Irish Hyphenation

Kevin P. Scannell


This page describes the hyphenation patterns needed for proper typesetting of Irish language text using TeX, LibreOffice,, KOffice, GNU Troff, Scribus, Folio, Hyphenator.js, and Apache FOP. The latest versions of Firefox also include support for hyphenation when laying out web pages, and we expect other browsers to allow this in the future as well.

You can check out a live demo of the hyphenation patterns in your browser that makes use of the Hyphenation.js package. You can resize your browser window to see the hyphenations change, or click the icon at the top right to turn hyphenation off completely. You can find the same document typeset using LaTex here, and a screenshot in LibreOffice here.

The patterns are derived automatically from a database of hyphenated words which should allow easy integration into other typesetting systems (as long as they are Free Software).

You can also read a short article I've written that treats the development of these hyphenation patterns for Irish, and discusses the development of computing resources for minority languages more generally.


See the Usage page for instructions on how to install and use the patterns with LaTeX.


I know of no explicit standards for hyphenation of Irish. Instead I relied upon:

Occasionally I had to resort to my own (poor) judgement. Therefore the resulting rules are far from perfect and likely reflect my idiosyncratic preference for etymological/morphological hyphenation over phonological. Please see the Details page for more information on what I did and for some concrete examples.

If you'd like to help improve future releases, the easiest way is to use the patterns to typeset your own documents and report any problems you encounter. Alternatively, you can look for errors among the Top 1000 most frequent words in Irish, hyphenated according to the current pattern set.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.