Product Review: Irish Dictionary Online

I recently discovered an online English-Irish and Irish-English dictionary at I was thrilled to see a translating dictionary available online, so I signed up. The cost of the service is very reasonable (at the time of writing, €8 per year). They also provide WAP access, but I haven't tried that.

Once you have subscribed, you simply enter an English word, or an Irish word, to get translations in the other language. In addition many of the verbs (currently 760) are fully conjugated. There is a slight drawback: It seems that only the standard dialect is mentioned. I looked up "feic" and saw "feicim" and "feicfidh mé", with no mention of "chím" and "chífidh mé" as used in Ulster.

I was disappointed by how short the definitions were. They seem, on average, to be much shorter than the entries in Foclóir Póca. This can mean that the only the one or two most common usages of the word are mentioned. I myself am not fluent, but I often look up English words for which I know at least one Irish equivalent, yet suspect there's a better word for the context. If you're writing a business letter or an essay for school, or doing professional translation, don't throw out your Ó Dónaill!

One other minor quibble: When I enter an English word, it would be nice if the results had the Irish words hyperlinked to their definitions. This would make it easier for me to use the online dictionary the way I use a physical dictionary to translate. I look up the English word first. When I find the Irish word I think I should use, I then look up that word. The entry for the Irish word is usually more complete, so I can double-check that I am using the word in the right context.

Despite these criticisms, I think this product would be ideal for anyone who would like to write more often in Irish (emails, journal entries, etc.), but gets tired of dragging out the foclóir. I suspect I will use it often for that purpose. Also, it will encourage me to read books in Irish more often, while near the computer so I can look up unfamiliar words.

Note: I have no connection to the website.

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