Irish Alphabet

While most of Ireland today is English-speaking, this was not always the case. Originally, the language of Gaelic, or Irish, was the language of the nation. Today, much of the language is lost, but the people of Ireland are determined to recover what has been lost and regain their original language.

The language and alphabet have changed a lot through the centuries. Today’s Irish language has 18 letters compared with English’s 26. However, the Irish language has an accent-mark system that changes the way letters are pronounced. So each vowel really has two varieties: plain, and accented, which changes the way words are pronounced. Here’s a look at their alphabet today.


a    -as in ‘bat’

e    -as in set’

I    -as in ‘sit’

o    -as in ‘son’

u    -as in ‘book’

á    -as in ‘far’

é    -as in ‘say’

í    -as in ‘me’

ó    -as in ‘more’

ú    -as in ‘who’


b    -as in ‘bat’

c    -as in ‘cat’

d    -as in ‘dude’ or ‘jude’

f    -as in ‘fox’

g    -as in ‘good’

l    -as in ‘leg’

m    -as in ‘man’

n    -as in ‘nun’

p    -as in ‘pinch’

r    -as in ‘roll’

s    -as in ‘soap’ or ‘shade’

t    -as in ‘time’ or ‘chime’

There are many other letter combinations that make entirely new sounds. As you can see, they don’t have certain letters, like ‘q’, for instance. Some of their letter combinations, ‘ch’ make sounds that we don’t have in English at all.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dinolingo-logo-mascot-square-2.png

Online Irish lessons for kids:

Rate this post
Scroll to Top