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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!
There's now also a mobile version of the Faclair at www.faclair.com/m - 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
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.
a) Go to the page and tap the Bookmark icon
b) When the menu comes up, press Add to Home
Screen. That's it.
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
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
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:
- neither will become buggy or stop running on new operating
- we can easily fix errors and add new data from the dictionary
Oh and they're all free of charge!
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
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
If you want to see the presentation (it's in Gaelic), you can get
the PDF here.
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