Gaelic Typefaces (Fonts)

Until about 1950 most printed Irish texts used a Gaelic typeface. However, around that time, apparently for short-term economic reasons, it was decided that Irish could use the same script as was commonly used for English, i.e. the normal roman script, so the typeface that had been so common for centuries suddenly disappeared.

The technical reasons for this abandonment may have made sense at the time, at least to some, but the advances over the last twenty years or so in digital technologies, which now surround us, are good cause for us to take another look at the question. With current technology, there is no real reason, other than perhaps the eminently practical lack of familiarity on the part of this generation’s reading public, that we cannot take another look at this decision.

The good news is that several individuals have developed digital fonts, based on traditional Irish typefaces, which are suitable and intended for modern computers. In this section of the site, we list some of the more prominent and authentic ones.

In the meantime

If you like the Gaelic typeface, take a look at the following website:

If you place any URL (such as www.scriobh.ie) into the box, and already have Gaelchló’s Bunchló installed on your computer, you will get to see that URL in Gaelic script. It sometimes makes for interesting views.

>> Want to learn Irish?

If you want to learn Irish on-line, there are several sites that might be of interest to you. There is further information about courses at the following link: Irish On-line Courses.

LibreOffice - The Choice for Irish

We recommend it to anyone who is writing in Irish do download and use the free computer application called LibreOffice. This is an excellent wordprocessor that hosts a spellchecker and thesaurus, for example. One can make PDFs from documents easily as well.

In LibreOffice, it is possible to open MS Word documents, make changes, and save again as a MS Word document, if required.

An Foclóir Beag (Dictionary)

An Foclóir Beag, the Irish/Irish dictionay, is available on line. It offers more than the print version; for example, one can see verbs and adjectives in all their forms.

Potafocal

If you are looking for information, including translations, related to a word, you might not need to look any further than potafocal.com. This site uses many different resources to present to the user many different aspects related to the word. It even contains straight links to well-known sites such as focal.ie. It is well worth a visit.