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msd
01-06-2013, 12:52 AM
Does anyone know of a reliable English to Latin translator on the web?

I have tried two of them and they gave me different results for the same word. I donít speak Latin, hell I donít even speak well in English so I canít get my Latin translating wrong.

patskywriter
01-06-2013, 01:08 AM
Have you tried Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/)? I use it when checking song lyrics (I'm a DJ).

Medievalist
01-06-2013, 01:17 AM
Were I you, I'd ask in the International (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186554) forum; lots of people who are very knowledgeable about Latin, and can help.

Software/machine based translation has very limited usability at present.

Torgo
01-06-2013, 01:20 AM
Were I you, I'd ask in the International (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186554) forum; lots of people who are very knowledgeable about Latin, and can help.

Software/machine based translation has very limited usability at present.

Which is odd, because it seems like Latin would be a great candidate for it, with everything so inflected. Although having said that I can't decide whether that and the word order thing are pros or cons w/r/t that.

evilrooster
01-06-2013, 03:03 AM
As far as I know, there isn't any. And I have a BA in Latin, and still do a bit of poking around the language, so I try to keep up with what the web is doing with it these days.

(Google translate, by the way, is of patchy quality even between closely related languages. It's useful for getting the sense of the passage, or for very simple communications where you don't have a common language, but I wouldn't rely on its correctness in any formal or legal context.)

If you're looking for translations of individual Latin words, I'd suggest the Perseus Project's tool for searching the definitions of their Latin dictionary for English words, available here (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/definitionlookup?type=exact&lang=la). You have to do some digging, but you're more likely to get a reasonable translation out of it at the end.

Alternatively, if it's only a few words or a short sentence or two, just ask here on the thread and I'll give it a whirl. I know we have at least one other Classicist (a better one than I am) who posts in this room, so we can cross-check each other.

fadeaccompli
01-06-2013, 04:23 AM
I'm just going to second everything that evilrooster said. Translating from a foreign language via machine can be useful for getting the gist of a bit of text, but I would never recommend translating to a language you don't know via machine, if you plan on showing it to anyone else.

I'm in my fourth year of Latin study at the university level--fifth, if you count taking introductory Latin twice ten years apart--and I still have to wrangle with translating things into Latin accurately and elegantly, even given plenty of time to fiddle with stuff. And that's after taking a whole course just on translating from English to Latin. There's a lot of potential ambiguity in English that a machine just isn't going to be able to parse accurately, much less render into good (as opposed to merely technically accurate) Latin.

patskywriter
01-06-2013, 04:29 AM
I didn't take the time to ask what it is you're translating. I was assuming, since no one speaks Latin any more, that you were only looking to translate a few words and phrases. So … what is it you're translating?

msd
01-06-2013, 07:05 AM
As far as I know, there isn't any. And I have a BA in Latin, and still do a bit of poking around the language, so I try to keep up with what the web is doing with it these days.

(Google translate, by the way, is of patchy quality even between closely related languages. It's useful for getting the sense of the passage, or for very simple communications where you don't have a common language, but I wouldn't rely on its correctness in any formal or legal context.)

If you're looking for translations of individual Latin words, I'd suggest the Perseus Project's tool for searching the definitions of their Latin dictionary for English words, available here (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/definitionlookup?type=exact&lang=la). You have to do some digging, but you're more likely to get a reasonable translation out of it at the end.

Alternatively, if it's only a few words or a short sentence or two, just ask here on the thread and I'll give it a whirl. I know we have at least one other Classicist (a better one than I am) who posts in this room, so we can cross-check each other.

You are all correct; I only have a few words to translate. I did not want to burden anyone with what should be my research, but since you kindly offered, this is what I am trying to translate into Latin.

Truth seekers
Seekers of truth
Seekers of accurate knowledge

Anything using these words that would sound good for a secrete religious organization.

evilrooster
01-06-2013, 04:12 PM
I see that the better Classicist I referred to above has appeared (ohai, fadeaccompli!)

The basic bog-standard translation of "seekers after truth" is veritatem quaerentes, but that doesn't sound quite organizational enough.

Jamesaritchie
01-06-2013, 08:10 PM
The only truly reliable translator I've found for any language is a person who speaks that language well. They aren't difficult to find, even for Latin.

Medievalist
01-06-2013, 08:39 PM
I didn't take the time to ask what it is you're translating. I was assuming, since no one speaks Latin any more, that you were only looking to translate a few words and phrases. So Ö what is it you're translating?

Actually, lots of people still live and speak in Latin; in the Vatican and in a few monastic establishments. It's Church Latin, but in many ways, Latin is but a dying and not quite dead language.

Medievalist
01-06-2013, 08:43 PM
Which is odd, because it seems like Latin would be a great candidate for it, with everything so inflected. Although having said that I can't decide whether that and the word order thing are pros or cons w/r/t that.

The problem with machine translation in general (and we use machine translation a lot in the software industry) is that at least right now, it's basically a really big and really fast lookup on a giant word list with lots of parsing.

Machine translation works best when you can very narrowly restrict vocabulary and when you can restrict connotation.

So for instance, writing Help or technical documents in English that you know will be machine translated to 27 languages mean you use a very restricted vocabulary, syntax and range of meaning.

The stuff is run through a parser, and then machine translated, and then one or two humans who are native speakers go over it and correct itóusing the same very restricted ranges of meaning, syntax and vocabulary.

patskywriter
01-06-2013, 08:55 PM
Actually, lots of people still live and speak in Latin; in the Vatican and in a few monastic establishments. It's Church Latin, but in many ways, Latin is but a dying and not quite dead language.

Interesting! I was thinking that it had died out. I do remember going to my grandmother's church every now and then when I was a little kid (she was a converted Catholic). The service was conducted in Latin and I sat there baffled wondering what the heck was going on.

fadeaccompli
01-06-2013, 09:52 PM
I see that the better Classicist I referred to above has appeared (ohai, fadeaccompli!)

The basic bog-standard translation of "seekers after truth" is veritatem quaerentes, but that doesn't sound quite organizational enough.

*blushes*

And to be honest, I'm much happier translating sentences than phrases, at that. So much of my choice of words depends on the intended meaning of what's being said, and I get flustered when trying to translate what are essentially organization names, as keeps coming up. That seems much more a medieval thing than a classical Latin thing--and I haven't studied any medieval Latin at all!

Medievalist
01-06-2013, 11:45 PM
That seems much more a medieval thing than a classical Latin thing--and I haven't studied any medieval Latin at all!

You will notice I'm not offering. The changes in geography and era wrt medieval Latin are o_O making.

fadeaccompli
01-07-2013, 02:24 AM
You will notice I'm not offering. The changes in geography and era wrt medieval Latin are o_O making.

I desperately want to study some medieval Latin, just to get an introduction to what sorts of changes went on, and so forth. But I don't think my classics department--which is large and vigorous, as these things go--has offered one yet that I've seen. Maybe that's just for graduate students? Or more specialized departments/universities.

brianjanuary
01-07-2013, 03:32 AM
Yes, people today still speak Latin (scholars, church). The Catholic church, unfortunately, pronounces the language incorrectly with an Italian accent (if you want to hear it pronounced correctly, try to find a copy of Norman's Awesome Experience, a 1988 movie in which people go back in time to the first century CE--as soon as they get there, most of the dialogue is in Latin).

As for your translation, veritatem quaerentes seems right, but it's not a very cool name for a secret group. Perhaps you might want to rethink the name?

Medievalist
01-07-2013, 03:38 AM
Maybe that's just for graduate students? Or more specialized departments/universities.

It's not offered much at all anymore. If a school has a graduate medieval studies program, you can usually find a medieval Latinist.

The best way I know of right now is to go to the University of Toronto's medieval Latin summer school:

http://medieval.utoronto.ca/latin/summer/

It's fabulous.

UCLA used to have Bengt Lofstedt. He ran an informal Medieval latin study group once a week for years and years. It was obscenely fun, and very hard.

fadeaccompli
01-07-2013, 07:21 PM
It's not offered much at all anymore. If a school has a graduate medieval studies program, you can usually find a medieval Latinist.

The best way I know of right now is to go to the University of Toronto's medieval Latin summer school:

http://medieval.utoronto.ca/latin/summer/

It's fabulous.

UCLA used to have Bengt Lofstedt. He ran an informal Medieval latin study group once a week for years and years. It was obscenely fun, and very hard.

Oh, lovely! I should put that on the list of summer programs I'd really like to try some day. (Along with Clarion, and Taos Toolbox, and that two-week Latin speaking program in Los Angeles... Sigh.)

evilrooster
01-08-2013, 12:19 AM
The Catholic church, unfortunately, pronounces the language incorrectly with an Italian accent

The Catholic church pronounces it with the ecclesiastical accent, which is different than the Classical accent. Neither is more or less correct than the other, in the same way that Shakespearean English pronunciation is neither more or less correct than a modern Australian accent.


As for your translation, veritatem quaerentes seems right, but it's not a very cool name for a secret group. Perhaps you might want to rethink the name?

I was short of time and wanted to offer a starting point for other Latinists to correct, change, or suggest alternatives to. I'm not a medievalist, but since we're trying to generate a plausible name rather than rediscover a real, true one, I was hoping that someone else would take a stab at it.

Please do feel free to offer some suggestions yourself.

brianjanuary
01-10-2013, 07:58 PM
Actually, the church pronounces Latin with more or less a modern Italian accent, very different from the pronunciation of classical Latin. For example, in classical Latin the letters "c" and "g" are always hard (as in "cat" or "get"), but the church pronounces them as "ch" or "j" sounds when they occur before the vowels "e" and "i" (as in modern Italian). In classical Latin, the letter "v" was pronounced as "w", whereas ecclesiastical Latin pronounces it as "v", etc.

evilrooster
01-11-2013, 12:29 PM
Actually, the church pronounces Latin with more or less a modern Italian accent, very different from the pronunciation of classical Latin. For example, in classical Latin the letters "c" and "g" are always hard (as in "cat" or "get"), but the church pronounces them as "ch" or "j" sounds when they occur before the vowels "e" and "i" (as in modern Italian). In classical Latin, the letter "v" was pronounced as "w", whereas ecclesiastical Latin pronounces it as "v", etc.

Yes. That's the major difference between the ecclesiastical accent and the classical accent.

Neither of them is "incorrect"; they're two different accents from two different times and contexts. Ecclesiastical pronunciation is perfectly legitimate in its context; if you use the Classical accent in Gregorian chant, you're going to sound pretty odd.

Incorrect would be (to pick an example not at random, sigh) the tendency of Dutch native speakers to lengthen short vowels when they occur in open syllables. Though I suspect that that's cosmic revenge for what I do to Dutch.

John Chapman
01-11-2013, 07:39 PM
I have a BA in Latin, and still do a bit of poking around the language...

Alternatively, if it's only a few words or a short sentence or two, just ask here on the thread and I'll give it a whirl.

The problem with machine translation is that it has no idea of idiom and meanings can be totally lost.

Example. If you try to translate the word 'rainbow' you'll get 'arcus pluvius' which would be the literal translation of 'bow' and 'rain'. I have a sneaking suspicion that, before the Romans became Christian, they would have referred to 'Isis' bow' Arcus Isis instead however. Isis was the goddess of the rainbow. It needs a greater expert than I for the correct translation. Any ideas EvilRooster?

Rufus Coppertop
01-11-2013, 07:56 PM
veritatem quaerentes,

Quaerentes isthe nominative and accusative plural form of the present participle. It means seeking.

For practitioners of a verb,we can add tor (M) or trix (F) to the supine stem.

Quaesitores = seekers.

Veritatem Quaesitores = truth seekers

brianjanuary
01-11-2013, 08:41 PM
The point I was trying to make is that many people think that classical Latin was pronounced in the same way that ecclesiastical Latin currently pronounced. This is what is incorrect.

Rufus Coppertop--

Latin grammar often uses an implied subject, hence quarentes veritatem is the correct form (literally it means "those seeking the truth").

evilrooster
01-11-2013, 09:37 PM
have a sneaking suspicion that, before the Romans became Christian, they would have referred to 'Isis' bow' Arcus Isis instead however. Isis was the goddess of the rainbow. It needs a greater expert than I for the correct translation. Any ideas EvilRooster?

Actually Iris was the Roman (and Greek) goddess of the rainbow; Isis was the Egyptian goddess of, well, lots of stuff. Although there were cults of Isis in Rome for much of the city's history, they were considered explicitly foreign.

We don't have a lot of pre-Christian Latin texts that involve rainbows. Generally, when they do, they called it the arcus caelestis, the celestial bow. Ironically, the primary cite for iris as a transferred term for the rainbow is the Vulgate, the major Latin translation of the Bible undertaken by Jerome.

Which is to say, yes, you need to understand the idiom and the cultural context around the idiom before you can translate the terminology realistically.

However, in this case, we're just trying for an approximation that sounds good enough for a work of fiction. What if the seekers after truth were, say, inspired by Diogenes (the Greek fella with the lamp), or people who had been themselves inspired by him? Maybe then they'd be the Diogenides, or the Lucernades (children of the lamp), or the Lanternarii (lantern-bearers).

Mind you, all of these names feel like ancient Roman mystery cults rather than medieval societies, but it does depend on the history of the association.

Rufus Coppertop
01-11-2013, 11:35 PM
Latin grammar often uses an implied subject, hence quarentes veritatem is the correct form (literally it means "those seeking the truth").

Of course. Apologies to Evilrooster.

I think it's time to write Latin can have an implied subject on a cricket bat and whack myself with it. It's the only way I'll ever remember.

Rufus Coppertop
01-11-2013, 11:58 PM
I desperately want to study some medieval Latin, just to get an introduction to what sorts of changes went on, and so forth.
One thing I've noticed with medieval Latin is that you'll often find a C where you might expect a T.

exposicio instead of expositio.
potenciam instead of potentiam.
habencia instead of habentia.

fadeaccompli
01-12-2013, 12:30 AM
One thing I've noticed with medieval Latin is that you'll often find a C where you might expect a T.

exposicio instead of expositio.
potenciam instead of potentiam.
habencia instead of habentia.

See, I didn't know that at all! But it makes perfect sense based on what I know of Spanish. (And boy oh boy was knowing some Spanish ever a help in picking up on Latin vocab quickly.) The very small bits of medieval Latin that I've read also suggest that word order starting sliding nearer to what I think of as English word order--it'd probably be more accurate to compare it to Spanish sentences--and that a lot of uses of the ablative and dative (and some accusative) that were unmarked in classical Latin started getting prepositions attached. But beyond that, I don't know a thing about it.

Rufus Coppertop
01-12-2013, 12:49 AM
I've just about exhausted my knowledge of medieval Latin with that post above.

Two books that might be worth buying are Reading Medieval Latin by Sidwell and Medieval Mosaic: A Book of Medieval Latin Readings by (ed) Godfrey.

msd
01-16-2013, 06:24 AM
I see that the better Classicist I referred to above has appeared (ohai, fadeaccompli!)

The basic bog-standard translation of "seekers after truth" is veritatem quaerentes, but that doesn't sound quite organizational enough.

I thought of some new sample titles.

Guardians of the truth (Custodes veritas)

Custodians of the truth (Custodum veritatis)

Caretakers of the truth (Cultores veritatis)

Keepers of the truth (Custodes Veritas)

Guards of the truth (Custodibus veritas)

I’m still working on this; it’s much tougher than I thought.

evilrooster
01-17-2013, 11:17 PM
I thought of some new sample titles.

Guardians of the truth (Custodes veritatis)

Custodians of the truth (Custodum Custodes veritatis)

Caretakers of the truth (Cultores veritatis)

Keepers of the truth (Custodes Veritatis)

Guards of the truth (Custodibus Custodes veritatis

You've got a couple of nominatives where you need genitives, and a range of case problems with variants of custos, which means guard, custodian, or keeper. There's one genitive, one dative/ablative where you want a nominative. Once you boil those down, it's a choice between Custodes Veritatis and Cultores Veritatis.

It is hard. This one is particularly hard, and I'm not sure why.

Roxxsmom
01-31-2013, 08:57 AM
II would never recommend translating to a language you don't know via machine, if you plan on showing it to anyone else.



Unless you are planning on spamming e-mails that ask strangers to send you money to help you deal with some made-up crisis.

I got one a while back that had clearly been translated from some language with a program and it was hilarious. At one point, it informed me that the author was "a very greedy woman" and that I should "stop weeping and send her the money."

It's that old, "Pepsi makes your ancestors rise from the grave" problem. Attempts to translate ad slogans (http://www.funtasticus.com/2007/10/10/top-13-worst-slogan-translations-ever/) into equivalent phrases in other languages has often resulted in hilarity.

evilrooster
01-31-2013, 01:55 PM
Unless you are planning on spamming e-mails that ask strangers to send you money to help you deal with some made-up crisis.


This sort of thing?


Ego sum Dr Mariam Abacha, uxor ultimi Nigeriani presidentis, Generalis Sani Abacha qui mortuus est a.d. VII Id Jun MCMXCVIII dum adhuc in activa officium sum contingentes vos in secundum hoc erimus magno adiutorio ad quisque alterum, item ligulam fervidissimam negotium relationship. Ego aute intra mea pervenire summam Quadraginta-Duo Million United States pupa ($ 42,000,000.00), quae proposueram uti ad investment fines specie in patriam. Hac pecunia venit, ut resultantiam ex stipendium retro contractus paciscor inter mea sera viro et Russian firmum in patriosque Multi-Billion Dollar Ajaokuta Steel Planta.

:)

fadeaccompli
01-31-2013, 06:40 PM
This sort of thing?

...that...is a thing of beauty.

Roxxsmom
01-31-2013, 11:50 PM
This sort of thing?



:)
Yes, giggle, but more like this:


"My name is Mrs Willis Morgan am 75yrs old of age, i stay in new york

city, USA.I am a good merchant, I have several industrial companies

and good share in various banks in the world.I spend all my life on

investment and coporate business. all the way i lost my husband and two

beautiful kids in fatal accident that occur in November 5th 2003.

I am a very greedy woman with all cost i dont know much and care about

people, since when I have an experience of my it difficult to sleep

and give rest..."I don't think translation programs are quite there yet :D Now I want to plug this into Google translate and see what comes out in Latin.

evilrooster
02-01-2013, 12:35 AM
I don't think translation programs are quite there yet :D Now I want to plug this into Google translate and see what comes out in Latin.

I got the passage above by taking this snippet (source here (http://www.auditmypc.com/dr-mrs-mariam-abacha-42-million-dollar-email-scam.asp), but it's internet famous and turns up in lots of places):


I am Dr. Mariam Abacha, wife of the last Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha who died on the 8th of June 1998 while still on active duty am contacting you in view of the fact we will be of great assistance to each other, likewise developing a cordial business relationship. I currently have within my reach the sum of Fourty-Two Million United States dollars ($42,000,000.00) which I intended to use for investment purposes specifically in your country. This money came as a result of a pay-back contract deal between my late husband and a Russian firm in our country’s Multi-Billion Dollar Ajaokuta Steel Plant.I plugged it into Google Translate, fixed the less amusing errors in the first few lines, translated the date into the Roman calendar, and posted it.

Roxxsmom
02-01-2013, 11:51 AM
Yes, I think everyone's gotten that one, the archetypal "Nigerian" e-mail scam.

This link (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7688138) is also amusing, because it details at least one time when someone turned the tables on the scammer spammers and scammed them. :)

To get back to the original poster's question, I agree with the rest of the folks who say the translation programs are useful for informal uses, but I wouldn't rely on them for translating anything important. Sometimes they are even wrong for single words, let alone entire phrases or paragraphs.

When you think about it, there's no way they could be all that good without true artificial intelligence. Most words have several synonyms, and which synonym the "best" word in a given situation is a nuanced thing. And then you get into the whole homophone and homonym thing. And some concepts and idioms don't translate literally anyway.

Dr. Whom
02-08-2013, 04:07 AM
Quaerentes isthe nominative and accusative plural form of the present participle. It means seeking.

For practitioners of a verb,we can add tor (M) or trix (F) to the supine stem.

Quaesitores = seekers.

Veritatem Quaesitores = truth seekers

Veritatis Quaesitores is better Latin. The problem is that quaesitor(es) is a noun derived from a verb, not actually a verb form, and so you should use the genitive, making it literally "seekers of the truth".

poeticcaresses
02-08-2013, 04:26 AM
Does anyone know of a reliable English to Latin translator on the web?



This is one of the ones that I use. I honestly can't tell you if it's perfect or not, as I don't actually speak latin, but it IS from a reputable college. (University of Notre Dame)

http://archives.nd.edu/latgramm.htm

Rufus Coppertop
02-08-2013, 05:10 AM
Veritatis Quaesitores is better Latin. The problem is that quaesitor(es) is a noun derived from a verb, not actually a verb form, and so you should use the genitive, making it literally "seekers of the truth".

Oh man, that was such a basic mistake. Somebody shoot me. Please!

msd
02-09-2013, 04:39 AM
This is one of the ones that I use. I honestly can't tell you if it's perfect or not, as I don't actually speak latin, but it IS from a reputable college. (University of Notre Dame)

http://archives.nd.edu/latgramm.htm


Very nice, I created a shortcut.

Guili
02-22-2013, 02:15 AM
Thanks! This is great information.