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MarkW ( -
Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 11:03 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Dia dhuit! Misa Mark.

I started learning Irish about three weeks ago. I'm using the "teach yourself Irish" book/tape. I want to be sure I know how to make the broad and slender "L" sounds correctly. I've lived in the southern United States all my life, so all of my L's are pronounced the same. ;-)

Where, exactly, do I touch the tongue to the roof of my mouth for the broad and slender L's? I've been pronouncing the broad "L" by touching my tongue to the roof of my mouth right behind my teeth (almost touching my teeth). I've been trying to pronounce the slender "L" by pressing my tongue a little harder to the roof of my mouth and doing it a lot farther back than I do for the broad L (maybe the middle of the roof of my mouth). Is that right?

Is a broad "D" pronounced by touching the tongue to the back side of the upper front teeth? That's what it sounds like they are doing on the tape, but I want to be sure.

Finally, any suggestions on how an American southerner can learn to pronounce the Irish slender "r"? ;-)

Go raibh maith agat.

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Celtoid ( -
Posted on Monday, February 23, 2004 - 10:42 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm no expert (yet), but, in my opinion, broad L is a lot like English L, perhaps with the tongue bent further downward. Slender L is like English Y and L pronounced simultaneously, or like the Spanish L as in "sinsemiLLa". Sounds like you're doing broad D correctly. Slender D is ALMOST like English J, but made with the tongue behind the hard palate instead of with the tongue and back teeth. Slender R is tougher. It's almost like a soft D or TH with the tongue behind the hard palate. "Teach Yourself Irish" is OK, but "Learning Irish" by Mícheál Ó Siadhail has a more comprehensive pronunciation guide. I hope that helps. Ádh mór ort!

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