The Most Basic And Common Irish Phrases You Should Know


Basic Irish Phrases 🗣️: Have you any idea of some of the most common Irish language phrases that you should totally know of? If not, then we have got you covered! In this blog, we share some of these phrases with you that you can say to get by in Ireland. So, read on to learn more.


How are you? Bonjour! Per favore! In every country, you will come across and learn different phrases that you can say to the locals to get by. You may learn them in a handbook or even from your friend who is a native of the country you are in. As a foreigner, you should make sure to know some of these basic and common phrases. You never know – you might need them when you are in a pinch!



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Do you need to know some?


Every country has its own common phrases, and Ireland is no different with the basic Irish phrases. However, you can get by just fine with only English. That is because literally everyone in Ireland speaks English (even more so than Irish, therefore sparking debates on whether or not Irish language is a dead language). You will only (or mostly) find Irish language speakers in Gaeltacht areas, but even then, they can also speak English fluently. Why bother even learning some basic Irish phrases then?


The answer to that is simple enough: to impress, befriend and talk! 


Believe it or not, there are still some people – albeit very few in numbers – that are born and speak Irish as their primary language. Although you might not attain their level of knowledge when it comes to speaking Gaeilge, you can still learn some common phrases to greet and start a conversation with them.


Of course, doing so will impress the Irish speakers, resulting in you befriending him/her.


Basic Irish phrases: here are some examples


Now that we have agreed that you should definitely learn some basic phrases, do you already know some or not?


If not, then we highly recommend you should simply because of the reasons stated above. You do not even need native-level language skills. Do not worry if you cannot really hold a conversation in Irish for long, just knowing some basic phrases will do.


Now, go on and learn some phrases. No need to go to a Gaelscoil (an Irish language medium school) just to learn. Browsing the net and looking for websites (such as Fluent Irish) is a good start. Below, we share with you some basic and common Irish phrases you should know.


How to politely say your greetings etc.


Of course, when you meet someone for the first time, common sense tells you to greet them by saying “hello”. Spice things up a bit and greet them in Irish by saying Dia duit.


Dia duit literally translates to “god be with you”. That is the best way to say your hellos to native Irish speakers in Ireland.


Next up is learning another one of the basic Irish phrases, which is the phrase “how are you?” Saying that is easy enough in Irish. You only need to utter Conas atá tú? This phrase literally means “how are you?”


When asking for a favour, it is a must to always say “please”. You can, of course, also say this in Irish. Always say Le do thoil when asking for a favour as this is a way of saying “please” in Irish. This Irish phrase translates to “with your will”.


If they do you the said favour, you can say your thanks to them in Gaeilge. Go raibh maith agat is the common Irish phrase you are looking for when saying your thanks. This phrase literally translates to “may you have goodness”, which, in my opinion, beats saying just a simple and bland “thanks” or “thank you”. Remember to always say these phrases as this is modern etiquette when asking for a favour.

And, after you have had a good time with the Irish-speaking person you talked to, make sure to say your farewell properly. You can use some basic Irish phrases such as Slán, Slán leat or Slán agat. Use Slán when you want to simply say goodbye. Now, if you are the one leaving, you can say Slán leat. If you are the one staying, say Slán agat.


More basic Irish phrases you should know


There are other available common Irish phrases you can say when speaking to Ireland natives that primarily speak Gaeilge.


When you want to say “yes” or “no”, you can utter or Níl, respectively. You can also utter simple Irish phrases for “good morning” and “good night”, which are Maidin mhaith and Oíche Mhaith, respectively.


Recap of the words/phrases


To give you an easier time navigating, we have compiled and simplified some of the basic Irish phrases you should definitely know here.


Hello – Dia duit

How are you? – Conas atá tú?

Please – Le do thoil

Thank you – Go raibh maith agat

Goodbye – Slán, Slán leat or Slán agat

Yes –

No – Níl

Good morning – Maidin mhaith

Good night – Oíche Mhaith


Learn Irish through Fluent Irish


Now that we have shared with you some basic and common Irish phrases you can use to get by Ireland, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.


If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. Fluentirish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

We provide informative blogs and helpful podcasts that can help in your quest to learn the Irish language.


>>Which level?: Find out which level of spoken Irish you understand!