1 – Lesson for a Visitor

15-March-2021 – Lesson 1 in honor of St. Patrick – Dia duit! (God be with you!) pronounced “dJee-uh Gwitch” or “dJee-uh Ditch”.

Dia means God and the letter D is pronounced as a J when it is in a word and the closest vowel is an e or an i. The vowels e and i are labelled as slender vowels and any consonant closest to them in a word is considered a slender consonant. Consonants can be broad also when next to the vowels a, o and u which are labelled as broad vowels. Duit means ‘to you’ or ‘for you’. The letter D in the word duit is broad and the letter t is slender.

Why can the phrases be pronounced two different ways? Did you ever hear the phrase tomato, tomato, potato, potato? “Tum-ayto Tum-ahto Puh-tayto Puh-tahto” Pronunciation can vary in all languages due to dialects. Dia is pronounced fairly consistently with the dJ sound and ia “ee uh” but for some Irish speakers one word can influence the word that follows it and that is why duit has two pronunciations.

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