December 26, 2008


Hope someone can help me with how to pronounce certain Irish names.

I’m an actor about to audition for “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” for the role of Pato Dooley. I don’t know how to pronounce either “Leenane” or “Pato.” Is it Lee-NANE, LEE-nane, Leh-NANE, Leh-NAHN or something else? As for Pato, is it PAT-oh, PATE-oh or something else?

Someone please help!!

one Answer

  • IrishFlair says:

    I can’t help with Pato though my best guess would be PAT-oh.

    With Leenane it’s LEE NAN with the accent on the NAN (short ‘a’ sound) part. 
    Lee NAN

    When speaking with an Irish accent or even speaking Irish names, the second syllable is usually stressed more so than the first.  And you speak quite fast too almost missing the first of the word.  For Leenane, what you hear would sound more like L’NAN vs Lee NAN.  I hope that makes a bit of sense.

    There are many Irish accents that are specific to the various regions of Ireland.  A native can tell what county someone is from and a local can narrow it down to a specific village or area of the county.  The Beauty Queen of Leenane is set for obvious reasons in the village of Leenane on the West coast of Ireland, in the Connemara region. 

    If you YouTube “Irish Accents” you should be able to at least hear a good few.  This young man has a nice accent, not too country but quite clear.

    Also try:

    Let us know how you do!



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