Geeky thought about an Irish-English/English-Irish dictionary

Posted by Conor O'Neill on Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Our start-up LouderVoice got a nice mention in the Irish-language daily newspaper . We were at an un-conference called BarCamp Ireland South-East in Waterford and Conn Ó Muíneacháin did a nice write up about it. Due to my desperately rusty Irish, I had to make use of this online dictionary to translate some of the words. Whilst it is a great resource, it seems to be lacking a huge number of words and also only seems to handle the roots of of words (or whatever it is called i.e it’ll find léirmheastóir but not léirmheastóireachta).

So the thought struck me this morning that a dictionary is the ideal target for a community effort, like Wikipedia is for encyclopedias. In fact, some sort of custom wiki might be ideal as a base for generating such a dictionary.

It could start very simply with one page per letter of the alphabet and as it grows, new pages are generated to sub-divide it. A wiki is very simply a web-site with pages that anyone can edit. The idea being that if you went to the wiki-dictionary to find the translation of a word and you spotted other ones that were missing, in a few simple clicks you could add them.

Of course it would need an agreed style of entry so it looked consistent but I’m sure there are plenty of language experts who could come up with a few simple rules for that. It would also need moderators to keep it clean and delete spam etc. And the search function would have to be very good.

For the laugh, I’ve just created a sample of what that might look like over at pbWiki. It took all of ten minutes to do and is called When Google makes JotSpot free, that might be the ideal location for such a resource since Jotspot is much easier to use than most wikis.

So what do people think? A bit too techie? A bit too idealistic? No need?

Technorati Tags: foclóir, dictionary, wiki, Irish, Gaeilge, community, UGC, jotspot

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