centralization that the diphthong in kite appears to be much more widespread in the South. It seems to occur in Cork accents. It can happen in other southwestern accents together well. I’ve heard this joint from several of the gibbs in The Wind that Shakes the Barley. You can additionally hear it below from singer-songwriter man Spillane, a Cork native.

Another thing I’ve heard in the southern of Ireland is an extreme fronting (and possibly even raising) that the begin vowel. I’ve heard this in both East coast Irish English and South-Western ireland English (so basically everywhere the southern of Ireland; possibly there are exceptions). You deserve to hear this attribute in man Spillane’s speech for example. Girlfriend can also hear this in the speech of actor Robert Sheehan, from county Laois. Hear to the say words garden, and also the phrases glove compartment of an old car and carved the end of roman inn marble in one interview I found on YouTube. Skilled golfer Pádraig Harrington, indigenous Dublin, likewise has this feature in his speech. You deserve to hear him speak Carnoustie about here. Likewise note his joint of Sharpies. All of these civilization may all have actually different levels of START-fronting, but all of the tokens sound fronted in comparison to my own low back START vowel.

And last however not least, there’s something salient I’ve i found it in northern Irish English that you didn’t point out in the section. This is the intonation pattern of the accent, i m sorry is possibly its most distinctive function in my opinion. Many civilization in Ulster use a distinctive high climbing intonation in watch every utterance. The 2 Dub trolls perform a an excellent job in ~ making fun of this feature. Below is a comedian, that I think might be a Dubliner, who likewise noticed this function of north Irish English. That actually mirrors the interval pattern with the motion of his hand, as you deserve to see. Part Americans and others seem come think this attribute occurs in all accents that Ireland, yet in my endure it only occurs in the decided of the district of Ulster. I understand this was supposed to be simply a basic overview and also I wasn’t expecting you to point out every little feature that every accent of Ireland, yet these are really noticeable features in mine opinion. The course, over there are also other things I’ve noticed that i didn’t feeling like pointing out here.

Thomas says:

I’m one Irishman who happened throughout this page. There absolutely are numerous accents across Ireland, yet in regards to acknowledgement by the popular-psyche in ~ least, ns think you’re missing a large one. Ask any kind of Irish human being to name simply three unique accents in Ireland and I think the bulk would say; Dublin, the North, and Cork. (Those from outside the southern West could say Cork & Kerry.) If you asked lock to surname four, i don’t think anyone would leave the end Cork. I think the merits it’s own distinction mainly because most Irish people can quickly and easily place someone if they have actually a Cork accent. Probably that is just due to it’s fame, and due the truth that it’s the 2nd biggest county/city in the Republic by population. But it is also a quite an unexplained accent, and Corkonians are well-known within Ireland for speaking v a lilt. I watched a BBC documentary countless years earlier – and I’m fear I’ve forgotten the name of the research in the language presenter – which said that the Cork accent had actually retained Elizabethan features since it to be effectively and English-speaking island in ~ a really Gaelic & hostile territory. Ns was disconnected native The Pale and also Britain. He declared that this is why that is similar to Caribbean accents (and the is ns believe.)

I’m no a linguist, and don’t speak IPA, yet here’s some youtube examples:A comedian’s take:

One Corkonian interviewing another:

biggles says:

Thomas – I completely agree around the three distinct Irish accents.

I suspect the vast bulk of Irish human being would be difficult pressed to situate accents other than Dublin, Cork and the North. And also when ns say Cork, I average Cork City, no county. Once you go exterior the city limits, the accent alters – it i do not care immediately more ‘culchie’ (i.e. Rural).

My sisters (from Cork, as I am, though ns left the country countless years earlier and have actually lost mine accent) married someone from Midleton – just external the city, yet the difference between their accents is instantly obvious.

kieran says:

As a indigenous Irish person I can include a pair more accents to this list that ns would immediately recognise.

Possibly due to the fact that my father is indigenous Dundalk I uncover the Louth accent rather distinctive. It’s type of talked mainly from low down and in the prior of the mouth, occasionally with rather pursed lips. The “r” is typically soft for this reason “car park” becomes “caw pawk”. The vowels space emphasised and extended in a way. Also, one separating feature is civilization from Louth, in certain Dundalk, often tend to add “hey” come the finish of sentences, therefore they can say “Where you goin’ hey?” The previous Irish footballer Steven Staunton has actually a great example of this accent.

I understand a good few Cavan people and also their interval is pretty solid too. It’s fairly a “bouncy” accent with a lively rhythm. A lot of it originates from the earlier of the mouth and the throat. I can’t fairly see a sample here however a typical pronunciation the “Cavan” is “Cya-van”. It’s an accent often reproduced in the paper definition of someone being from the country, periodically in a mocking way.

There is a generic “bogger”, ie. Who who stays in a bog/the country, accent the Irish world will revert to in jest or once talking choose farmers. That basically entails inserting a “h” together the 2nd letter in any type of word beginning with an “s” and contracting words. So rather of saying “Look in ~ her” you’d say “Shur (sure, a colloquial insert) will certainly ya look’t yerwan?” (yerwan definition “your one” which way “that female”, masculine being “yerman” or “your man”). This form of interval is partly linked with the West that Ireland (which in their accent sounds prefer the “Whesht”).

As mentioned above the widespread accents in Dublin would have a Northside/Southside distinction, the Northside gift rougher and the Southside gift posh. The Southside interval is additionally called the D4 accent because of the area “Dublin 4” being fairly wealthy. There’s no point in me really explaining this in that if girlfriend look up “Damo and Ivor” ~ above YouTube, particularly the song “Everybody’s Drinking”, you’ll hear plainly the substantial difference and see the difference lifestyles also of the Northsiders vs Southsiders.

The Limerick accent is another that is quite unique. It’s hard to explain yet the comedy/singing/rapping duo The Rubberbandits have very strong Limerick accents. You have the right to hear the in their tune “Horse Outside”. It sound a small like the Cork accent through it’s rapid pace and also sort that high pitch but they don’t use the typical Cork add on “bai” (boy) at the finish of sentences and don’t have to the same degree rising inflections the make many sentences sound favor a question. The ireland footballer Roy Keane has a good example of a Cork accent.

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The Kerry accent is very musical and poetic v an virtually Scottish Highlands flavour. This is probably because of its certain ties to the ireland language. Many human being in Kerry space still fluent irish speakers so their accent in English mimicks this. They can be very hard to understand if they come from really rural parts of Kerry. The former Gaelic football commentator Michael O’Murathurtaigh (I think that’s the spelling, his surname is in irish so I’m no sure) has actually a yes, really thick Kerry accent and also he’s rather fun to hear to. If friend look him increase you have the right to watch some Irish sports as well!

The northern accent has actually been fairly thoroughly covered and it’s one that most world will know. Liam Neeson has a good example yet his isn’t as solid as some people’s. The Donegal interval has similar traits yet is a lot softer and more fluid. They deserve to tend come speak quite breathily in Donegal and don’t differentiate syllables as lot as in northern Ireland. They additionally often usage “aye” virtually like a breath out an interpretation “yes” or in agreement. The singer Daniel O’Donnell is native Donegal and also still has actually a solid accent.

This is only the reminder of the ice-berg interval wise. Virtually every county has a various accent and also within each city the populations will speak with little variations. These are just really known to the people who live in the county or in the basic area.

These are just my take it on the accents as I have actually experienced them and also tried come reproduce them. Ns hope it will certainly be of interest to anyone who wants a much more in-depth look at the genuine Irish accents as they are spoken today. The examples I have offered should provide you a taste of each and also I expect I’ve done an ok task on behalf of mine country! Éireann go brách!