jump to navigation

Lernta spake like wanuv us, hah ! April 13, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish, Poetry & Humor.

The folks at the Rambling Man, while surfing aimlessly (rarely happens), were drawn to the website SoYouWanna dot com ! Apart from it’s great name, it features a very interesting article on “How to speak like an Irish person“, amongst other invaluable pieces of information.

Not be a begorra-begob-bejaysis effort either, like the site’s much lamented phony Irish accents in various feature films … it goes into the linguistics of it, which for an old language head like me is great reading. Sad, I know but bear with it !

The article, which is quite tongue in cheek, just might work methinks. For example, one of the phrases that they pick out to demonstrate is “How are you ?” which every good, card carrying Paddy knows is pronounced like “Ha’ waar ya?”, onto the end of which can be appended various impersonal pronouns like ‘sham’, ‘Tom’, ‘lad’, ‘boy’ or ‘bud’ but certainly not ‘boyo’ …

Another good example, as outlined by the site is the difference in words that are spelled the same, like the humble tamaata or ‘tomato’ if you must be correct about it.

“Tomato” should definitely lose its long vowels, so “tamahtoe” – definitely not “toemaytoe.” “Basil” should be “bahsil”; not “baysil.” With these two words alone, you can create a strong illusion of Irishness – particularly if you eat at an Italian restaurant.

Just imagine spotting the Yank going into the local Macari chipper and asking for a bit a baa-zel with their tamaatas … the possibilities are endless.

So, harden your consonants, lyricise your inflection and remember that when visiting Ireland, the weather forecast is always correct if it contains these 3 words … “It might rain!”



1. laurie - April 13, 2007

ha! i’m going to have to check this out. i remember a few years ago meeting up with a friend in galway, and he said that “ha waar ya” thing, only to my american ears it sounded like “howya” and i wasn’t quite sure what the heck he was saying. now, sadly, i say it all the time…..in my attempt, you know, to be more oirish than the oirish…

2. Rambling Man - April 13, 2007

howya and hawaarya mean the same – you might say hawaaarya to someone you hadn’t seen in a long time …

good luck on your travels – are you coming to ireland ?

3. laurie - April 13, 2007

not this time, though we were very tempted; right before we booked our flight to london we turned on the tv and saw a guy walk into a pub and order a pint of plain, and doug and i looked at each other and said, simultaneously, “or we could just go back to dublin!”

4. (un)relaxeddad - April 14, 2007

That’s the key difference between the English and the Welsh isn’t it? From “It might rain” to “It is raining”. (I did my undergraduate degree at the rainiest place in the UK).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: