After a long wait the first phase of the new online English-Irish dictionary, Foclóir, is now up and running. The current platform contains 30% of the planned content but this matches 80% of expected general English usage (though a number of my searches did draw a blank). As someone who works in the IT industry I have to say that I am seriously impressed so far, despite the limited number of search-terms. Not only does the Foclóir give a full list of free translations for the words searched (with all the usual grammatical forms and variations) it also provides formal and colloquial uses of the words in context as well as related proverbs or sayings. To this is added actual audio examples of the words in the three main regional accents (Connacht, Munster and Ulster). Just try playing the three variations of the pronunciation of the word madra “dog” to see where your Irish accent comes from (thanks to my mother mine seems to be largely Munster which explains again some of the comments I’ve had down through the years on my Irish!).
The web-based platform comes with a suite of widgets and plugins that will be of great use to many of us and there is a full FAQ for all your queries. The site will run alongside and be integrated with the existing Focal.ie, the official Irish-English National Terminology Database, which is used by the state to codify new and existing words in relation to the law, economics, military matters, etc. Unfortunately the final version of the Foclóir will not be finished until the end of of 2014 at least, due to restricted funding, with a print edition to follow. There is also the matter of a probable review in 2015 of Official Standard Irish which may necessitate a significant number of changes to the online dictionary.
Finally, it is nice to be reporting some good news about the Irish language and the Irish state for once.
- Ipsos MRBI 50th Anniversary Survey – The Irish Language (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Two Tech Stories For Gaeilgeoirí (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Angloban Ignorance Posing As Informed Commentary (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Sláintegate – The Irish Independent Newspaper And A Mysterious Report (ansionnachfionn.com)
- 9 Great Free Linux Foreign Language Tools (thelinuxsite.wordpress.com)