The people of Ireland get annoyed with the fake Hollywood Irish accent and there’s a good reason for that: There are many different Irish accents, not just one.
Irish accents vary by counties, of course. People from Derry speak very differently from those in Roscommon, and people from Limerick don’t sound the same as the ones from Mayo. But even within these areas, there is an assortment of accents. In Ireland, you truly only need to drive 10 miles in any directions, and you’ll hear a different pronunciation of the English language.
In county Offaly, for example, people in Tullamore sound different from the ones who live in Birr. And you only need to cross the Liffey via O’Connell Bridge to realize that South Dubliners and North Dubliners have a very different pronunciation, indeed.
While this humorous guide misses a few important spots, like Donegal and the Midlands, the Irish accents explained are very accurate. Nobody truly understands the poor people of Kerry, and the inhabitants of Cork get their fair share of slagging from the rest of the country for their unique melodic pronunciation.
Besides showing off the multitude of Irish accents, the makers of the video indulged in some funny, but outdated clichés. Kerry is a rural county, hence of the illustration of a farmer and his cow. Limerick has the reputation to be rough around the edges, which explains the knife-wielding masked man. North Dubliners are also often represented as lower-class people while South Dubliner have the reputation to be posh and a little pretentious.
Have a watch and try to remember that even when you have mastered the accents, you’ll only truly blend in your chosen area when you’ll start peppering you conversations with Irish expressions such as “The head on you and the price of turnips.”
A version of this article was previously published on March 14, 2015, and was updated on March 15, 2022.