The Irish accent just got more complicated with these ten dialects to decipher, so let’s take a look.
If you are an Irish person who occasionally notices people nodding and smiling without engaging in conversation, then perhaps you have one of the accents we have listed below, which are hard to understand.
As a whole, the Irish accent is known to be charming, but for a small country, we have to hand it to ourselves – we have more dialects than you would imagine.
That said, if you were wondering which areas of the country have the most incomprehensible accents, take a look at this. Here are the top ten hardest-to-understand Irish accents.
- The Irish accent just got more complicated with these ten dialects to decipher, so let’s take a look.
- Meanwhile in Ireland’s top tips for better understanding difficult Irish accents
- 10. Cavan – a pick and mix of dialects
- 9. Offaly – the accent is filled with bad grammar
- 8. Antrim – an accent even Siri cannot interpret
- 7. Meath – the accent that takes time
- 6. Derry – the accent that needs subtitles
- 5. Louth – one of the worst Irish accents
- 4. Monaghan – the accent we almost forgot
- 3. Inner city Dublin – in a league of its own
- 2. Cork – a real hard accent to decipher, boy
- 1. Kerry – one of the top hardest-to-understand Irish accents
- Your questions answered about the most difficult to understand Irish accents
Meanwhile in Ireland’s top tips for better understanding difficult Irish accents
It can be very hard understanding some of these Irish accents, so here are some tips to help:
- To help decipher a difficult to understand Irish accent, listen attentively and very closely to that person and focus on each word.
- Another good way would be to watch lots of Irish movies or videos online to get used to the accent and start to pick it up.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the person to slow down or repeat themselves if you are really struggling to understand the accent!
- Learn some common and well-used Irish phrases that you can learn and easily pick up on even if you are speaking to someone with a difficult to understand Irish accent.
- Another tip if you are seeing the Irish accent on TV – turn on the subtitles!
10. Cavan – a pick and mix of dialects
As one of the thickest and most mixed accents, the Cavan dialect can be recognised by any Irish person, but to visitors, it can be one of the hardest to grasp.
Of course, the fact that they call their own county ‘Cyavaan’ goes without saying, so if you find yourself confused when chatting to a Cavan native, you’re not alone.
9. Offaly – the accent is filled with bad grammar
Think bad grammar paired with a phobia of the letter ‘T’, and you’ve got yourself the Offaly accent – one of the most incomprehensible accents on the island.
If you are learning English, this is certainly not the place to get tips, considering they make up words half the time.
8. Antrim – an accent even Siri cannot interpret
There are easy-to-understand Antrim accents, and then there are the harsh ones, and we are talking about the latter.
Their pronunciation may sound like a song, which cannot be picked up quickly by Siri, but it is one of the least comprehensible Irish accents we have come to know.
7. Meath – the accent that takes time
You need a lot of time to have a chat with a Meath man, and that’s because they love elongating their words. The accent might not be the number one on the list of hardest-to-understand Irish accents, but it certainly isn’t the easiest.
6. Derry – the accent that needs subtitles
Once you grasp the pronunciation, it is not all that bad, but it is still one of the hardest Irish accents to understand.
5. Louth – one of the worst Irish accents
Just ask a person from County Louth to say the word ‘Drogheda’, and you will know what we mean. Unfortunately, the Louth accent seems to drag, making it one of the country’s most ear-bleeding and hardest to-understand Irish accents.
4. Monaghan – the accent we almost forgot
We are sorry to say, but some people forget this county exists until they meet someone speaking with this seriously unique dialect and are quickly reminded that Monaghan is a real place. Still, their accent is one of the most perplexing out there.
3. Inner city Dublin – in a league of its own
Dublin, as a small enough city, has several different accents, from the south Dublin accent to the north accent, and then there is the incomprehensible inner-city accent.
If you want to know what this sounds like, just watch a couple of episodes of Love Hate, and you will know what we mean.
2. Cork – a real hard accent to decipher, boy
Another region which is high on our list for having one of the hardest-to-understand Irish accents is Cork. Chatting with Corkonians will confuse you, as they speak with a high-pitched melody and seem to love using the word ‘boy’ in every sentence.
1. Kerry – one of the top hardest-to-understand Irish accents
The kingdom of Kerry might be one of the most popular counties in Ireland to visit, but it is no wonder that tourists have confused looks on their faces when trying to converse with the locals.
The Kerry accent is not just hard to understand for visitors to the island, but some of us Irish folk cannot understand a word either. Just watch the video above and you’ll see what we mean.
So, there it is, our list of the top ten hardest-to-understand Irish accents. So, if you find yourself bewildered next time you converse with an Irishman, it may be because the person in question is speaking one of these tricky dialects.
Your questions answered about the most difficult to understand Irish accents
After reading this article, you may still have a few questions you would like answered about the topic! Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions about the most difficult to understand Irish accents.
What are the hardest accents to understand in Ireland?
The hardest accents to understand in Ireland include the Kerry and Cork accent, both located in Munster in the very south of Ireland. Others include the Cavan, Meath and Louth accent.
Why are Irish accents so hard to understand?
Irish accents can be hard to understand as they often spoken so fast, there are many unique dialects for such a small island, as well some unique pronunciation of words.
Which Irish accent is the easiest to understand?
According to a study done around 5 years ago, the Laois accent was the best Irish accent to understand. This was followed by Roscommon, Carlow and Limerick.
Which accent is the hardest to understand in English?
Some of the most difficult accents to understand in the English language would be Boston (USA), Newcastle (UK), and the Australian accent.