A Latin to English dictionary

How to search effectively

Latin is an inflected language. This means that the endings of words change depending on their meaning within a sentence.

This means that the Latin dictionary may present you with various possibilities.

In English, we might say 'to a friend', 'for a friend' or 'by a friend', but in Latin the word for friend itself would change.

AAHere are all the possible Latin variations for the word friend. Or to use the jargon here are all the possible declensions of the word friend.

amicus, amice, amicum, amici, amico, amico

amici, amici, amicos, amicorum, amicis, amicis

As you type, ami .., into the search box, you will see various Latin possibilities along with the English translations.

These are suggested because amicus not only has the meaning 'friend', but can also be used as a noun meaning 'friendly'.

Additionally, amice (which you will notice above also is one of the possible declensions of amicus), has the adjectival meaning of 'in a friendly manner/spirit, with goodwill'.

One solution, at least initially, is to type in as little of the word as possible, before making your choice. This will often reveal the translation required as Latin words (as can be seen with amicus are composed of a root amic, onto which is added the appropriate ending.

Typing the the word without the final two or three letters will often leaves ony the root, and is sufficient to identify the word from the list.

Alternatively, type in what appears to be the root and select 'Search'. This will then return a list of potential Latin words along with their English translation.

About the dictionary

This Latin dictionary is based on output produced by a program written by Willian Whitakeer .

His original program written in ADA would parse latin words to help decide on their exact translation.

As a programmer and geek myself, I fully appreciate the fun that he must have had writing the program, and I salute him.

The dictionary on Surface Languages is a more straight-forward data-base of Latin words with a simple index. It contains around 40,000 entries which is enough for most purposes. Especially, after you have learned to conjugate your verbs and decline your nouns, which you really should do anyway;)