Type the word into the Search Box on any page of the website and then click the search button:
(Alternatively you can press the ‘Enter’ or ‘Return’ keys, or the equivalent if you’re using a mobile device.)
If the dropdown list appears as you’re typing in the word, you can simply select the word you want from the dropdown list:
See the demo video below and the description of the new function.
You can now search for a word or phrase in the Irish-language content of the New English-Irish Dictionary, and see all occurrences if it’s used in the dictionary. But please note that the search in Irish is not as reliable or as comprehensive as the search in English, for a number of reasons:
because it’s an English-Irish dictionary, the Irish words and senses contained in the New English-Irish Dictionary (NEID) are driven by the English content.
For example, if you search for the word 'fadhb' in the Ó Dónaill dictionary you'll see that five main senses are listed; in the NEID only one of these senses is evident:
when you search for an Irish word, results are displayed in alphabetical order by English headword, and very often the most important or common meaning of the Irish word isn’t at the top of the list. For example, if you search for ‘seomra’:
if you search for an Irish word (or an inflected form of an Irish word) that has the same spelling as an English word, you’ll be given a choice between the English search and the Irish search.
For example, if you search for ‘bean’, which is a word in both languages:
You can click on option ‘GA>EN’ above to search for ‘bean’ in Irish rather than in English:
when you search for an Irish word, the browse index won’t display a list of adjacent Irish words; once again this is an English-Irish dictionary, and the indexes are based accordingly on the English headwords.
Similarly, if you make a spelling error in your search, suggestions in English will be displayed. For example, if you search for ‘mor’, the software can’t tell if you wanted ‘mór’ in Irish or ‘more’ or ‘moor’ in English; because this is an English-Irish dictionary, only the options in English will be displayed.
Note also that the search in Irish is accent-sensitive, so results will be different with and without the síneadh fada: if you search for ‘briste’ you won’t get any occurrences of ‘bríste’, and vice-versa.
when you search for the base form, or lemma, of an English word, the search also finds all inflected forms – e.g. if you search for ‘man’ you’ll also see any occurrences of ‘men’ in the results. The search in Irish will find only the exact word or phrase you’ve searched for – so if you search for ‘fear’ you won’t get ‘fir’, ‘fhir’, ‘bhfear’ etc. A lemmatised search in Irish will be added to the site in the future.
This may occur because the current version of the dictionary doesn’t yet contain all of the headwords which will eventually be published. The current version contains those words most frequently looked up by dictionary users, and covers around 80% of expected searches. We understand that it’s frustrating when you can’t find the word you need, and we’ll be greatly expanding the dictionary coverage this year and next year to close such gaps – see What's Next? for further details.
If the word you want to look up is a technical term, you may also wish to search for it in Foras na Gaeilge’s terminology database, www.tearma.ie. Note, however, that this is a database of technical terms, and isn’t intended to cover general language.
Because the full dictionary content isn’t yet online, it may happen that the headword you’re searching for isn’t found. However, in many cases the translation you need may be available in a sample sentence or phrase under another headword.
Take for example the headword rabbit, which is one of the headwords not yet online. If you click on the ‘Advanced Search’ option, below the main search box on the right-hand side:
…the Advanced Search panel is then displayed as shown below:
Simply type ‘rabbit’ into the search box and click the ‘Search’ button (or press the ‘Enter’ or ‘Return’ key) and you’ll see the results displayed below:
If you click on any of the results above, you’ll see an example using ‘coinín’ which is the Irish word you’re looking for:
To go to the Advanced Search, or for more information on using the Advanced search, click here.
If a word has two slightly different formats, or variants, it may be catalogued in the dictionary under a format other than the one you’ve searched for. For example, if you search for logon, the headword login is displayed:
In such cases the Irish translation for both versions of the headword is the same.
If you look up a word using the American English spelling, this will cross-reference you to the non-American spelling of the same word. For example, if you search for anemia the headword anaemia is displayed:
If you look up a word which isn’t in the dictionary, the software attempts to find the nearest matching word. For example, the word civil isn’t yet published, so when you search for this word the dictionary displays instead the headword civil war, which is the closest match it finds.
For further information on words which aren’t yet in the dictionary, see FAQ Why can’t I find the word I’m looking for?
Yes you can, from another entry, from any text on the website, or from outside the website.
If you’re on the dictionary website and you’ve just looked up, for example, the word login:
You now decide you’d like some more information about the Irish translation for details, which appears as part of the entry displayed above. Simply double-click on the word details, and then click once on the ‘Translation’ label which now appears above it:
… the headword detail is then displayed:
If you’re on the dictionary website you can also use the double-click feature described immediately above to look up a word anywhere on this website, other than a word that’s contained within a dictionary entry. For example, you can double-click on the word ‘example’ in this sentence to look it up – try it now!
You can use our double-click plug-in to look up words from your own browser using the double-click feature – see Can I get the New English-Irish Dictionary on my browser toolbar?
You can use the Advanced Search to find examples of correct Irish usage or to check grammatical rules.
Suppose you’re not sure whether or not a noun is lenited (with a séimhiú) or aspirated (with an urú) after the preposition ‘chuig’. You can check this by using the following parameters in the Advanced Search screen:
When you click the search button, you’ll see the following results:
From the results highlighted in the red boxes, you can see that the noun isn't lenited or aspirated when it comes immediately after ‘chuig’; on the other hand, the results in blue boxes illustrate that after ‘chuig an’ the noun requires either an urú or a séimhiú.
(Note that there are also several examples of the word ‘chúig’ shown in the results above – this is because the Advanced Search looks for matches regardless of the fada).
Suppose you’re not sure whether a particular number is followed by the singular or plural form of the noun – for example, let’s say you want to say ‘there were a thousand of them’, and you’re not sure whether you should say ‘míle ceann’ or ‘míle cinn’. Once again enter the three necessary parameters in the Advanced Search screen:
The results clearly show that the number ‘míle’ is always followed by the singular form of the noun:
Yes, there are several:
If an entry contains 5 or more main senses, a summary box with all the main meanings is shown at the top of the headword. For example, if you look up dog you’ll see the following:
If it’s the translations of dog as a verb you’re after, then simply click on item 6 in the summary box above. This will scroll you directly down to where the translations of dog as a verb start:
In most browsers you can use the CTRL+F keys to find a text string on the screen. Supposing, for example, you’re at the top of entry eat, which is quite a long entry but doesn’t have a summary box because it has less than 5 main senses, and let’s say it’s the phrasal verb eat up that you’re looking for. In this case you can simply type CTRL+F, enter the text ‘eat up’ and press ENTER; you’ll now be brought directly down to the part of the entry you want:
When you look up any word in the dictionary, the Search Results panel on the right-hand side shows all phrasal verbs, phrases and compound headwords which contain your search string. So if, for example, you’ve looked up get, which is one of the longest entries in the dictionary, you’ll see the following:
If the phrasal verb or phrase or compound you want appears in the Search Results panel, simply click on it to go to the part of the entry you want to view (or indeed to a separate entry – see below). For example, if it’s a case that you want to look up the Irish for get out, you can click on this text in the Search Results panel as shown below:
Once again this will scroll you down directly to the part of the entry you want:
You can also use the Search Panel to select a completely different headword if you wish. For example, if you search for centre you’ll see the following:
If it’s the Irish for day centre you’re looking for, click on this headword in the Search Results panel:
…and the compound headword day centre will be displayed to you:
Where a sound file is available for a translation, it’s always provided in each of the three major dialects – Connacht, Munster and Ulster. Depending on which dialect you wish to hear, simply click on the letter C, M or U respectively, immediately beside the speaker icon. For example, if you’re looking at black and you want to hear the Connacht pronunciation for the Irish word dubh, you would click on the letter C as shown below:
Not all of the sound files were ready in time for the first version of the dictionary; we’ll be adding more in the coming months. We’re giving priority to single-word translations, we’ll gradually be expanding the coverage to multi-word translations after that.
The sound files have been added as a general guide to the user as to pronunciation in the three main dialects of Irish, and have been recorded using native speakers from those dialects. We recognise that there may be significant differences in pronunciation of words and versions within each main dialect; however, it wasn’t possible for us to cover all versions within the main dialects, and we also felt that such comprehensive coverage would be more of a hindrance than a help to the learner.
Click on the part-of-speech tag which appears immediately after the Irish translation. For example, if you’ve looked up black, and you want to see the grammatical information for the Irish translation dubh, you would click on the tag ‘adj1’ as shown below:
This will display the grammatical data for dubh in a pop-up window as shown below:
Similarly, if you’re looking at discuss, you can click on the tag ‘verb’ to display the grammatical information for the Irish translation pléigh:
The grammatical data displays as shown below:
Note, however, that sometimes clicking on the grammar tag doesn’t cause any grammatical data to display. This may occur for two reasons:
Because there isn’t any additional grammatical data for that part of speech. For example, in the headword lung, when used as a modifier the genitive plural or the genitive singular forms of the base translation scamhóg are used:
In both these cases there isn’t any further grammatical data to display.
The grammatical data isn’t yet set up in our database. For example, in the second sense of the headword discuss, the translation cíor is tagged as a verb but doesn’t yet have the detailed grammatical data available:
Not all of the grammatical data was ready in time for the first version of the dictionary; we’ll be adding more in the coming months. We’re giving priority to single-word translations, we’ll gradually be expanding the coverage to multi-word translations after that.
The dictionary has been tested on the latest versions of the following major browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. If it isn’t working on your browser, it may be because you’re using an older version, or because you’re using a browser other than those listed.
The dictionary has also been tested on a wide array of mobile phones and tablets, but unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to test it on every single type of handheld device. If it doesn’t work on your device, it may be because it’s an older model, or it may be because a parameter needs to be set. We suggest contacting your supplier if you encounter any problems.
The sound files have been tested on the latest versions of the following major browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. If they aren’t working on your browser, it may be because you’re using an older version, or because you’re using a browser other than those listed.
The sound files have also been tested on a wide array of mobile phones and tablets, but unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to test it on every single type of handheld device. If it doesn’t work on your device, it may be because it’s an older model, or it may be because a parameter needs to be set. We suggest contacting your supplier if you encounter any problems. It’s also worth checking if sound files are working for your device on other sites apart from this dictionary.
In modern bilingual dictionaries it is the norm to reflect general usage in the target language in order to provide non-fluent users of that language with a natural and current means of expressing themselves. Like any living language, there are cases where the rules of the official standard of the language differ from current practice in the Gaeltacht. Ó Dónaill’s Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla (1977), for example, didn’t fully adhere to the 1959 Official Standard for that reason; similarly, the Terminology Committee and An Gúm have over the years come to follow style guides that differ from the Official Standard, where it was felt that there was a gap between general usage and the specific register of the Official Standard. In the same way, the living language is the yardstick for the Irish content of the New English-Irish Dictionary, under the following areas of usage:
To ensure consistency of style in the presentation of the Irish content, NEID has largely followed the style conventions of Ó Dónaill’s Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla in relation to matters such as:-
Additionally, the style guide also reflects a number of grammatical and syntactical changes arising from research and consultation carried out by the Committee for the Revision of the Official Standard for Irish, convened in 2010-2011 under the auspices of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Two members of the senior editing team of NEID - the Editor of NEID and the Editor of An Gúm - were members of the steering committee and the work and schedule of NEID was central to the revision process. The output of this consultancy process was published in August 2011, and recommended some amendments reflecting the current state and major trends of living Irish. The editing phase of the NEID was getting underway at that time and the recommendations were incorporated into its Style Guide. Furthermore, some other decisions on matters of language pertaining to new content in this dictionary, and which weren’t covered in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, needed to be taken.
In July 2012, the Caighdeán Oifigiúil 2012 was published; however, it was decided to continue using the style guide which had been in use since the start of the editing phase of NEID. From an operational point of view, the bulk of the current content had gone through the editing process by that time, and to undertake the re-training of staff and reverse editing of the content would have necessitated a significant delay in the publishing schedule of NEID. Also, since a further review of the Official Standard is anticipated in 2015, it was decided to postpone any major review of the NEID until then, rather than implementing substantial text revisions twice within a relatively short period. On a more general basis, however, it is recognized that modern bilingual dictionaries have an obligation to be guided by the practices of the language-speaking public, and to reflect a more democratic view of the language than might be set down in the Caighdeán Oifigiúil.
No – there isn’t a simple one-to-one correspondence between the English headwords and the Irish translations. For example, in the first sense of the headword put, the Irish translation cuir is given:
However, this doesn’t mean that the Irish word cuir always translates to the English word put. Depending on the context, cuir may have many different equivalents in English; here are two examples:
From the headword position:
From the headword plant:
Therefore it’s not possible to automatically back-translate the Irish material into English. Note, however, that you can search the Irish-language text using the Advanced Search function, and you can use it also to search for the contexts in which Irish words and phrases are used.
Not yet – we intend to develop these in the future. Note, however, that the display on the current website will automatically adjust to the size of your device if you access it from a tablet, a phone or from another handheld device.
Select the Browse Dictionary option from the toolbar at the top of the screen.
Select the letter of the alphabet you want:
Select the range you want to browse:
And finally select the individual headword(s) you want to look up from the range displayed:
You can use the browser back button to return from the headword display to the list above and to display more headwords, if you wish.
You’re welcome to email us at email@example.com.
Yes you can – see section Tools for more information.
Yes there are – see section Tools for more information.
You can insert a link to any entry in the dictionary in any document you wish, by simply copying the URL from your browser when the relevant entry is displayed on the screen.
For example, if entry abdomen is displayed on your screen:
… then the URL in your browser will be the following:
Simply copy this URL to wherever you need to insert it. For example, if you’re writing a document about certain dictionary entries, you might use the URL as follows:
‘…and here’s another example of a single-sense entry which has more than one Irish translation: focloir.ie/en/dictionary/ei/abdomen?q=abdomen ...’
Note that if you want to reference an entry from an email you don’t need to go through the above procedure, simply click the email icon in the top right of the screen instead.