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CHALLENGE: Get me a perfect Latin translation out of GoogleTranslate and I will give you 10 lingots

Deadline: Sunday 8 September 3pm BST

First to post an example of an English text of at last 30 words that returns a perfect Latin translation wins.

It can be done. Can you work out how?

EDIT: bicolingo won and got 10 lingots.

September 7, 2019



So I've given the two people here both 10 lingots as they had both found a way to do it.

How to do it:

Try some text from the Douay-Rheims translation of the Vulgate

I'm finding today it is tending to slide in extra words, which is annoying. At random however, I found that:

Except the Lord of hosts had left us seed, we had been as Sodom, and we should have been like to Gomorrha. GoogleTranslate


Nisi Dominus exercituum reliquisset nobis semen, quasi Sodoma fuissemus, et quasi Gomorrha similes essemus.

ā€“ which is an exact translation.

Why is this? As others have mentioned, there are core texts Google trains on. The Bible is central to this in most Google Translate versions. As a result you can usually get it to spit out perfect Latin ā€“ so long as it's text from the Bible.


"...I've given the two people here both 10 lingots as they had both found a way to do it."

Actually, they were both me, so I'm giving 10 back :)


You are honest. Lingot for you ;)


Type the same word 30 times and you might have a chance :-)

It really sucks badly, doesn't it? I've been pretty surprised by the quality of Google translate with other languages, but the Latin is abysmal.


It can be done! Without 'cheating' as you suggest.


The Lord's Prayer comes close, but it translates debita rather too literally as debts.


You are on the right lines. Why would the Lord's Prayer work? And if your version is close, what gets you a better version?


Yes, I see what you're getting at. The official contemporary Catholic version of the Lord's Prayer in English works:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."


GT doesn't always translate. Sometimes it finds the translations online, and presents it as its own work. For some reason it rarely does this with entire texts, only passages.


I'm not sure: see my answer below, and try it out.


Google may be using the King James Version (verse 12) of the Bible. (Actually, FWIW, "debtors" is the translation of the word that I learned as a child.)


Mihi nomen est Marcus. Ego Romae habito. Roma in Italia est. Ego discipulus est. Ego linguas disco. Frater meus quoque discipulus est. Soror mea in urbe laborat. Illa duo filii habet.


I originally put in the last sentence : Illa in ludo laborat and it was translated as "she works in the game" ! :-)


Well, your chunk of text does work so you win. It wasn't what I had in mind, so I will explain in a moment.


What was the English you inputted?


Oh, I'm sorry, you meant English to Latin translation? I misunderstood the top post.

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