Recommended dictionary and grammar?

Latest post Tue, Apr 17 2018 14:58 by jayshi19. 17 replies.
  • Thu, Jan 22 2009 10:30

    • tora
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    Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Dia daoibh a chairde!

    Just wanted to check if anyone can recommend an Irish dictionary? I'm just a beginner, but I'd like to have a good sturdy dictionary that won't be too basic once I get better...also, if there are any good grammar books out there I'd be interested to know!

     

    Slán go fóill, Tora

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  • Sun, Jan 25 2009 6:37 In reply to

    • michelle
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Tora, a chara,

    I have three small pocket dictionaries:

    • Foclóir Póca Irish Dictionary by An Gúm
    • Collins Irish Dictionary by Collins Gem
    • Pocket Oxford Irish Dictionary

    These are all Irish-English and English-Irish and are useful for beginners.

    I'm not sure of the next step up. The next 'serious' dictonary recommended to me by Oideas Gael and several teachers was Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla by Ó Dónaill. Thing is, it's just Irish-English, not English-English. www.litriocht.com describe it as:

    Standardised Irish-English dictionary featuring living Gaeltacht speech, the literary tradition, and new technical terms. Alternative forms included.
    Generous exemplary phrases and grammatical information. Indispensable to student, writer, or general reader.

    You can buy it at www.litriocht.com - the online Irish language bookstore that claims to have 'Gach leabhar Gaeilgei gCló' - every Irish book in print. I know you could order it from Amazon, but supporting Litríocht is a great way to support an indigenous business that is passionate about the language and are doing its best to support it. 

    There's a nice introduction to dictionaries on BBC NI here. The writer states that Ó Dónaill's Foclóir Gaeilge Béarla - is the best Irish to English dictionary available.

    Ó Dónaill's dictionary also provides a lot of information about the grammar of words - genitive and plural and so on. It's also very useful for getting to grips with dialect and standard Irish. Now, you've probably heard of An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, the 'official standard' spelling and grammar which was published by the translators in Dáil Éireann in the nineteen fifties. It was an attempt to get to grips with the many different forms of Irish in Munster and Ulster and Connacht. The fear was that the language was being pulled apart by dialect differences. Take for example, a sentence as simple as 'I built myself a house'. In Munster it could be Do dheineas tig dhom féinig and in Ulster it might be Rinn' mé teach domh fhéin. If the Munster writer and the Ulster writer follow the standard rules they should both write the same thing: Rinne mé teach dom féin. It's a compromise and no-one ever suggested that the dialect forms were 'wrong' or that they should be banished from the language. You're perfectly free to write as you see fit, although most people will expect standard Irish in official or semi-official documents.

    When Niall Ó Dónaill was compiling his dictionary he continued the standardising project and tried to arrive at one definitive, standard form of all the words in the dictionary. But because he didn't want to rule out the dialect forms he included them too, with the abbreviation 'Var' for 'variant'. So if you're not sure whether or not your spelling of a word is standard or dialect, you can check in Ó Dónaill's dictionary. What about domh in the sentence Rinn' me teach domh fhéin? If you go to the word domh you'll see that it equals the standard spelling dom. So you can write it in your letters, in your diary, or in your stories and poems, but you wouldn't expect to see it in a government policy document. And you might want to think twice about using it in an essay.

    Hope this was useful - anyone else got any advice, please post here!

    Is fearr dhá theanga ná ceann amháin…

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  • Wed, Jan 28 2009 8:06 In reply to

    • tora
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Go raibh maith agat a Michelle!

    slán, Tora

     

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  • Fri, Jan 30 2009 6:03 In reply to

    • michelle
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Go n-éirí go geal leat Big Smile

    (may you succeed brightly)

    Let us know which one you bought and how it worked out for you - it would be a great help!

    Michelle

    Is fearr dhá theanga ná ceann amháin…

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  • Fri, Jan 30 2009 21:43 In reply to

    • seanduine
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Did anyone mention that the Foclóir Póca is one of the few (only) dictionaries that provide pronunciation? Good to have along with something more heavy duty.

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  • Sat, Jan 31 2009 4:30 In reply to

    • tora
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Will do Michelle, and thanks to seanduine for the input about the pronounciation!

    Slán, Tora

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  • Fri, Feb 13 2009 19:41 In reply to

    • Frankie
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Dia Daoibh,

    Ta an-athas orm inniu! D'éist mé le "Seanduine" agus cheannaigh mé "Foclóir Póca".
    Is maith sin! Níl mé fan bomaite eile.

    Ach, I'll have to write back to you all to let you know what I thought of it.
    And I'm gonna save up for "Foclóir Gaeilge – Béarla Ó Dónaill" or "Collins Irish Pocket Dictionary".
    But great to have everyones input, very interesting.

    Slán go fóhill.

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  • Thu, Mar 5 2009 11:19 In reply to

    • michelle
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Well Frankie, did you get Foclóir Póca? What did you make of it?

    Is fearr dhá theanga ná ceann amháin…

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  • Thu, Mar 5 2009 12:37 In reply to

    • Frankie
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Ahem (just clearing my throat) ... Ta.

    Yeah I did get my Foclóir Póca, and for me its working great! I've only had it for a week now, but already I'm being introduced to words I would like to say in everyday speech.

    The Foclóir Póca has the Irish phonetics, which is pretty cool (I was told that before I bought it, so was a big selling point), but I do find it a bit slow because I haven't quite learnt the phonetics off-by-heart, but some of it is coming together naturally. So I'll be flicking from the word, back to the beginning and then back to the word (maybe I should just write the phonetics down and then look at the chart?) but the chart of phonetics is on three consecutive pages near the start of the Foclóir Póca. Perhaps all I need to do is make a photo-copy of the chart of phonetics so when I need to find a word, I'll be able to pronounce it just as fast Smile

    And plus, the other great thing about it, is that its got your English words with its Irish equivalents in the English section. So I can think of a word in English, see its many ways it could be said in Irish. Then look up the Irish section, where it'll give me an example of the word in an Irish sentence (to see if it is the appropriate word) and it also has the same sentence translated as English in the Irish section. So for me I find it very useful.

    But in saying all that, not all words come with helpful sentences, so knowing some Irish helps a little to use the 'Foclóir Póca'.
    I wouldn't have it as a sole-source for your Irish, as it wouldn't contain all the words necessary. But for anyone learning, a very useful asset.

    Frankie

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  • Fri, Jul 16 2010 20:13 In reply to

    • Russell
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    I have Collin's Easy Learning Irish Dictionary. It's 560 pages long. The book explains some basic grammar, has a small selection of verb tables, and a section called "Irish in Action", which shows you how to say a lot of basic things in Irish. It has an Irish-English section and a somewhat larger English-Irish section. I think it is a very good dictionary for the price and definitely helpful to the beginner. However, there are times when I cannot find words that I need, and when this problem arises, a more thorough dictionary is needed.

    A lot of the entries in the dictionary have examples that show you how the word can be used in a sentence. This is particularly helpful for contextual differences. Overall, it's easy to read and understand. The book also has a section that explains how you can more efficiently use the dictionary.

    As for grammar books, I have the Irish Grammar Book by Nollaig Mac Congail and the Teach Yourself Irish Grammar book by Éamonn Ó Dónaill. Both were recommended to me by another learner. I have not yet started the Teach Yourself Irish Grammar book, so I can't tell you much about it, but I'm a little more than a third way through the book by Mac Congail. That book seems to be quite thorough, though, there are not translations for all the Irish in it. Most of the Irish is translated, however. The only way that I know for sure it differs from Éamonn's book is that Éamonn's book has practice drills and Mac Congail's book doesn't.

    The same person also recommend A Learner's Guide to Irish by Donna Wong. This is supposed to be a very good book that was designed with classroom use in mind, and even has spiral binding instead of the more difficult traditional binding. That is, it will easily lay open flat on your desk. It's intended for the serious leaner and it's high price reflects that.

    For more in-depth information, there is a good review on Wong's book available at Amazon. There are also good reviews for the other grammar books I mentioned at Amazon. Just look them up on Amazon.com.

    http://www.amazon.com/Learners-Guide-Irish-Donna-Wong/dp/1901176487

    For verbs in particular, I've heard that Leabhar Mór Bhriathra na Gaeilge (The Great Irish Verb Book) by AJ Hughes is the best book available on the subject.

    You can purchase it here as a hardback (I'm not aware of a paperback version): http://www.litriocht.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=5338

    A good review of the contents can be found here: http://www.daltai.com/discus/messages/13510/35061.html

    The Great Irish Verb Book is the larger, more thorough version, including a lot of information on dialectal variations. There is a shorter version called The Abridged Irish Verb Book that excludes the in-depth look at regional differences, and therefore is a lot cheaper.

    The Abridged Irish Verb Book can be purchased here at Litriocht.

    Paperback Version: http://www.litriocht.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=5894

    Hardback Version: http://www.litriocht.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=5893

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  • Thu, Nov 13 2014 17:59 In reply to

    • ltfallin
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Dia duit Michelle,

    I know this is an old thread (an eternity by online standards) but I wanted to thank you for recommending www.litriocht.com back in 2008.

    I just barely did a google search for "recommended Irish Grammar and dictionaries" and this talkirish forum popped up and your recommendations!

    So I ordered The New Irish Grammar by the Christian Brothers from lítriocht.

    Tá mé ag beaganín as Gaeilge. So I am studying with the beta version of Irish language at Duolingo.com & I have the following books:

     

    Collins Irish Dictionary (the collins gem pocket dictionary)

    Collins easy learning Irish Verbs by A.J. Hughes

    Irish Grammar you really need to know by Éamonn Ó Dónaill

    Learning Irish by Mícheál Ó Siadhail

    Colloquial Irish: The Complete Course for Beginners by Thimas Ihde, Máire Ní Neachtain, Roslyn Blyn-LaDrew & John Gillen (with 2 CD's)

    Teach Yourself Irish: A Complete Course For Beginners by Diarmuid Ó Sé & Joseph Sheils

     

    So, I think I have enough materials to entertain my learning curiosities for some time now, plus all of the online stuff.

    I also listen to Sinéad Ar Maidin (Sinéad Ní Uallacháin) via the RTÉ app on my phone tuned to RnaG (I like Ronán Beo! too)

    Sometimes I watch Ros na Rún too ... just to get the rythym and sound of the language while in actual use since I live thousands of miles from the nearest Gaeltacht. (Although I heard there was a town-Gaeltacht in Ontario, Canada?)

    Anyway, thank you again, and now I have this talkirish.com site to explore as well.

    Go raibh míle maith agat agus slán go fóill,

                                                                       Labhrás Ó Fallamhain (Lance Fallin)

     

     

     

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  • Mon, Nov 17 2014 20:17 In reply to

    • Dale D
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Apparently this thread is so old I never stumbled across it!

    Anyway, for a hard-copy dictionary, I have Foclóir Scoile, which has been quite useful for me.  Not sure where it's available from, but if www.litríocht.com has all Irish books in print, they should have it there....  Anyway, it shares traits in common with the other dictionaries mentioned, but it's not a pocket dictionary, it measures 15cm x 21xm, so it's maybe slightly larger than the typical paperback novel.  I've found it quite good.

    For a place to go to get lots of sample sentences and useage help, try www.irishdictionary.ie, which is a really great online resource for the language.  It allows you to look up words in either English or Irish, but also allows you to look up verbs in both languages.  For the verbs, it provides you with the full conjugation of the verb in all the tenses available for the language.  This has been one of the best features for me of this dictionary.  It is great to have the hard-copy version as well, but I am always in need of the verbage help.  I haven't memorized all the endings for the various tenses and formations of any given verb, so looking this up is a great help.

    All the best!

    Dale D

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  • Thu, Nov 20 2014 8:14 In reply to

    • ltfallin
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Thanks for the advice ... I ordered it from litriocht today (Foclóir Scoile)

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  • Wed, Dec 17 2014 14:29 In reply to

    • otuathail
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Old thread, but in case anyone stumbles across it and is looking for info.

    For hardcopy dictionaries, I'd recommend Ó Dónaill's Fóclóir Gaeilge-Béarla and de Bhaldraithe's English-Irish Dictionary, both are available from Cló Iar-Chonnacht.

    http://www.cic.ie/books/published-books/focloir-gaeilge-bearla-irish-english-dictionary-leabhair-cloite

    http://www.cic.ie/books/published-books/english-irish-dictionary-leabhair-cloite

    The good news is, searchable online versions of both dictionaries are now available thanks to Foras na Gaeilge.

    http://breis.focloir.ie/en/

    There's also the New English-Irish Dictionary, an on-going online project by Foras na Gaeilge that includes soundfiles and grammar guides. 

    http://www.focloir.ie/en/

    Hope this helps.

    Barra

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  • Tue, Feb 10 2015 3:13 In reply to

    • LauraHuntORI
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    Re: Recommended dictionary and grammar?

    Ceannaíonn mé leabhair go furasta; déanaimn staidéar iad le deacracht. Wink
    
    
    Is maith liom Speak Irish Now, scríofa ag Pádraigín agus Brian Pugnier. 
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