How to Pronounce Popular Irish Names – Aoife, Cian, Niamh, Oisin

Most of the names popular in Ireland today — names like Jack, Sarah, Adam and Emma — are easy to pronounce. But others can be tricky for non-Irish-speakers to decipher. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some Irish names and their pronunciations.

Girl Names:

Aoife is pronounced EE-fa.
Caoimhe is pronounced KEE-va or KWEE-va.
Ciara is pronounced KEE-ar-a or KEE-ra. (All c’s are hard in Irish.)
Maeve is pronounced MAYV.
Niamh is pronounced NEE-av or NEEV.
Sinead (Sinéad) is pronounced shi-NAYD.

Boy Names:

Cian is pronounced KEE-an or KEEN.
Cillian is pronounced KIL-ee-an.

Eoin is pronounced O-in.
Oisin (Oisín) is pronounced Uh-sheen or O-sheen.
Seamus (Séamus) is pronounced SHAY-mus.
Sean (Seán) is pronounced SHAWN.

Keep in mind that these pronunciations may not cover all dialects of Irish.

P.S. In the cases above, mh and s sound like v and sh. In other cases, though, mh makes a w-sound, and s goes back to sounding like an s. The pronunciation of mh and s in any given word depends upon the nearby vowels.

Source : Nancy

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