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An Coiste Téarmaíochta | The Terminology Committee




To approve, develop and provide authoritative, standardized Irish-language terminology in order to increase the capacity of the language as a modern medium in modern society, in accordance with the statutory requirements.




  • Terminology in Irish was developed within the Department of Education throughout the greater part of the last century.
  • Committees of Irish-language experts were set up as early as 1927 in order to provide terminology for the education system. An Buanchoiste Téarmaíochta (The Permanent Terminology Committee) was established by the Minister of Education in 1968.
  • An Coiste Téarmaíochta and its functions were transferred to Foras na Gaeilge in 1999, according to the provisions of the Belfast Agreement.



The Terminology Committee comprises 20 members, who attend monthly meetings. They agree terminological principles, plan and supervise the work through establishing subcommittees, and sanction miscellaneous terminological lists.

The Subcommittees comprise smaller groups of experts in specialized fields. They sanction substantial lists of technical terms and compile specialized dictionaries of terminology. Over 20 such dictionaries have been published, arising from the work of the Subcommittees. (Click here) (Committee members provide their time and expertise voluntarily.)



  • To enhance the status of the Irish language by the establishment and development of standardized, authoritative terminology.
  • To deliver standardized authoritative terminology to the public by means of  the most efficient and modern communications media.
  • To fulfil the terminological requirements of the educational sector, State Services, and the general public.
  • To facilitate Irish-language lexicography by establishing and maintaining an efficient terminological database as an integral component in ongoing corpus planning.
  • To draw on the richness and diversity of the oral and literary tradition in the development of the terminology necessary for all modern language functions.
  • To develop best practice in the provision of the services of An Coiste Téarmaíochta through the use of modern work practices and facilities.


Partnerships with Public and Community Organizations

An Coiste Téarmaíochta has cooperated with a number of public bodies and other commmunity projects, through providing extensive terminological advice, which resulted in the publication of 15 English-Irish dictionaries or handbooks. Click here

As well as this, An Coiste Téarmaíochta advised and provided support and prepared electronic aid for the following companies:-Microsoft, Sony, Rosetta Stone, Gléacht Coporation.


An Coiste Téarmaíochta - Terminology on-line

Database of Public Service Terminology

A database of basic terms for signage and advertisements  website – facility for translators.

There are 11 specialized dictionaries, 11 specialized lists and two extensive lists of miscellaneous terms, all approved by The Terminology Committee, available on the following Website (which was funded by Foras na Gaeilge) -


The National Terminology Database

The content mentioned above as well as additional sources are combined as one source on this site. Part of the content consists of draftlists which are still in preparation and the terms are marked accordingly. Continuous editing work is being carried out on the content of this database by staff of The Coiste Téarmaíochta and staff of Fiontar. Further lists are added regularly and new features are being developed in order to facilitate the user in using the Web site and in accessing the terminology collections of An Coiste Téarmaíochta.


Published Dictionaries

There are 20 terminology dictionaries and a terminology cd (9 dictionaries are available on it) available to buy or to order from bookshops. (Click here)

Other Lists and Dictionaries

Some unpublished lists and dictionaries of terminology are available to download in Word Document format.  Some are short lists dealing with specific domains, others are dictionaries which are either out of print or were previously only available in electronic format. (Click here)

Guidelines about Terminology Work

The Terminology Committee staff give workshops about different aspects of terminology work on a regular basis. Here are a few informational resources: (Click here)



Máire Nic Mheanman, Principal Terminologist

Jenny Ní Chumhaill, Assistant Terminologist


Contact Details

Tel: +353 1 889 2814/2817

Fax: +353 1889 2828


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