I don't sell these products, I simply review them as a service to other learners. A list of online shops is available in the "Resources for Learners" section.
Some of the more popular dictionaries used by students of the Irish language, translators, and native speakers include:
Includes both an English-Irish and an Irish-English dictionary. It's very inexpensive, and the small size ("poca" means pocket) is convenient. This is one of the very few dictionaries that includes pronunciation, a handy feature for beginners. You won't outgrow this dictionary until you're well advanced in the language. The print is very small, so anyone over twenty may find it difficult to read. However, there is a slightly larger edition, Foclóir Scoile, which uses a larger font and is much easier to read. Both Foclóir Poca and Foclóir Scoile are published by An Gúm.
ISBN: 1-85791-047-8 (Foclóir Poca)
Collins Pocket Irish Dictionary
I haven't used this one myself, but the people I've spoken to (both beginner and advanced) who have it have been quite satisfied. It includes both an English-Irish and an Irish-English dictionary, and is priced similarly to Foclóir Poca. A bit larger than Foclóir Poca, it contains tables with useful grammar information.
Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla (Ó Dónaill)
This dictionary is popular with advanced students of Irish. This is an Irish-English dictionary; you can look up an Irish word to learn the meaning in English, but not vice-versa. The entries are far more complete than those in Foclóir Poca, and usually include several examples of common phrases and idioms using the word in question. The entry for ceann, for example, is two and one-half pages long. This can be intimidating to beginners, but the advanced learner will find the information very valuable. Another feature of this dictionary is that entries for nouns and adjectives list the plural and genitive forms; no need to refer to the front to check how m1 nouns decline, as required with other dictionaries. Similarly, entries for verbs list the verbal noun and verbal adjective forms.
ISBN: 1-85791-037-0 (paperback)
English-Irish Dictionary (De Bhaldraithe)
This dictionary is also popular with advanced students of Irish, although perhaps not quite as essential as Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla. This is an English-Irish dictionary; you can look up English words to get the Irish translation, but not vice-versa. English-Irish Dictionary is published by An Gúm in both paperback and hardback. This dictionary is showing its age; some of the entries don't reflect modern usage, so you should always cross-check any unfamiliar words in another dictionary. Despite that drawback, it's indispensible for anyone who does much translation.
ISBN: 1-85791-035-4 (paperback)
An Foclóir Beag
This is an Irish-only dictionary, but the definitions are fairly simple, so this dictionary can be used by intermediate-to-advanced learners. This dictionary might be ideal for young students who are native speakers. The online dictionary at http://www.csis.ul.ie/focloir/ uses the definitions from An Foclóir Beag.
If you're a beginner, consider starting with Foclóir Poca or the Collins. Eventually you'll want Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, but you can use it in combination with the English-Irish half of Foclóir Poca, Foclóir Scoile or the Collins.
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.