In Mathematics, there is a technique which is known as Regula Falsi, and it is heavily implied that its translation to English is "False position" (for example, in the Wikipedia article). This seemed dubious, so I checked Google Translate. Indeed, the translator returns "Rule forgery". Is there a way in which "Regula falsi" can be truly translated to "False position"?


  • The Wikipedia article you linked to does give the rather better translation, "rule of falsehood", when quoting Humphrey Baker further down in the body. – Figulus Mar 30 at 9:55

Your intuition is correct (though Google Translate is not); there's no word for "position" in that phrase.

Rēgula falsī literally means "the rule of the false [thing]"; it's common in Latin to leave out nouns when they could be understood from context.

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