The Null Device

Google Translate iam linguam Latinam intellegit

The latest language added to Google's translation tools: Latin. Or, as the official announcement puts it:
Hoc instrumentum convertendi Latinam rare usurum ut convertat nuntios electronicos vel epigrammata effigierum YouTubis intellegamus. Multi autem vetusti libri de philosophia, de physicis et de mathematica lingua Latina scripti sunt. Libri enim vero multi milia in Libris Googlis sunt qui praeclaros locos Latinos habent.
Convertere instrumentis computatoriis ex Latina difficile est et intellegamus grammatica nostra non sine culpa esse. Autem Latina singularis est quia plurimi libri lingua Latina iampridem scripti erant et pauci novi posthac erunt. Multi in alias linguas conversi sunt et his conversis utamur ut nostra instrumenta convertendi edoceamus. Cum hoc instrumentum facile convertat libros similes his ex quibus edidicit, nostra virtus convertendi libros celebratos (ut Commentarios de Bello Gallico Caesaris) iam bona est.
In other words, while Latin is a dead language, and few if any people are going to send emails (or nuntios electronicos, as the Romans would have called them), the translator is useful because of the vast number of books wholly or partly in Latin. And, while there is little new Latin text to train the engine on, there is a huge repository of existing Latin texts and translations, of varying antiquity, many of which Google have digitised. Which works quite adequately for translating the sorts of things likely to have been written in Latin.

Sadly, the same can't be said for Google's English-to-Latin translation; at the moment, for a lot of inputs, it seems to do little more than change the order of the words around, getting stumped on words like, say, "translate" and "Latin".

There are 3 comments on "Google Translate iam linguam Latinam intellegit":

Posted by: Greg Sat Oct 2 10:13:20 2010

finally I will find out what my Pagemaker demo file is about

Posted by: acb Sat Oct 2 15:11:22 2010

Lorem Ipsum, you mean? It's apparently a variously mangled copy of some passage from a classic text; something about sorrow, I think.

Posted by: acb Sat Oct 2 15:15:42 2010

Though, apparently, Google Translate considers "Lorem ipsum dolor" to mean "Hello world!". Which, in a modern, non-Latin-speaking, context, it usually does.

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