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Gradam na Gaeilge 2015 (Irish Language Award 2015)

April 2015

ABAIR won Gradam na Gaeilge 2015 in the category 'An tseirbhís Ghaeilge is fearr i gColáiste na Tríonóide' (The best Irish language sevice in Trinity College). We would like to thank the Irish Language Officer and Minister Joe McHugh who bestowed the prize on ABAIR.

All Ireland Marketing Awards

All Ireland Marketing Awards 2014

June 2014

ABAIR.ie was nominated for the All Ireland Marketing Awards in the category "Gradam Gnó as Gaeilge". Among those who had also been nominated in this category were the GAA, Three, Associated Newspapers Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association.

All Ireland Marketing Awards
From left to right: Neasa Ní Chiaráin (ABAIR.ie), Elaine Uí Dhonnchadha (ABAIR.ie) and Karen Moran (KBC) at the awards ceremony in the Burlington Hotel Dublin.

World Voice Day and ABAIR.ie

22 April 2013

On 16 April 2013 celebrations of World Voice Day took place in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The Phonetics and Speech Laboratory, of the School of Linguistic Speech and Communication Sciences, had organised a series of events for this special day. The Dublin launch of the new ABAIR synthetic voices was one of the highlights. The Minister of State Dinny McGinley, T.D officiated at occasion.

Seminar on Voice

The events started with a seminar on the voice. In this public lecture researchers gave the audience an insight into their findings, for example, about the role of the voice in speech and how it influences the meaning of utterances. The tone of voice can be perceived differently in different cultures. What appears to be an expression of anger to a native speaker of English, might be perceived as intimate by a native speaker of Japanese.

The Dublin Launch of ABAIR.ie

After the seminar, the Minister of State Dinny McGinley, T.D. officiated at the Dublin launch of the new ABAIR Irish voices. The Minister was delighted that the Irish language played a central role at the celebration of World Voice Day and he pointed out that Trinity College had ties with the Irish language that reach back to the 19th century. The first Chair of Irish was instituted in Trinity College in 1840, and among the Professors who held the chair were the music collector Canon James Goodman and the famous writer Máirtín Ó Cadhain. The Minister told the audience about the time when Máirtín Ó Cadhain visited his family to record his grandmother who was a traditional story-teller or a seanchaí (the stories were published in the book Ó Cadhain i dTír Chonaill, edited by Pádraig Ó Baoighill, Coiscéim 2007). Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a facility like abair.ie originated from Trinity College, a facility that helps learners in Ireland and all over the world to learn Irish in a modern and highly enjoyable manner.

Songs in Irish

At 19.30 songs were rendered all over the world to round off World Voice Day. In Trinity College the band Na Casaidigh and friends recited songs in Irish. They sang traditional songs from Ulster, Connaught and Munster.

View the whole programme of World Voice Day at www.abair.tcd.ie/voiceday.

Pictiúr Seoladh Abair ag Oireachtas na Samhna 2012
Neasa Ní Chiaráin, Amelie Dorn, Prof. Juergen Barkhoff, Dr. Irena Yanushevskaya, John Kane, Vinny Cahill (Déan an Taighde), the Minister of State Dinny McGinley, T.D., Christoph Wendler, Prof. Christer Gobl, Prof. Ailbhe Ní Chasaide at the Dublin launch of the ABAIR synthetic voices.

New ABAIR Voice Launched Officially

2 November 2012

A large crowd were present in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny last Thursday when Minister of State Dinny McGinley, T.D. launched the next phase of www.abair.ie as part of the Oireachtas na Gaeilge celebrations. 

The www.abair.ie project takes Irish to the heart of language technology and offers a new way for the public to access the language. It is a unique system, which turns Irish written text into the spoken word. To date, a female synthetic voice speaking with an Ulster dialect was available on www.abair.ie. An important phase in the overall development of the project is now being reached with the launch of a second voice, which is a male synthetic voice with a Connaught dialect. The preparation of a synthesised Munster voice is underway and will be launched at a future date. 

The project has been developed as a result of research at the Phonetics and Speech Lab., Centre for Language and Communication Studies, Trinity College Dublin. The project developers are very pleased to have obtained funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which will guarantee the continuation of the project for the next three years. Credit is also due to those who have supported the project until now. These include COGG, Foras na Gaeilge and the EU (INTERREG).

Pictiúr Seoladh Abair ag Oireachtas na Samhna 2012
Neasa Ní Chiaráin, Dinny McGinley, T.D., John Duggan, Professor Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, Harald Berthelsen, Séamus Mac Giolla Chomhaill (Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) and Christoph Wendler

Up to 40,000 people have already visited the abair.ie website - many of these from North America and from various areas around the world where people have shown an interest in the Irish language. These include linguists and others, who are just curious about its sounds.

In a White Paper Series entitled ‘The Irish Language in the Digital Age’ published by META-NET recently, Irish was mentioned as one of the languages which was in danger of extinction because of its lack of support in the area of technology. www.abair.ie offers a significant underpinning for the Irish language, particularly in the area of speech technology. To date, individuals have used the system in order to hear words or phrases being pronounced through Irish. The further development of the project can now offer crucial support in areas such as access for the visually or vocally impaired as well as general Irish language education. 

I dtuarascáil META-NET dar teideal ‘An Ghaeilge sa Ré Dhigiteach’ a foilsíodh le fíor-déanaí, luadh an Ghaeilge i measc teangacha neamhfhorleathna a bhí i mbaol de bharr easpa tacaíochta i réimse na teicneolaíochta. Is áis an-tábhachtach é www.abair.ie chun an bhearna teicneolaíochta seo a líonadh i gcás na Gaeilge. Suas go dtí seo bhí daoine aonair á úsáid chun focail nó abairtí a fhuaimniú i gceart. Chomh maith leis sin, táthar ag súil go mbunófar córais nua-aimseartha digiteacha chun áiseanna ilchineálacha a chruthú. I measc na n-áiseanna sin tá:

Some of the functions to which the new synthesised speech is being put include:

  • Educational Games: Interactive language learning games for the teaching and learning of Irish
  • “Interactive Talking Books” which include synthesized voices and simultaneous highlighting of text. Vitally important for those with a visual impairment; important too for learning to read, especially for those with dyslexia; enjoyable for children who are at a pre-reading stage
  • Dialect-specific dictionaries that speak out words and phrases in your choice of dialect
  • Screen readers incorporating synthesized voices for those with visual impairments. Up to now, the only choice was to use an English language synthesizer to speak out Irish language text – this puts people with visual impairment at a huge disadvantage when working with Irish texts
  • Léitheoirí Scáileáin a léifidh gach a bhfuil ar an scáileáin amach os ard. Tá a leithéid seo thar a bheith tábhachtach do dhaoine a bhfuil fadhbanna acu le radharc na súl
  • Communication devices for those with speech & language difficulties: there is no provision for Irish language communication devices at present
  • Irish Language Voices on websites to promote Ireland and the Irish language
  • iPhone / Android Apps, e.g. games with Irish

www.ABAIR.ie takes Irish to the heart of modern day technology. It opens up a whole new vista for teaching applications and for promoting Irish across the globe.”
– Minister of State Dinny McGinley, T.D.

“Our goal is to provide linguistic and technological resources for Irish speakers. The technology is crucial in the educational sphere as well as for disability and access.”
– Professor Ailbhe Ní Chasaide