Confusion with class through Irish and textbooks in English

UntitledThis last week I had two students who were having difficulties due to having maths classes through Irish but their only text books are in English. This amazed me. I just do not get why you would conduct lessons in one language and expect students to use books in a different language as their school textbooks.

A search of the website of a company specialising in school textbooks brought up a hugh range of maths books in English for second level students but just three in the same series in Irish. I searched online but could find no comprehensive listing of maths terms in Irish.

So following on from my post of a few weeks ago on Google Translate I decided to have a go at putting together a list myself using Google’s translate tool. I got a list of over 1300 maths related terms and phrases and feed them in  to get Irish equivalents. I expected a lot of errors, particularly with phrases as opposed to single words, and with words that can have more than one meaning in English. It was no surprise that even in cases where the individual words in a phrase were correctly translated, they were sometimes in the wrong order as the syntax in Irish is often the reverse to that in English.

However, I now have a listing of 1300 plus entries of English to Irish translations which despite a lot of errors is probably quite useful to a lot of students. It would be even more useful if the errors were corrected. I would love if a few people with an interest in promoting Irish or in teaching/learning maths through Irish would volunteer to help with the corrections. The work load could be shared with someone starting on the terms begining with one letter of the alphabet and someone else on those begining with a different letter. I could email the list to people and they could email back their input. Or perhaps more efficiently we could set up an online spread sheet on Google Docs that several people could edit simultaneously.

If you are interested in getting involved in this project contact me at







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