How to Do an Irish Accent aka Brogue

Learn how to do an Irish accent, known as a brogue, from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.

Here are some tips for a general Irish accent. So the first thing we look at is that oral posture. When I start to talk in my Irish accent, there’s a little bit tension in the back of my tongue. So it pulls it back just a little bit. But the tongue is very relaxed, so you get those little whistling sounds through the t’s and the d’s. So that might be your first sound change. I thought about it, and I read about it, turns into your Irish I thought about it, and I read about it. Hear that little whistling? I thought about it. And I read about it. The o (?), in American English, o ooh, it’s two elements. It’s a very pure and single element in your Irish accent.

So it’s oh. I don’t know. I don’t know becomes I don’t know. Or try the phrase, either ya come home or ya don’t. Either ya come home, or ya don’t. The r is retroflects [SP], meaning that you’re pulling your tongue back like this, so it’s more of your general American ruh, ruh. It’s r, ruh, ruh. The western world. The western world. Instead of the western world. You get the western world. Give that a shot.

The th sound is so awesome in Irish. Because it’s that very soft sound. So instead of thirty-three, you’re getting a very soft t sound in tirtee-tree. The shwa sound, that a American sound, in Irish, becomes a little bit more rounded. So it’s ohp. Abohve. Lohve. Instead of up. Above. Love. A little more rounded. Ohp. Abohve. Lohve.

So what’s the musicality of the Irish accent? Well I think you can hear it for yourself. I know it sounds a little stereotypical, but people really talk like this. So don’t take my word for it, though. Listen to some native speakers, and hear that beautiful Irish lilt for yourself. And get into the rhythm of it, by doing some Conscious mimicry.