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September 30, 2010

Google Translate Adds Support for Latin

Google Translate is the first important machine translation service that supports Latin. Google says that thousands of books that are available in Google Book Search include Latin passages and the machine translation service has been trained using texts that are already translated.

The results aren't great and it will be difficult to improve them, but it's still an interesting experiment. Here's an example of translation:

"Translating by machine from Latin is difficult and our grasp of grammar not without error. The Latin is unmatched because most of them Latin books have already been written and only a few of the new shall be hereafter. Many have been translated into other languages and these translations we use to train our translation system. Since this system translates books well similar to those from whom he learned, our ability to translate famous books (such as The Gallic War Caesar 's) is already good."


  1. Google keeps adding new languages while in my opinion, they must first work on improving the current ones and then only add more languages.

  2. It certainly is more fun now to translate Lorum Ipsum pages to get gibberish like:

    Hello world! Is here to cancel meals. While the elit unless and here and does not always it, the pain RokNewsFlash. For any one venomous Lobortis We Varius. Until the lake in the porch of sollicitudin imperdiet. Aeneas the element of eros mattis cats and to lay. In the Who now was, anyone consectetur Felis. We need orci lucky, that Customer Nisl. Video Tutorial laoreet skirmish. Consequently, her annoyance consectetur, nor, the price of First thing bow, a. As a child of any diam hendrerit is love and if not. In the land unless, in need of the doer of the tincidunt condimentum, but unless. We need of the mass by the prefix meaning half accumsan to lay. Print this carriages the Moors, he does not give to adorn and a pure. With my comrades and the household gods and the great gods of the mountains of parturient, a ridiculous mouse shall be born. To take a ligula fringilla always divides opinion. We collected a lion, of the crime need not with the anxiety, you soften any man the just. Maecenas or, nor even of the sapienus rhoncus hendrerit. This crime, the ligula fringilla rhoncus euismod, avenging hatred for orcs, to the javelins sad that a bed Sample meals.

    Lorum Ipsum text created using
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec elit nisi, pulvinar non semper id, mattis quis dolor. Nam venenatis lobortis lorem quis varius. Donec sollicitudin vestibulum lacus in imperdiet. Aenean elementum felis et eros mattis posuere. In quis nunc erat, quis consectetur felis. Integer eget orci felis, id adipiscing nisl. Proin ac laoreet velit. Proin molestie consectetur neque, eget molestie arcu pretium a. Ut a diam non nulla gravida hendrerit sit amet ac nisi. In tellus nisi, tincidunt eget auctor in, condimentum sed nisi. Fusce eget massa a sem accumsan posuere. Duis ullamcorper vehicula mauris, non ornare purus ornare et. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Ut at ligula sed lectus semper fringilla. Praesent leo lectus, scelerisque non sollicitudin eget, mollis quis justo. Maecenas vel neque vel sapien rhoncus hendrerit. Praesent scelerisque, ligula fringilla rhoncus euismod, enim odio ultrices orci, iaculis tristique lectus augue id elit.

    1. The "Lorem ipsum dolor etc." is not real latin, only some words are. "Ipsum" means per example "self" but is not conjugated in any way in relation to the other words.

  3. "... most of them Latin books have already been written..."
    I'd say "...our grasp of grammar [is] not without error..." seems true for English as well.

  4. I believe that the text quoted is a translation out of latin, and that's why it's not so great in English. The more people do use it and tell it where it's wrong, the better and better it will get. Also, this is why they need to add as many languages as they can, because once they get it set up for basics, it can improve itself by digesting more texts.

  5. I'm with Akhilesh Sharma in this one

  6. I am also with Akhilesh Sharma. I just translated a recent news article from english to german and the result is barely readable...

  7. @ ahab I fear that you might have to wait a while longer for a service that translates "Lorem Ipsum" texts. These are only placeholder texts for publishing and graphic design, which are pseudo-Latin and mostly nonsensical in meaning to begin with...

  8. can someone help me tranlate this to latin? " listen to your heart, you will understand" THANKS IN ADVANCE!

  9. Glad to see this. It's not much use at the moment for translating into Latin because it gets all the cases wrong. But I hope it improves.

  10. Why does "mattis quis" = RokNewsFlash ?

  11. Don't get fooled by the Big development. It's a small crack to get into Christian countries, especially into Vatican. Lately the monks use web a lot. The Google Servers can host anytime some holy scriptures.