Note: If you're shopping for a dictionary, you might find this buyer's guide helpful.
Tips on using an Irish dictionary
As with any language in which you are not fluent, you should be careful that the words and phrases you look up really mean what you intended. To find the Irish equivalent of an English word, look up the English word first. When you find the Irish word you think you should use, look it up. The entry for the Irish word is usually more complete, so you can double-check that you are using the word in the right context.
If you are a beginner to the Irish language, you may not yet have learned about eclipsis and lenition, or the genitive case. These tips may be helpful when looking up words.
- If you are looking up a word that begins with a two letter combination that seems impossible to pronounce, the first letter is usually not part of the root word. For example:
- Instead of bpairc, look up pairc.
- Instead of dtír, look up tír.
- Instead of gcat, look up cat.
- Instead of bhfad, look up fad.In this case you drop the first two letters.
- Instead of mbád, look up bád.
- Instead of ndoras, look up doras.
- Instead of ngeata, look up geata.
- Drop an initial n- from a word. For example, instead of n-arán, look up arán.
- If a word has h as the second letter, it is normally dropped. For example, instead of bhean, look up bean.
- If you are looking up a word that ends in i followed by a consonant, and you don't find it, try omitting the i. For example, you won't find báid, but you will find bád.