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First English-Irish Language LGBTQ Dictionary Launched

First English-Irish Language LGBTQ Dictionary Launched

Wednesday, Mach 21st, 2018

A new Queer Dictionary for the Irish language was launched today in DCU as part of a collaboration between the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), BelonG To Youth Services, and the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) with the support of the  Joe McHugh, Minister for Gaeilge, An Gaeltacht and the Islands. The Queer Dictionary, translated as ‘An Foclóir Aiteach’ in Irish,  is the first of its kind in Ireland with over 100 words and terms translated.

Speaking about the launch, USI President Michael Kerrigan, said, “We are delighted to launch ‘An Foclóir Aiteach’ with BelonG To Youth Services and TENI with support from Minister McHugh. We believe that everyone should be able to recognise themselves in any language, and that they would be able to describe themselves in any language. A lack of representative terminology for the LGBTQA community in the Irish language is a problem that needed to be addressed. This new queer Irish language dictionary is a resource for members of the LGBTQA community by translating terminology into the Irish language, and a positive step forward for the Irish language to be part of people’s identities.


Joe McHugh, Government Chief Whip, Minister for Gaeilge, An Gaeltacht and the Islands and Donegal TD, launched an Focloir Aisteach at DCU, “It is important to keep the language alive and there’s something nice about bringing it from the bottom up. I think it’s very clever, an cliste, way of doing it,” the minister said. “You are adding to the language, strengthening it. This kind of initiative does keep the language alive, and close to the heart.


“There’s a big debate going on all the time about the Irish language – are we doing enough as a government – but it is all our responsibility.


“What we have to do as Irish people is make a decision that we are going to use the language a little bit everyday and this goes to the heart of that cause.”


Speaking at the launch, TENI Board Member Cearbhall Turraoin said, “We welcomes the publication of ‘An Focloir Aiteach’ as a truly defining moment for gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation in Ireland. In recent times, Ireland has developed a reputation as something of a world leader on LGBT rights, particularly with the introduction of marriage equality and our groundbreaking Gender Recognition Act. Yet how we express our identity as LGBT people and and how we express our Irish identity often seemed like separate, rather than intersecting, areas of Irish life. This list, which includes such terms as Trasinscneach (Transgender) and Neamh-dhénártha (Non-Binary), highlights the vibrancy and inclusivity of the Irish language for use in identifying and expressing ourselves.”


“The launch of ‘An Foclóir Aiteach’ means that members of the LGBTI+ community here in Ireland will no longer be stuck for words in our native language”, stated Moninne Griffith, Executive Director, BeLonG To Youth Services. “We now have words and phrases which allow individuals to express who they are, and how they identify, in a meaningful and accurate way. As Ireland’s national LGBTI youth organisation, we work with young people, parents and educators across Ireland. With the development of this dictionary, we now have another resource to offer schools, to allow teachers to engage with their LGBTI+ students, and most importantly for students to meaningfully self-identify – however they wish to do so. We look forward to sharing ‘An Foclóir Aiteach’ as part of this year’s ‘Stand Up Awareness Week Pack’, and contributing to lifting these words from the page and bringing them to life.”

The dictionary has terms like: Agender (Gan inscne), Bigender (Dá-inscneach), Demigender (Leath-inscnech), Genderqueer (Inscne-aiteach), and Transgender (Trasinscneach). More information and the dictionary itself can be found here for free download:


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