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Dara Ó Briain, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Mary McAleese will be among the guests taking part in the launch of the new English-Irish dictionary today

'Historical achievement' - President of Ireland launches new English-Irish dictionary today

The President of Ireland, Dara Ó Briain, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Mary McAleese will be present at the launch of the first major English-Irish dictionary in over 60 years today.

President Michael D. Higgins will launch the Concise English-Irish Dictionary officially in the evening as part of the November 2020 Oireachtas events with distinguished guests in attendance at the event.

The guests will talk about their own experience of the Irish language and their relationship with it.

Commenting on the launch of the dictionary, President Higgins said:

“It was a great privilege to launch the site of the new English-Irish dictionary in 2013 and I am delighted to be able to complete the final phase of the project, the Concise English-Irish Dictionary, celebrated today. This dictionary is another stone on the great pile of Irish dictionaries in Ireland, a dictionary that now exists together with those edited by Niall Ó Dónaill, Tomás de Baldraithe and Pádraig Ó Duinnín.

“Any dictionary is an important tool for a language community. Dictionaries enable the language community to express themselves confidently and effectively in their own language. They preserve the richness of the language as it is spoken in the language communities.

“I congratulate Foras na Gaeilge, the staff of the dictionary and everyone involved in this historic achievement.”

The new dictionary contains 1,800 pages, over 30,000 entries, 85,000 units of meaning and 1.8 million words in modern English and Irish.

Among the entries in the new dictionary, the first since publication English-Irish Dictionary Thomas de Baldraithe in 1959, contains falsehood, self, social separation, coronavirus, Brexit and more that were not composed in any language when the last dictionary was published.

Commenting on today’s event, the editor-in-chief of the dictionary, Pádraig Ó Mianáin, said:

“The living language, in English and in Irish, is given priority in the New English-Irish Dictionary, which brings Irish lexicography into the third millennium. All levels of language use are covered, from the formal to the most informal, from the written word to the spoken word. The New English-Irish Dictionary has been online since 2013 and over two million people draw on the site each year from all over the world.

“When work on the online version was completed, production of the print version began. To produce a one-volume dictionary, more than one-third of the online dictionary (containing 48 thousand entries and 145 thousand units of meaning) had to be omitted, while the remainder required significant editing and reformatting. We are delighted to have the dictionary published and to have this opportunity to launch it with the President today. ”

The new dictionary will be launched on Foras na Gaeilge’s Facebook page today at 1.00pm.

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