How to Say Hello in Gaelic Irish

You can find signs in British English and Gaelic Irish in Ireland.
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Although English is spoken throughout Ireland, Gaelic Irish -- simply called Irish in many parts of Ireland -- is a Celtic language dating back hundreds of years. It’s still spoken by some Irish and still taught in some schools. A common way to say hello in Gaelic Irish is “Dia dhuit.” Loosely translated, it means “God to you” or “God be with you.” Different dialects translate into different pronunciations for this Irish form of hello. Regardless of the pronunciation and slight variation in spelling, the meaning is the same.

1 Hello Three Ways

Great Britain's BBC reports that Gaelic Irish has three main dialects: Ulster, in the northern provinces; Munster, in the southern provinces; and Connaught, in the western provinces. According to the website, “dia dhuit” is pronounced "jee-ah-gwit" in Munster Irish and Connacht Irish. “Dia duit” is pronounced "jee-ah ditch" in Ulster Irish. The website includes audio clips that allow you to hear how each is pronounced.

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2 Hello in Reply

When someone says hello in Gaelic Irish, here are two ways to say hello in reply in Gaelic Irish. In Munster Irish, the phrase is “Dia is Muire dhuit,” pronounced "jee-ah-iss mwir-ah gwit," according to the website. In the Ulster dialect, it’s “Dia is Muire Duit,” pronounced "jee-ah iss mwir-ah-ditch." According to the 101 Languages website, the translation is “May God and (the Virgin) Mary be with you.”

S.R. Haines is a veteran writer whose work has been published by newspapers, magazines, international news wire services and nonprofit publications on topics ranging from breaking news and politics to travel, parenting, education, business and technology. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.