[ This section will help you
with the conversational skill of talking to a Northern Irish
Use these templates as a basis of understanding. If you can master
this, you should be able to hold a medium length discussion with a
Northern Irish person
Remember, you can meet a Northern Irish person at any time while in
Northern Ireland and you probably will.
When talking to a NI person, it's important to try and pay attention
to what they are saying. This is a stumbling block most people get
tripped by. Be aware that NI people will talk either really slowly
or immeasurably fast.
You may encounter conversation at places such as the cinema, or
[ At The Cinema ]
"What about ye mucker. What's at? Your a tourist? Ha! We don't
get many of your sort roun' here. What fillum are ye commin'ta see?
Ack aye, sure a saw that lawst week and the guy turns out ta be a
ghost. Not worf yer muny"
Reply with something non threatening like: "Yes. I've seen it
before too. But I thought that little boy was such a good actor, I
thought I might like to watch it again."
This will make the Northern Irish person feel at ease, and they
might even leave you alone. If you can still feel them breathing
down your neck, it's probably best to leave the Cinema for another
[ Parliament ]
As the government grounds are a tourist attraction, there will be
many other tourists to converse with. The grounds of Stormont are a
wonderful sight, but it's one of the few places in NI that you might
not encounter some natives. Even though it is a political hotspot,
most NI people like to steer clear of the buildings. As you can
clearly see in the picture above.
That concludes the basic conversational skills required.
Remember: Be calm, listen and reply. Reply calmly if you can.
[ TIPS: Cut Out and Keep ]
This part will help you have an actual conversation with a Northern
Talking to a Northern Irish person can be quite a traumatic
experience if you are not properly prepared. We hope to help you
take the anxiety and danger out of talking to a resident of Northern
Ireland. Starting the conversation can be a difficult and tricky
task, so in this section we hope to show you safe and proven ways of
striking up a rapport with your new Northern Irish friend.
1] Smile - this is important in the early stages as it will make
them feel calm
2] Don't make sudden movements -like quickly reaching for your
mobile phone from your inside jacket pocket
3] Start the conversation with, "Bout ye?" - this is a universal
greeting in NI and a good icebreaker
4] Allow your companion to respond - if you don't let them, it could
lead to flared tempers
Let's move on to the base of communication: The Language [Lingo]
[ Conversation ]
Please refer to the Dictionary Page for meanings and pronunciation.
A good topic starter would go along the lines of:
"Out of all the countries in the world, I hear Northern Ireland has
the most words for getting/being drunk."
You'll need to learn some of these if you are to use this topic. You
could even go as far as asking your companion to list some. These
are great words to remember;
There are many, many more. A great conversation topic with a NI
person is Alchohol. This is one subject all Northern Irish people
are familiar with. If you are in range of a Bar or Pub, it may
further your experience to invite them for a drink. Be careful in
your choice of words. Use something like:
"Oh, look, mucker, there is a bar over there. Would you like to go
for a pint, mate?"
If you ask properly, they will reply "Yes".
It's a well known fact that alcohol plays a major part in their
culture and everyday lives. To coin a phrase, "They drink like
Get on the right side of a Northern Irish person by this stage, and
your well on your way to experience the conversation of a life time.
One that you'll not forget in a hurry.
At this stage it's important to remind you of the dangers of some of
the locals. Some folk look down right scary. You can tell that they
would be a bad choice for conversation by these visual and audible
1] Wide, moist eyes
2] Imposing mannerisms
4] Food caught in beard
5] Strong, foul smelling stench
7] Barely recognisable speech
The last one may apply to normal people too. This site wouldn't
exist if they were all understandable.
[ The Bar ]
Now you've enticed a subject into the bar, you
really do need to set up a situation that is both fun and safe.
- Don't mention "The Troubles" and tensions may arise and may not
be fitting conversation in a Belfast bar
- Don't ask personal questions, like where they live etc
- Do offer as much drink as you can comfortably afford
- Do tell jokes, as Northern Irish humour is quite rife in NI
- Talk about the weather - it's their best subject.
Your encounter should run smoothly, if it should go badly we
recommend these excuses if you find yourself in bother.
1] "I'm sorry [insert name of NI person], but I have to go to the
cash machine to get more money for drink."
Get up and leave. Your companion will believe you and let you leave.
Do not return.
2] "It's been "magic" to have had a drink with you but I have to go
now. My ferry is leaving in 45mins."
Again, they will believe you as many people use the ferry to
Scotland as means of escape.
3] "Would you like another drink?"
If the the reply is "yes", hand them a five pound note, to go to the
bar. They will accept with disbelief and head for the bar. Leave
promptly. They won't be to angry with you as they just made a fiver,
and got a few free drinks.
These tips should ensure an enjoyable encounter with a local. Follow
these guidelines and your trip to NI will be a lot more memorable.
That concludes the conversational skills required when talking to a
Northern Irish person in a Public House situation.