Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish is easy to say but, as with many words in the Irish language, has very confusing spelling for non-native speakers. Here's your how to on how to greet people in Ireland's mother tongue and a few other sayings to keep in your wheelhouse for future use.
Considering the tiny dot on the map that is Ireland, the land of saints and scholars has spread its influence across all four corners of the globe. On March 17 every year, people all over the planet drink Guinness, don more shades of green than you even realized existed, and make fashion statements like DIY St Patrick's Day nails.
How to say Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish
As anybody who's familiar with Irish names will tell you, it's not a phonetic language so the best thing to do is just ignore the visual element of the phrase, and begin with the phonetics.
Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish, or as Gaeilge as we say in Irish, sounds like, “Law leh Paw-drig suna ghit.”
It's written as, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!”
Here's a very handy video from Gaelchultúr Teoranta, (opens in new tab) a Youtube channel dedicated to making learning Irish easy.
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Easy Irish phrases
- Sláinte (slawn-cha)—technically means 'good health' but it's more commonly used to toast a drink!
- Failte (fall-cha)—welcome
- Dia dhuit (jee-ah-gwit) —hello
- Slán (slawn)—goodbye
- Go raibh maith agat (Guh rev mah agut)—thank you
- Tá failte romhat (taw fall-cha roat)—you're welcome
History of the Irish Language
Notoriously tricky, Irish is one of the oldest written and historical languages in the world. Per Údarás na Gaeltachta (opens in new tab), it's a Celtic language that is closely related to Scottish and Manx Gaelic. It is also related to Welsh, Cornish, and Breton languages too.
It has three main dialects—Munster, Connacht, and Ulster—which differentiate the language.
Sadly, the Irish language is one of the many languages that have been ravaged by colonialism, with the vast majority of Irish people speaking English as their mother tongue.
Despite this, Irish people still learn to speak their native tongue in school and there are areas known as 'Gaeltacht' areas where the language is still the predominant language spoken.
Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.
She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.
Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.
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