Who can translate Latin


If there are any who can translate Latin into English and would be interested in volunteering to work on a project of the Glossa Ordinaria then please let me know. It would consist of translating paragraph size glosses that explain Biblical passages, basically it is a commentary on Scripture. All glosses have been transcribed. I am interested in developing a series of translations on the Glossa, non-profit and self-published, unless a publisher wants to pick it up. Its a go at your own pace kind of project, no deadlines or anything.




There’s a disclaimer there:

How does it work?

When Google Translate generates a translation, it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide on the best translation for you. By detecting patterns in documents that have already been translated by human translators, Google Translate can make intelligent guesses as to what an appropriate translation should be. This process of seeking patterns in large amounts of text is called “statistical machine translation”. Since the translations are generated by machines, not all translation will be perfect. The more human-translated documents that Google Translate can analyse in a specific language, the better the translation quality will be. This is why translation accuracy will sometimes vary across languages.


IOW, the translator doesn’t translate per se. If there have been mistranslations along the way, the google translator will only perpetuate the error. One simply has to know the language for it to be effective translation. In the case of Latin, I’ve seen first-year Latin students make better literal translations.


There will never be a machine translator for Latin that will make a good translation simply because of the different language structure of English and Latin.


hmm, I use Google Translator a lot, not great with the old Greek shown on
the Knox Bible at NewAdvent.com, but the Latin there is easily translatable.


If you still need people in a year or so, I’ll get back with you. Right now I’m way behind on another project (the Reformation Commentary on Scripture’s volume on Mark).


I’m sure I will be working on it, I’ve been trying to get this project off the ground for a couple of years but I have not been able to get any translators who are likeminded as me concerning the Gloss. I’ve translated the Gloss on Jonah, but I really need better translators than myself to get involved. A friend of mine hires translators and he said its a hassle dealing with them even when you pay them! The Gloss is an awesome commentary on Scripture that so many people would benefit from if we could get it in English!


I could help, the constraining factor being very limited spare time. By the way, it looks like you have PMs disabled, which makes getting in contact difficult.


A good bit of the material is taken from the Fathers and so has been translated already. But admittedly there are quite a few early medieval sources that haven’t been (a lot of Bede has, though).

It’s been a while since I worked with the Gloss, so take this with a pinch of salt. I certainly agree that it needs to be translated.

I should say that when I’m done with my present project, I have three others that I’ve made some degree of definite or hesitant commitment to:

  1. Editing Martin Bucer’s commentary on the Gospels. I hope perhaps to get out of this one–I have realized from my experience with the RCS that editing is just not my thing, and I should have known that all along but was too flattered back when I just finished my dissertation to say no to anything.

  2. Translating some of Bucer’s works into English.

  3. Another poster on this forum a few years ago broached the idea of translating Bellarmine’s Controversies.

So take this as a very tentative expression of interest–I would actually probably prefer the Gloss to either Bucer or Bellarmine, since I’m a bit tired of sixteenth-century controversy, and particularly of the Protestant Reformers:D. I started studying them to decide what I believed about the Reformation. I’ve decided that it was wrong, and now I’m stuck as an expert on the period–I wish I’d chosen the early Middle Ages instead:shrug:



Very impressive! I like editing. I seem to like those monotonous things that most people hate. After creating some websites and publishing a couple of books I have always enjoyed those long time-consuming projects. I am proofreading a book right now for an editor who hired someone to translate Origen’s work on Ezekiel and fragments, and once I’m done I hope to gain some ground on the Glossa project.

One trick I have found when translating the Gloss is if I can locate where the Gloss is quoting and find if its been translated into English, then that makes a great guide to follow, yet the Gloss rarely quotes word for word and is usually a condensed quotation of a fuller explanation. The Gloss seems to be fond of Bede, Haimo, Rabanus, Jerome, Augustine, Origen, and Chrysostom, but it really depends on what book of the Bible. Unfortunately very little of Rabanus and Haimo have been translated, such great commentators!


I tried online translators for English to Latin, they gave the pagan names for the days of the week. 'Churchy" Latin I think can be slightly different too, though I’m clearly not the expert.
I don’t trust online translators


It does well with the Vulgate since it was translated and has been put into their program, but it is not a ‘good’ translator by any means. It makes a good tool and is getting better as time goes on, but with the differences between the languages it will never be dependable and accurate with texts that have never been translated.


It may be okay in saving some dictionary lookups but the grammar usually is terrible. If you wish to do a more literal translation try typing one word at a time. For example, type in “sursum” (you get “upwards” or “up” ) then type in “corda” (you get hearts). But typing them together you get “lift up your hearts” Why? Because that’s the way it was initially translated centuries ago and you’ll find that translation all over the place. Type in “sursum oculi” and you don’t get back “Lift up your eyes” but “Up(wards) eyes.” Normally we would say “Look up.”


Yes, there are differences such as “oratio” which Cicero would use for his orations, while the Church definition would be “prayer.” Root is “os, oris” (mouth)

Church days of the week:

Sunday - Dominica (the Lord’s Day)
Monday - feria secunda
Tuesday - feria tertia
Wednesday - feria quarta
Thursday - feria quinta
Friday - feria sexta
Saturday - Sabbatum

I’ve seen “feria prima” for Sunday.


The Glossa Ordinaria in English is definitely needed. If I win a few million dollars, I will hire a team to translate Baronius’ 12 volume * Annales Ecclesiastici*:slight_smile:


Haha! I often dream about if I had the money I would hire a big team of excellent translators and start pumping out volume after volume of the Glossa in English until it was finished! I would also love to get St. Albert the Great’s commentaries translated as well, as well as Hugh of St. Cher, Nicholas of Lyra, etc! It is fun to dream!


The cost of the Reformation was very high for English speaking Catholics. :frowning:

While we’re dreaming I would add Calmet’s commentary and Fleury’s Ecclesiastical History (but those I believe are in French)

There is a partial translation of Fleury into English. There was one English edition of Calmet from 1726, but I’ve never run across it.


Absolutley! The rest of the commentaries of Cornelius a Lapide would be great too! I would love to see the commentary by St. Thomas Aquinas on Revelation also in English.


Are those things even possible? :slight_smile:


If someone were to translate the Nova Vulgata into English and post it on the internet what would happen?

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