Introduction to Blitz Latin

Latin-manuscript_smallBlitz Latin is a very flexible Latin to English translation program. It has very significant benefits over some online translators in that it translates from scratch using grammatical rules and dictionaries and can show a comprehensive range of possible alternative meanings. Translators such as Google work by matching existing published translations to the new text. This can give excellent sense when texts from already translated authors are entered, but can struggle with texts from unknown writers. Blitz Latin gives you the best of both methods as it also contains a large file of pre-translated phrases.

Blitz Latin has a huge knowledge of Latin words.

The only unknown words (excepting proper names) that will be encountered with Blitz Latin will be those with a frequency of fewer than four occurrences across the range of files containing 5 million+ words listed in the ‘Accuracy” tabbed section below.

  • The basic electronic dictionary contains more than 65,150 words (including the Catholic/Vatican and modern sub-dictionaries).
  • With the supplemental medieval dictionary the total is 70,560 words. (free with Blitz Latin purchase)
  • with the botany dictionary add-on 76,235 words.

These are words as they would be counted in a paper dictionary, i.e. not counting the very many inflected variants of nearly every word. There are nearly 4.61 million words if inflections are counted. To provide context, the huge Oxford Latin Dictionary (classical Latin only) has around 34,000 words excluding proper names.

It covers all eras from antiquity to modern times. As well as the separate medieval dictionary there is a set of medieval translation rules to handle this distinct area of Latin.
For example the verb existo: classical meaning is ‘emerge/appear/arise/become’, medieval meaning is commonly ‘exist’. Or the verb consisto: classical meaning ‘stand/rest/take a position’, neoLatin meaning is ‘consist’. In addition the electronic dictionary contains more than 12,000 medieval Latin inventions and more than 10,400 modern Latin inventions, such as Latin words for the motor-car (automobilis) and the helicopter (helicopterum).

Who will benefit from fast Latin Translation?

  • Anyone who wants translation of Latin text for which no expert English translation is available. For example, translation of little-known Latin authors, Latin fragments and Latin inscriptions (at www.manfredclauss.de).
  • Anyone who wishes to translate medieval or legal Latin documents. Blitz Latin has a substantial vocabulary of common medieval and legal Latin words; also a large sub-dictionary for translation of medieval Latin music files – for example, at www.music.indiana.edu/tml/. Blitz Latin also employs phonetic word checking for badly (mis)spelled medieval Latin words. A substantial additional 4,000-word medieval dictionary containing all the most common medieval Latin inventions will be supplied free to those who register use of Blitz Latin.
  • Anyone who wants to read modern Latin texts. More Latin has been written in the last 50 years than in all previous history. Blitz Latin now incorporates the “Calepinus Novus” dictionary (courtesy of Guy Licoppe, Melissa Foundation, Belgium) for modern words, such as the Latin for car and aeroplane.
  • Anyone who wishes to read Vatican/Catholic/ecclesiastical Latin. The -E suffix of Blitz Latin variants denotes the presence of more than 2,000 stems dedicated to this purpose.
  • Anyone who wishes to discover the meaning of rare or irregular Latin words. Irregular stems can be hard to locate in a conventional Latin dictionary.
  • Anyone who wishes to translate Latin text computer-scanned from a Latin text book. Blitz Latin is very robust when confronted with typical scanning errors.
  • Anyone who wishes to translate the Latin text files available at “http://www.theLatinLibrary.com” or at “http://www.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch”.
    Researchers with a large collection of Latin files (eg down-loaded from the Latin Library/Augsburg) can investigate every occurrence of a key word or the global usage of individual Latin stems, with printed local context and user-selected information about how the stem is used.

Three additional free modules add to the value of Blitz Latin for researchers.

  • HTMStrip provides a fast and convenient method to strip the non Latin formatting text from HTML web pages to obtain ‘clean’ text ready for translation.
  • Inscript is an extremely fast means for searching the database of inscriptions held at Frankfurt University.
  • Counter is a program that counts Latin words in a text, and provides statistical analysis of word densities in sentences, and standard deviations. This is a method used to help identify authors.

Please explore the rest of this site, particularly the Translation Tips menu which has useful information about how to get the best from Blitz Latin.