Latin is a rarity among the languages of the world – not so much because it's no longer spoken, but because it's a language that is no longer spoken, and yet still widely used, which is definitely a paradox. It IS still spoken – but it's not a primary, secondary or even a foreign language for any culture. It's what I like to call a “zombie language.” Latin is technically a dead language, but it's closer to an un-dead language, considering it's still being taught, learned and used, and has been for centuries. So when you have alanguage translation service that provides regular Latin to English translation, it's kind of specialty, of sorts. After all, how many zombie languages can any particular professional translation company say they translate?
So recently we received several requests for Latin translation, one of them being a document of over 1000 words of Latin proverbs, phrases and old text excerpts. One of the biggest differences for this particular Latin translation is that it required both Latin to English, and English to Latin translation, because a few of the proverbs and phrases were listed in English, and needed to be translated to Latin.
I'm always a little curious as to what kind of texts require Latin translation, since nobody really speaks it anymore, except for the scientific and/or medical fields, on a classification basis – more or less for internationalized terminologies. It isn't like doctors get together at conferences and promptly convert to speaking Latin. Another known reason for Latin translation is for religious texts, primarily within the Catholic, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox religions. Aside from those two purposes, why would someone need Latin document translation service? I did a little digging to find out.
As we established, the most recent document translation from Latin to English was a big list of proverbs and sayings. Apparently this kind of translation service is more popular than you would think, because there's a website that (claims) to provide Latin phrase translation. Which, by the way, I wouldn't bother using for any kind of Latin translation - it's totally worthless. I input dozens of different Latin phrases, some of which were very simple, three word sentences - the website couldn't translate a single one. Not even the “hover over a word for definition” tool worked at any point. But that's all beside the point. We've established again and again that these automated website translation sites are complete garbage.
I reviewed recent submissions for Latin translation, received and provided by Tomedes, and discovered a few more kinds of Latin to English translation for, or vice versa. One of the more common requests were for tattoo translation from English to Latin (I wonder if any of those people realize how common it is to get a tattoo in Latin?) Another common Latin to English translation seems to be for excerpts from Latin texts, for instance, the word-for-word translation of various ancient Roman mythology stories. Still yet several times clients want grammatical identification of translated words, such as which parts of the sentence are the subject, verb, object, direct object, indirect object and so on, which would indicate some kind of teaching/learning purpose. All in all, the demand for Latin translation is surprisingly high.
Of course we get client document submissions for every major language, and some not-so-major languages, too – Tagalog to English translation, English to Danish translation, and Uzbek to English translation, Turkish to English translation just off the top of my head. It's pretty amazing when you consider that one translation company can provide so many different languages for translation services – even service for a zombie language.
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