p h o u k a  h o m e i r i s h  l e s s o n s  h o m e

Book I:


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§ I. In commencing to study any language from books, we must first learn the alphabet--the characters in which the language is written and printed. A glance at an Irish manuscript or printed book will at once tell us that the letters used in writing and printing irish are somewhat different from shoe we use in English. They are also fewer in number. We give the characters of the Irish alphabet, both capitals and small letters, with the English letters to which they correspond:

Irish Letters English
A a a
B b b
C c k
D d d
E e e
F f f
G g g
H h h
I i i
L l l
M m m
N n n
O o o
P p p
R r t
S s s
T t t
U u u

§ 2 These eighteen letters are the only characters needed in writing Irish words. It will be noticed that the Irish 'c' corresponds to the English "k", as it is never soft as c is in the word cell, but always hard as in "cold" or like k in "kill". Similarly, g is never soft as g in gem, gaol, but hard, as in rag, get, goal.

§ 3 It will also be noticed that these letters differ but little from the ordinary Roman letters which we use in printing or writing English. THe Irish forms of the letters v, g, t, are often used in ornamental English lettering. The only letters which present any difficulty are the small letters r, r, and s, s; the student who can distinguish these from each other has mastered the Irish alphabet. This so-called "Irish Alphabet" is not of Irish originally it was taught to the Irish by the early Christian missionaries who came from the Continent in the fifth and sixth centuries of the Christian era. The letters are thus of the same form as the letters then used on the Continent for writing Latin and Greek.

§ 4 The forms of the Irish letters used in writing do not differ from those used in printing. Irish copy-books can be procured of the Dublin booksellers.


note that
are not
necessarily pronounced
as in English

See § 13-16

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