Nemed (‘sacred; holy; sanctuary’) — NEV-adh Bodb Derg — BODH-uv DJER-ug Ériu — EYHR-yoo Cermait Milbél — KYER-mad MIL-vayl (-vayl rhymes with “pale”) Miach – MEE-uch

Sengoidelc: Quotations from Early Irish Literature, Where the letter is in the word — at the beginning, or in the middle/end of the word, In the case of vowels, whether they are accented or not (. n — as in English, but may also palatize with slender vowels — a ‘nyuh’ sound (though see the note on nasalization below)

Midir — MIDH-ar Fidchell  (‘wood-sense’; a board game) — FIDH-chell Copyright © 2007-2014 An Chuallacht Ghaol Naofa.

Cáer Íborméith — KYRE IV-ar-vayth (KYRE rhyming with “tyre”) Cú Chulainn — KOO CHULL-an Macha — MACH-a s — when appearing with slender vowels (e i), whether they come before or after the ‘s,’ it takes on a ‘sh’ sound Mide – MEEDH-uh Here are some names, words and phrases that you might find useful, with suggested pronunciations, which should give you an idea of how all of the above works in context. Cúchulainn defended Ulster single-handed, because the Ulster warriors were afflicted by the Curse of Macha. Ollam (‘highest grade of the fili’) — OLL-av

Scáthach — SCAW-thach Bóand (Bóann) — BOW-an (BOW- as in a “bow” and arrow)

In this case, the ‘mm’ will give a ‘m’ sound, whereas on its own (at the end or middle of a word), m would usually give a ‘v’ sound.

However, when the same letter is repeated — such as in the name Ólamm — the initial pronunciation is kept. Emer — EH-ver
Ailill — AL-il

There are shades and shadows, heros and kings, and so much depth in each chapter to unravel and reveal. Comalnad (‘fulfillment; act of fulfilling’) — KOV-al-nadh These manuscripts were somewhat concerned with producing ecclesiastical materials, but the scribes also concentrated on writing down Ireland’s own myths, poems, laws, the genealogies of important royal dynasties, and they also detailed annals of some of the most important events of the day, amongst many other things. c with slender vowels (e, i), as in "king;" never as s. Thomas Kinsella’s version first appeared in 1969 by the Dolmen Press. Bricriu — BRIK-roo Fand — FANN Fir Bolg (‘men of bags’) — FEER VOL-g (or VOL-ug)

ú (long), as in "pool;" u (short), as in "full.". Finnabair – FIN-av-ir The Táin is the central story in a long war between Connacht and Ulster, caused by the desertion by Conor mac Nessa, king of Ulster, of his wife Queen Maeve of Connacht. The capitalised syllable shows which part of the word should be stressed (where applicable). Finn mac Cumaill — fin mac KUH-vahl

Iucharba — YUCH-ar-va All Rights Reserved. The remaining consonants are pronounced almost as in English.

Tochmarc Étaíne (‘Wooing of Étaín’) — TOCH-vark AY-deen-ya. Dian Cécht — DJEE-an ce-cht There are other táinte -- Táin Bó Froích, Táin Bó Dartada, Táin Bó Flidais, Táin Bó Regamna, Táin Bó Aingen, Táin Bó Munad, Táin Bó Ros, Táin Bó Ruanadh, Táin Bó Sailin, and Táin Bó Erc -- but the Táin Bó Cuailnge is the only one called The Táin. The Old Irish period is pretty significant in Irish history because (amongst many other things) it saw the beginning of Ireland’s manuscript tradition.

against Ulster.

Mag Murtheimne — MAGH MUR-thev-na

Medb — MEDH-uhv

Brian — BREE-an Fáelán — FAY-lawn

A lot of the time these changes are gradual, but sometimes they can appear quite sudden, especially when there are quite dramatic changes in society that prompt the need for new vocabulary – like the arrival and adoption of a new religion, or foreign invaders, for example. References and useful resources.

Elsewhere it may take a ‘v’ sound

Badb — BADH-uv

Dindshenchas (‘placename lore’) — DIN-hen-chas (or sometimes DIN-shen-a-chas) ch with broad vowels (a, o, u), as in German "Buch;" never as a — in the second syllable of a word, it is a shortened sound, as in ass in "church."

Síd (‘mound; brugh’) — sheedh (or shee) Do not reprint without permission.

d — at the beginning of a word, but with a slender vowel, it can take on more of a ‘j’ sound. Danann is therefore DAN-ann, whereas dé may be pronounced more like ‘jay’ Fomoire (‘Fomorians’) — FOV-or-uh

Manannán mac Lir — MAN-ann-ahn mac LYEE-r gh with slender vowels (e, i) is slender ch voiced.

Banba — BAN-va (or BAN-a-va) Lóegaire — LOYGH-a-ra The final e is palatalized, giving a ‘yuh’ sound here.

Talam (‘land’) — TAL-av b — at the beginning of a word, it usually takes the same sound as in English. These names and phrases are Old Irish in form, and a lot of the literature you will probably end up reading – whether it’s the myths or more academic literature that talks about them, or some of our articles and pages here – will often default to the Old Irish spellings a lot of the time. The Cattle Raid of Cooley, Irish Táin bó Cuailnge, Old Irish epiclike tale that is the longest of the Ulster cycle of hero tales and deals with the conflict between Ulster and Connaught over possession of the brown bull of Cooley.

ch with slender vowels (e, i), as in German "Ich;" never as in á (long), as in "aught;" a (short), as in

Lir — lyir

In Old Irish, the pronunciation of a letter can be affected by a number of factors, but the main ones are: The Old Irish alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet and consists of eighteen letters: Compared to our modern English alphabet, there are a few letters missing, then. Domnall — DOV-nal

Rúad — ROO-adh Auraicept na n-Éces (‘Scholar’s Primer’) — OW-ra-kept na NAY-gass These texts may therefore include the names of many of Ireland’s deities, and also words and phrases that may be relevant to Gaelic Polytheism, and Gaol Naofa in particular. Dé ocus andé (‘gods and ungods’) — DJAY oc-uss an-DJAY (or DAY oc-uss an-DAY) As a language evolves, certain things – like spelling and pronunciation – can change.

A vowel with an accent is often pronounced differently, with the accent lengthening it: á — on its own, with no other vowels beside it, it gives an ‘ah’ sound, as in bra For this reason, we’ve tried to keep pronunciations here as simple as possible, although this means that they inevitably cannot be as nuanced or as accurate as they would be using the IPA. But! Geis (‘prohibited act’) — gehsh Crom Dub(h) — KROM DUV Áes dána (‘people of skill/the arts’) — ice DAHN-a

Lebor Gabála (‘Book of Taking’) — LEV-ar GA-vah-la (alternatively, Lebor may sound like LyOWER, to rhyme with “flower”) Feis (‘feast’) — fesh Áed — EYE-dh (to rhyme with “scythe”) Elsewhere it may take a hard ‘g’ sound, as in got Thomas Kinsella’s 1968 translation, which is referred to in this guide, is based on two main sources: a 12th-century partial manuscript and a late 14th-century partial manuscript, both compiled by Christian monks in Irish monasteries.

Fótla — FOHD-la

Anu — AN-oo Cú Roí — KOO ro-EE

Aífe — EE-fuh An Morrígan — an MOR-ree-ghan It’s an unfortunate fact that we don’t know when this early form of Irish was first spoken, or how it developed in the first place. Muir (‘sea; water’) — mweer In Rúad Rofessa (‘The Red One of Great Knowledge’) — In ROO-adh ROH-fess-a

Broad vowels are: a, o and u

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