Proposal: Latin Language

It's inevitable that there will be many questions posed where the OP only wants to get some text translated to or from Latin. Do we want to encourage or discourage such requests?

5 Answers 5


On Japanese.SE we have a close reason that reads

Questions asking for translations, transcriptions or proofreading are off-topic unless prior research effort is clearly indicated; we're here to help you learn, not to provide a bulk translation service nor to proofread your translations or transcriptions. See: We don't do translations.

So, asking for specific help with translating a passage is allowed provided the own effort/understanding is made clear in the question. Translation requests or requests to proofread translations are off-topic.

I think this policy would work well on Latin.SE as well.


On German language, we have a specific close reason for this:

German Language SE is for specific questions of general interest and to help you learn and understand. Thus, requests for proofreading, spell checking or translations of individual texts are not a good fit here. If you can, please narrow down your question to a single specific source of concern. See this post on Meta for more information.

and most language sites have such a close reason. Note that the absense of such a close reason does not mean that such questions are accepted – the site might just not have felt the need to streamline closing such questions.

Apart from what is explicitly said in the close reason, a big problem with such questions is that there is no good way to decide upon a best answer. A question that offers a good translation for one part, might offer a bad translation for another part, and for another question, the situation may be flipped. Also, in such a case, if one has a better translation to offer for one part, should they post a new answer, edit the existing one or comment? These questions might as well be closed as too broad. They are simply not fit for the StackExchange model.


I think we should follow the (obviously successful) StackOverflow model here. SO exists to answer questions about writing code, but questions where the OP is asking others to write the code are off topic. Questions asking for help with code are expected to include the code along with relevant information about input, expected and actual output, and any other aspect of the problem. Likewise, questions in Latin Language about translation should be encouraged but requests for translation should be closed ASAP.


In line with pretty much all the previous answers, I would consider acceptable a question of the sort:

I'm trying to translate the sentence Our team crushed the opposition and I'm not sure whether to use exprimo, imprimo, or just primo for crush. Which, if any, of these was used in a similar sense in post-classical Latin?

But I wouldn't accept

I'm trying to translate the sentence Our team crushed the opposition. Does anyone have any suggestions? [Or, "Where do I start?" Or "Can anyone translate this for me?"]


I do not think it should become a free translation service! If it is for students (at any level) of Latin, then at least some effort should have been made to translate it, with specific difficulties stated. Not "please do my Latin homework for me."!

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