Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary Hardcover – 1 Apr 2001
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That having been said, this dictionary is outdated in a lot of ways. It uses the old orthography with acute accents and lots of apostrophes in odd places. Also, it lacks an English-Gaelic section, which reduces the value-for-price ratio for the Gaelic learner, who is often attempting to translate his English thoughts into Gaelic. In my view, all a learner needs is Owen's "Modern Gaelic to English Dictionary" and Thomson's "New English to Gaelic Dictionary."
* There is a section on proper names which while not comprehensive is one of the best available.
* There are one or two diagrams, which are highly useful, but these are often of very old fashioned things. The illustrations are wood cuts, and a little dull, but occasionally they are "cutely quaint".
* Grammatical tables can be found at the front, although these are slightly dated.
* (I was going to put this in the against section, but some people like it)- certain definitions are more like encyclopedic entries, and are a wee bit long... Many of these should be cut from the text and published separately. The Appendix to Dwelly (a separate publication) is not up to much, merely adding a few more words from Edward Dwelly's notes.
Against * There is no English-Gaelic section.
* It is very outdated in terms of vocabulary, spelling etc.
* There is a guide to "Gaelic mythological" figures at the end. While one or two of these do have a basis in authentic Gaelic mythology they are largely derived from the forgeries of James MacPherson.
* It is too bulky for carrying about with you.
* The font/typeface used is very small, making it hard to read at times.
* Not for children or absolute beginners, but certainly for anybody who is going to be at all serious.
There is a new edition of this dictionary coming out soon, but what the exact changes are, I don't know.
My interest in Gaelic is not to speak it, but to read it and to (hopefully)understand it spoken. This dictionary has assisted me immeasurably, especially as much of what I seek to understand is 'older' Gaelic. Other Gaelic dictionaries provide more contemporary language, and phrasing more applicable to those seeking to communicate effectively more quickly with contemporary native Gaelic speakers. This dictionary, though, conveys the beauty of the language and an understanding of its structure in a way that helps to bring the language to life for those of us steeped in Gaelic tradition but some generations away from native speakers.
Highly recommended as an integral part of the library for all with an interest in Scottish Gaelic.
Fionnabhair Chamshron nic a Ghobhainn