Welsh Vocabulary Testing Application

Geirfa is an application designed to help with learning and testing Welsh vocabulary. You can choose to test yourself on a small selection of words (perhaps on a single theme) or your complete dictionary. The words are defined in standard text files to allow you to modify definitions to fit your local area, to include your own definitions of words and add new words and phrases and to make it easy to share vocabulary with friends and colleagues.

Geirfa has developed as I have done the CBAC/WJEC Welsh for Adults courses and I have included a simple option to select vocabulary from units, sets of five units or each entire course.

Geirfa Demo

This is a limited version of Geirfa which, because Geirfa is written in Java, is unable to read from files stored on your computer so the Open and Selection options are not available and there is only a small built in test vocabulary - but I hope it is enough to give you a flavour of the application.
There have been some inevitable minor changes in the embedded code, for example, the button focus is lost so that the "Enter" key doesn't work. If you want to try Geirfa as it is released, use the Try It Now link below.
If no application appears in the box below, you may not have Java installed and enabled. Follow the instructions below to install Java.

Java does not appear to be installed on this computer. Geirfa will not work without Java (preferably 1.6).

Features include:

  • Geirfa has been designed to try to be flexible and to work in different ways:
    • Random Welsh to English or English to Welsh questions.
    • Geirfa adds words to its list, so duplicates don't repeat and you can have several meanings for the same word (any one of which will be a correct answer).
    • 'the', 'a', 'to' etc. are optional, so for the word 'mynd', Geirfa will accept 'go' and 'to go' (if the database has 'mynd=to go').
    • You can open a single file of words or a directory of files (which will include its subdirectories). This lets you concentrate on a small set of words at first and then gradually expand the test-set.
    • You can force Geirfa just to ask you English to Welsh, Welsh to English and/or the longer questions if you wish to concentrate on (or exclude) one of these.
    • Where they are different, Geirfa can show North or South Wales words (or both).
    • The application can be configured to use Welsh or English buttons, menus etc.
    • These options can be configured as your 'normal' mode (e.g. always use North or South Wales words) but also they can be modified while you are using Geirfa (e.g. to change to/from teaching/learning mode).
  • There is a teaching/learning mode in which you can go through the loaded words being shown the answers as you go.
  • Large, expandable vocabulary. Geirfa is supplied with a large dictionary of words including all those listed in the Mynediad and Sylfaen courses so you don't need to write your own if you don't want to. I hope that, if the application is well used, we will be able to expand the vocabulary page on this site with files which can be shared amongst all users (click here to go to the files page to download any new vocabulary files).
  • A configurable vocabulary database:
    • Vocabulary files can be designed to ask questions only from Welsh to English or English to Welsh.
      This allows you to test things like mutations and plurals which work best when you are given the English and asked for the Welsh (with correct mutations etc.).
    • It is possible to be specific about the answer expected by including extra information in brackets, for example, you can specify the gender of adjectives such as 'pretty (feminine)' = 'tlos' and if Geirfa asks for the English, it will ignore the brackets when it checks the answer (i.e. the answer to 'tlos' is 'pretty'). This can be used for any part of the language, not just adjectives. Or it can also be used to add extra clues to the answer.
    • You can ask for the answer to a question (good for testing yes/no answers).
    • You can also ask for a question which would produce the specified answer.
    • You can specify fill-in-the-blank questions.
    • Idioms can be specified so that the user can either enter the literal translation or the meaning.
  • You can add words from the Geirfa screen as well as by creating and editing text files.
  • And, if you really want to, you can use your own image in the place of the dragon.

You can download a version of Geirfa now by clicking on the link below, this will start the Java Application Launcher which will then start Geirfa. Because Geirfa is written in Java, the web version is unable to read from files stored on your computer so the Open and Selection options are not available and there is only a small built in test vocabulary.

If you have any problems with the download or with ordering Geirfa, please email Geirfa at this website (drop the www).

For more information on how to use Geirfa, see the FAQ.


Try it now!

Click here to try Geirfa now.

This is the same version as included on the page above (so only has a small built-in vocabulary) but is otherwise identical to the full version and runs in its own window.

Am ddim!


Buy using Paypal

Click the button to buy a copy of the full version of Geirfa.

Special introductory offer!

Get a full version of Geirfa for only £5.00

Geirfa will be sent to your email address as a Windows installer and/or a zip file containing the Java application and the set of vocabularly files to date as well as full instructions.

Geirfa will, no doubt, be updated from time-to-time, updates* are included in the price.


Geirfa is written in Java, so you will need to have Java (at least 5 or 6) installed on your computer (which you may well already have since many websites and applications use Java). You can get the latest from the Java website at Geirfa was written and tested on a PC and also works on Linux and newer Macs.

Disclaimer: Geirfa and its associated vocabulary files are provided on an 'as is' basis. Java is a common application environment used on many websites and for computer applications. Whilst it is expected that the Java installation will proceed without trouble (and I've never had any problems beyond it just not working on older PCs and Macs), I cannot provide any guarantees, so please, proceed with care and with suitable precautions such as making backups. To the extent permitted by law, I exclude all representations and warranties including the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, and accuracy. I shall not be liable for any losses or damage arising from the use of Geirfa.
That over, if you do find any mistakes in the operation or language in either Geirfa or any of these files please email.

I would welcome comments or suggestions about improving or expanding Geirfa.

*Major updates will be sent out to anyone who wants updates. All minor updates will be included in the major updates but these will only be released once there are enough minor updates or at reasonable intervals.

Pete Arnold. Latest version: 1.7, updated 18th September 2011. Copyright © 2009-2011.