Some Irish Gaelic names have linguistic or cultural equivalents in English, but there are no one-for-one translations for many of them. Biblical or saints' names are the easiest to translate, since these are commonly found in both Irish Gaelic and English. During periods of heavy Irish immigration to the U.S., some Irish names were translated into English by sounds, rather than any etymological connection. There are a few online translation services that offer some name translation services, but the best option is to go to an established genealogy website where hundreds of Irish Gaelic first and last names have been translated into widely accepted English versions.
Irish Gaelic Names in English
Contact a native Gaelic Irish speaker at a local Irish cultural center or online for help in translating a Gaelic name into English. Many last names have accepted translations, as do some first names.
Go to a Catholic parish office in your area; if they have a priest or nun with Irish background, they may be able to help you with the translations, particularly if the Gaelic name is a saint's name or Biblically based.
Use one of the major online genealogy websites to look up names of Irish origin; some of these websites will offer both the Irish Gaelic and English versions of names.
Look up the Irish Gaelic name on www.20000-NAMES.com. There are lengthy lists of both male and female Irish names with their commonly accepted English translations.
- Avoid websites that claim to be able to translate "any" name from Irish Gaelic to English or the reverse. Some Irish Gaelic names simply do not have English translations.
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