The Irish Vowels
The Irish vowels are a, o, u, e, and i. We don't use y.
Broad and Slender Vowels
We call a, o, and u the 'broad vowels.' We call e and i the 'slender
vowels.' This is based on how they look. A, o, and u are wider, so
we call them 'broad.' E and i are thinner, so we call them
'slender.' But this is also an important distinction for how we
say things. Like solas vs.
Seán, the broad and slender vowels will
determine how the closest consonants are pronounced. But more about that
Short and Long Vowels
All Irish vowels can be short or long. The short vowels are written a, o,
u, e, and i. The long vowels are written á, ó, ú, é, and í.
The accent mark is called 'fada' (long) or
stretching). The short vowels are pronounced differently than the long
vowels as you will see and hear directly below.
Pronunciation of Vowels
Click on the blue letters below to see and hear how the vowels are pronounced. Memorize