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.
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 Irish-Sayings.com 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.
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 Irish-Sayings.com 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.”
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