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Translation Tips

Translation Tips

Proceed sentence by sentence, start each one like so:
  1. Structure your text

    into main and subordinate clauses.
    • Relative clauses (with "qui/quae/quod")
    • ut/cum/si sentences
    • interrogative clauses (questions)
    • quod sentences (causal)
    • temporal clauses (postquam, priusquam, dum, ...)
    Start with the main clause and then continue to subordinate clauses.
  2. Find verbs (predicates)

    Predicates are verbs with personal forms (no participles, infinitives, gerunds), e.g. 3. Person Sg. Present Indicative Active. They specify what someone does and in which tense.
  3. Find subject (noun or pronoun in nominative)

    The subject of a sentence can be a noun or pronoun in the 1st case. Often, you can directly use the subject of the previous sentence (using he/she/it). Be careful, the subject and predicate need to match, i.e. sg./pl. must be the same. (Look for the Predicate-Subject-Relation!)
  4. Arrange basic translation structure: (subject) does (predicate)

    Think of a basic translation: (subject) does (predicate). Take tense, numerus and active/passive voice into account. This will help you to understand the context of the sentence.
  5. Search for an object

    Objects are either in the 3rd, 4th or 6th case, they specify which object the predicate applies to. For example: I eat an apple.
  6. Find adjectives to (pro-)nouns

    Iterate over each adjective and find a matching noun (accordance in case, genus and numerus). In lyrical texts, adjectives may be a few words away from their nouns (=Hyperbaton styl. device).
  7. Determine clauses

    Find clauses (ACI, NCI, Ablativus Absolutus and Participium Coniunctum) in your sentence (use the "clauses" menu!) and try to translate them at the best possible rate.
  8. The rest

    Tackle the remaining words (such as adverbs) and adjust the final translation accordingly.

We hope, this was helpful :)