Latin Translation Help
Latin translation help – every Latin student needs it once in a while! Latin translation help is most timely when first starting out reading real Latin passages or when transitioning from one author’s style to another. It’s also useful to have Latin translation help when first starting to read poetry, as poetic style and conventions can make it quite different from translating Latin prose. For personalized Latin translation help, specifically tailored to the passages you are reading and to your level of comfort with Latin grammar, contact us for a free consultation session!
Students seeking Latin translation help may find the following guidelines useful:
- Context: What is the passage about? Do you have any expectations about what will happen in it as a whole, and what will happen in the particular sentence you are translating? Answering these questions can be a big help for Latin translations that are not single-sentence exercises. Remember the grammar is always most important, even (or especially!) if the sentence doesn’t say what you expected it to, but having big-picture context is an important component to help your Latin translation go smoothly and efficiently.
- Vocabulary: For most efficient Latin translation, it helps to have all the words in a sentence or phrase looked up in a dictionary before you begin to translate. Sometimes a word you think is a verb is actually an adverb… and sometimes a dictionary can go a long way to helping your Latin translation by informing you about idioms or common grammatical constructions (for example, some verbs taking the dative).
- Syntax: Since most English sentences start with a subject and a verb, finding the verb, and locating all words in the nominative case is a useful step for students seeking Latin translation help. Complex Latin (and English!) sentences can have more than one verb, so it will help your Latin translation to find all the verbs and determine their subjects, as well as which verb (or group of verbs) is the main verb and which are in subordinate clauses. Be sure that the number and person of the verb match the word(s) that are their subject, and remember that sometimes in Latin subjects go unstated.
- Grammar: Grammatical precision helps all Latin translations. Make sure you know the part of speech of each word in the sentence you are trying to translate and the appropriate grammatical information for each. (For example, for verbs you should know person, number, tense, mood and voice, for nouns and adjectives you should know case, number and gender.) It’s a big Latin translation help to remember that for many nouns and adjectives, you’ll only be able to determine the exact case number and gender in context, as certain endings have a variety of meanings.
Latin translation help can be useful to people who use Latin “casually” – legal and medical professionals, or even writers and artists who wish to insert a few Latin words or a phrase into their work. Individuals thinking of using Latin for a motto or tattoo are strongly encouraged to get some Latin translation help, as there is nothing worse than bad grammar except for indelible bad grammar! Latintutor.net offers this type of Latin translation help on a per-word basis. Email us with the passage or words you would like translated or for more information.