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Translate Latin To English - The Ability to Translate Latin to English is a Key to Globalization

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One of the more important aspects of a “classical” education was the ability to read and write in Latin. Since it was associated with the growth and dominance of the Roman Empire, it was seen as a key piece of the culture that ruled the Western world for a millenia. Latin was seen as the most precise of the languages of Europe, and even today the use of Latin phrasing is often perceived as the mark of the intellectually and culturally elite. Educators maintain a foundation in Latin can greatly benefit future learning. Dorothy Sayers once said “I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent.”

Because English and many other languages derive from branches of Vulgar Latin, an increased knowledge of Latin leads to a greater understanding of one’s own mother tongue. For example, it has been shown that the ability to translate Latin into English is directly related to increased performance scores on test like the ACTs and SATs. For instance, since many English words have Latin roots, a student can often determine the definition of an unfamiliar word more easily than one without a knowledge of Latin. Surprisingly, an education in Latin has been shown to increase Math scores as well.

Along with the expected standard careers in translation, there are several other professions whose members benefit greatly from a knowledge of Latin. Religious leaders, particularly those of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, trace their roots to the writings of early Church “fathers.” Many of these Fathers who lived after the third century wrote in Latin because of its widespread use and legal precision in comparison to Greek. The official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church is still the Latin Vulgate, which was produced by Jerome in the early fifth century. The ability to translate Latin into English is important for any scholar who wishes to study Christian history with primary sources rather than translations or third-party interpretations.

Scientists also use Latin extensively for nomenclature to ensure consistency across national boundaries. Therefore when an American uses the term “homo sapiens” a reader in French or Russian can understand exactly what he means without ambiguity. Ever since the Scientific Revolution there has been a need for a lingua franca of science, and the use of Latin prevents any one culture from having dominance over others. While the need to translate Latin into English is not as crucial as it may be for religious studies, it can still lead to greater ease in communication and understanding. Many legal theories and terms also derive their precision from Latin words, and it often necessary to translate English to Latin in work of this type.

Fortunately, there are a lot of free online tools to translate Latin into English. One of the most popular is a full Latin dictionary called “Numen – the Latin Lexicon,” which is available at latinlexicon.org. For longer phrases, translation-guide.com allows users to copy and paste large sections of text or to submit an entire webpage for translation. Latinphrasetranslation.com specializes in translating large sections of the most common Latin phrases. These site are good places to begin a study of Latin words or phrases, or if you need to translate English to Latin.

However, like any translation, the more experience one has with the language the better the translation will be. If a precise translation is needed, it is more beneficial to find someone with extensive experience with translating Latin to English. A customized translation by an experienced linguist is almost always preferable that automated conversion tools or lexicons. Some examples might be university professors who teach the Classics or archaeologists who specialize in the world of Late Antiquity.

Despite being classified as a “dead” language, Latin is becoming increasingly important in the globalization of the world. The increased connections across national boundaries require a common language for many professions, and translating Latin to English continues to be a vital skill in today’s world.

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