Naidheachdan - News

2012 January February March April May June July August
January February March April May June July August September October November December
2010 January
February March April May June July August September October November December
2009 April May June July August September October November December

April 2012
Maps, glorious maps

For all those who have been wondering about why we're collecting all these votes, there's finally an answer! They feed our map tool. Like traditional dialect maps, these give you an indication of where words are used. Like these two (one of my all-time favourites):

Not all of them are quite that detailed yet but we're working on it!

So how do you view the maps? Easy, just search for a word and click on the blue underlined word, for example in the above case, feum and mand. The map will come up and display any votes and also a link to the Help page for the maps (which has more detailed info). Oh, and while most votes are in Scotland, there are some cropping up abroad, especially in Nova Scotia!

Mobile Version
There's now also a mobile version of the Faclair at - same as the desktop version really but we've collapsed the Advanced Search feature and used a smaller logo to save space on screen. It's specifically for mobile phones but if you're on a slow connection, there's no reason why you couldn't use it on a desktop too but note that if you're a user with voting rights, you can't get that feature in the mobile version.

You can also put a link on your mobile phone's desktop now to get to it real quick. You need to do the following:
1) Android Phones
    a) Bookmark the page in the phone's default browser
    b) Go to your Bookmarks and press and hold and when the options come up, tell it to Add shortcut to Home. That's it.
2) iPhones
    a) Go to the page and tap the Bookmark icon on screen.
    b) When the menu comes up, press Add to Home Screen. That's it.

2011 September
A Gaelic Scrabble
Before you ask what Scrabble has to do with the Faclair - it's yet another one of those interesting uses you can put a database of words to. With a bit of tidying up (to remove names and other proper nouns), it's not that hard to build a dictionary file for something like Scrabble. Want to have a go?

2011 June
Am Faclair Beag on LearnGaelic
Well, who would have thought that? After lots of meetings and more draft documents flitting backwards and forwards through cyberspace, MG Alba have bought, that's right, bought, a license to use our dictionary data on their new LearnGaelic website.

Though Tahiti is still not an option, this is certainly a welcome development indeed!

2011 January
Check your spelling, sir?
One of the first spin-offs we've been working on is a selection of Gaelic spellcheckers. There's a couple out there already but, well, let's just say they're not being maintained well.

So, by using the database in the Faclair, we've been able to join up with an Open Source project called Hunspell and script druid called Kevin Scannell to create spellchecking tools which will work in Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, Opera and LibreOffice/OpenOffice. If you're using the Gaelic version of Firefox/Thunderbird and LibreOffice, the spellcheckers already come bundled with the software but if you're using the English version, you can get the Mozilla spellchecker here and the LibreOffice one here (also works in OpenOffice).

By co-operating with other projects in this way, we can ensure that both the software and the spellchecking dictionary will be maintained properly and regulary, which means:

Oh and they're all free of charge!

2010 August
The Faclair at Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig in Aberdeen
We kind of left it a bit late registering but ended up doing a paper nonetheless. Well.. I say paper. It was mostly a presentation really on the timeline of our two dictionaries, starting with the digitisation of Dwelly's, the birth of the Faclair Beag and the planned spin-off projects, such as spellcheckers and predictive texting and so on. Perhaps not high-brow academic as such but I feel it was a worthwhile paper nonetheless because it shows what you can do with a properly built lexical database - even a relatively simple one.

It was well received and one of the member of the audience made me laugh, he came up to me and said "Don't take this the wrong way - but only a German could have done this". He then explained that it was the clear sense of direction of the dictionary project, its execution and logical progression which had prompted him to make this amusing compliment. Ach well, the Gàidheileamailtich score again :)

If you want to see the presentation (it's in Gaelic), you can get the PDF here.

2009 April
A dictionary is born!
We always said that Dwelly-d would be just the start and so, mar a chanas iad, 's e gnìomh a dhearbhas - here you are. It's called the Faclair Beag because, well, it's kinda small still even though we have big plans for it. So bear with us for now if you find gaps - but other than that, we hope you find it useful in using or learning Gaelic!