What’s the first thing you do when you run across something on the Web in a language you don’t understand? Head straight to Google Translate, of course. That’s exactly what happened when Google announced the addition of Latin – in a blog post written entirely in Latin – to its arsenal of nearly 60 languages this morning.
In a blog post entitled “Veni, Vidi, Verba Verti”, or “I came, I saw, I translated the words”, Google announced it would begin offering “the first language translation system by which no native speakers now make use of: the Latin.”
This Latin translation system rarely be used to translate e-mails or understand the subtitles of YouTube videos. But many that are ancient books of philosophy, of physics and of mathematics are written in Latin. But many thousands of books are in Google Books, who have whole passages in Latin. […] The next time you find a Latin passage or you need help with the Latin writings, try this.
As Jakob Uszkoreit – the “Ingeniarius Programmandi” behind this morning’s announcement – points out, many Latin books have already been translated and there aren’t likely to be many new texts written in a dead language. Using these translations, Google has created the Alpha version of its Latin translation tool, which bored high school students will likely rejoice over.