Steve asked us:
Hi! Just something I’ve noticed while working both through your site, as well as Micheal O Siadhail’s _Learning Irish_. From your site, I’m hearing “Agus tu “F”ein?” and from Siadhail’s site, as well as the old BBC’s “Little Bit” Irish series, I’m hearing “Agus tu “H”ein?” Is it just a question of dialect? Are the two mutually understandable, or would listeners assume I was a country bumpkin if I were to speak one version or the other?
Agus tú féin?
In our first Irish language conversation lesson, “Agus tú féin?” is a way to reply “And you/And yourself?”.
It’s pronounced like: /Ogg-us too hayne?/
However, our recording pronounces that word as “fayne”.
Some research on Irish pronunciation
I’ve done some reading on site called Daltaí (this debate gets a bit heated!).
While here at Bitesize Irish Gaelic we try to keep the Irish language audio in the lessons as standard as possible, it seems that I slanted towards the Munster Irish dialect by saying “fayne” and not “hayne”.
The more general way to pronounce “Agus tú féin?” is as /Ogg-us too hayne/.
As Steve said there is nothing wrong with either pronunciation, and they are certainly mutually understandable.
We’ll be re-recording that audio phrase in the future to standardize the pronunciation of “Agus tú féin?” as /Ogg-us too hayne?/.
By the way, if you’re interested in cracking Irish pronunciation, check out our pronunciation cheatsheets and worksheets.