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119

A classmate of mine who got his Ph.D. in natural-language processing and now works at Google told me the following. It might be out of date and I might be remembering it wrong. But I just did a little, er, googling, and this seems to be passably well corroborated by other sources. How it works Google Translate is completely statistical. It has no model of ...


20

To answer the question ("What is Latin Google Translate good for?") as stated: Absolutely nothing. At least reliably.


11

While Google Translate may be useless to an advanced Latin speaker, a beginner such as me finds it helpful for gaining quick insights. I use it in combination with little tricks, such as splitting the sentence into separate clauses and/or adding punctuation and converting the syntax to the Subject–Verb–Object word order which makes Latin more “palpable” to ...


8

The point of Google Translate (and this is not just for Latin) is that it only serves a purpose if you are able to judge the quality of its output, and understand that it's not a faithful account of the source text in any case. This means, of course, that it must only be used to translate a text in a language you don't know into a language you do. But if ...


6

Regarding Linux, there seem to have never existed such OS (but non existence hard to prove). As this is an open-source OS, it is based on collaboration, and as such, translation are made by enthusiasts of a given Language. There have been efforts in the past, like KDE and Gnome, but both seem dead. The only project I could find to be still "alive", albeit ...


5

If Latin prose had an "extremely loose word order", which is (generally) not the case, the appropriate linguistic term involved would be "non-configurationality". However, rather than being vaguely classified as a free word order language or as a non-configurational language, Latin has been referred to in the recent literature on Latin syntax as a "discourse ...


4

LibreOffice If you want spellchecking for Latin, someone's made a pretty decent LibreOffice Latin spellcheck dictionary. And LibreOffice works on Linux, Window, and Mac, is open source, free, and awesome, so you should have it anyways. After you install LibreOffice, follow these instructions to install the Latin spellcheck dictionary: In LibreOffice, ...


4

I think the examples given in the question and in the answers are grammatically non-trivial and thus prone to translation mistakes, even by a human learning a language (two substantives, two verbs, etc). That Google makes mistakes might not be so surprising, and we could even argue that the tests were too stringent. Perhaps a much more revealing test is to ...


4

I found a very specific use for it this summer. For a couple weeks I was at one of the living-Latin summer programs run by SALVI, and the rule there—as at other such programs I've attended—is that you're not allowed to speak any language but Latin except in emergencies. Since my husband, who speaks no Latin, gets lonely when it's just him and the dog and was ...


4

Multiling O Keyboard is a light and fully customisable keyboard, which provides a Latin dictionary. Apparently, you need to install that app, and then select the Latin plug-in.


3

Some quick fiddling on my own Android phone revealed that I have an app installed called GBoard which does have a Latin option. So yes, it is possible, but I haven't used it at all so I have no information how well it will handle the variation in endings of nouns and, even worse, verbs. I'm not sure if this is installed by default on my or all Android ...


3

ā, ă, ē, ĕ, ī, ū are all easily typable on an Android device by long-pressing the corresponding vowel. So ĭ, ŏ, ō, ŭ, ȳ and y̆ are missing. For Samsung, I'll quote a post from here, but only in part because that procedure doesn't seem to work for me: In your browser, find and copy the letter you need from any site. Go to Settings > Language and input > ...


3

I've always heard it described as free word order. That is, the word order is "free" in that it can be pushed and pulled and twisted every which way while still being understandable.


2

I use the Swype keyboard, which has macra available for all vowels except y, by long-pressing the letter. So you could use that.


2

The classical operating system MULTICS wasn't completely in Latin, but it included a famous error message in Latin: HODIE NATUS EST RADICI FRATER. The linked webpage on multicians.org gives the full story.


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