The Catholic University of America

Translation Requests

This page is intended to assist interested individuals and groups in learning about the processes of translation, and in listing general requests for translations that they would like to have circulated within the department.

If you are a faculty member at CUA (or another institution) or a member of a religious order, and you have a specialized inquiry for a particular colleague, we would invite you to contact that individual directly, rather than using this general submission system.

If you are an industry or media representative, an officer of an organization, a member of the wider community, or a student, please continue down the page for some useful background information and the link to submit your request by email.

About the ancient languages

Ancient and Byzantine Greek and classical and medieval Latin, in their written forms, work very differently from modern languages. Each of these ancient languages possesses well over a thousand years of literary history, and variations in dialect, style, vocabulary, grammar, and even spelling are common. This means that almost any inquiry, even that about the definition of a single word, can require detailed thought and exploration if its answer is to be appropriate and useful, and spelling may be part of that process.

About the processing of your inquiry

The nature of the ancient languages, as outlined above, is a major reason why the department can only respond to translation requests that are submitted in written form.  It is also a reason why some requests, generally those for more extensive work from graduate students, may need to involve the negotiation of a fee for services. (Even at colleges and universities, faculty members who require large-scale translation services as part of their research generally use grant funds to support the work of research assistants.)

Should I offer a fee for services?

As a general guideline, inquiries that involve the translation of a phrase or a short sentence into or out of Latin or Greek can often be fielded free of charge, although some lead time is necessary during the busy seasons of the academic year and if the translation is to be fixed in a more permanent form (such as a motto for an organization).

The Department of Greek and Latin gratefully welcomes, but does not require, gifts of any amount to its scholarship funds, endowments, or departmental library in acknowledgement of these kinds of efforts.

Inquiries that involve more text should generally offer a fee for the services of a graduate student. The Department of Greek and Latin provides its students with general information on appropriate rates for the translation of texts. Students and those who would employ them as translators are asked to negotiate fair and mutually agreeable compensation and payment methods prior to the commencement of services.

About our graduate students

The graduate students of the CUA Department of Greek and Latin, as a group, generally have significant backgrounds in Latin and/or classical Greek. Some members of the department's graduate cohort may also possess individual expertise in more specialized areas such as medieval Latin, late or Byzantine Greek, or Biblical Greek.

Submitting your request for translation assistance

We invite you to copy or modify the following categories of information in an email so that we will be able to advertise your needs as specifically as possible.

Media or news organization (if applicable):
Media or news organization deadline (date and time):
Media or news organization contact name:
Media or news organization telephone:
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Source language and destination language: [e.g. English to Latin, Biblical Greek to English, etc.]
Author of text to be translated (if known):
For short translations of a sentence or less, enter text here: [Greek texts may be scanned and attached to email as a pdf]
For longer translations, please describe the nature and extent of the text to be translated:
For longer translations, compensation proposed for services of a graduate student:
Response requested by (date):
Other comments:
Client's industry, organization, or academic affiliation:
Contact:

What response to expect

Inquiries will be circulated as soon as possible after they are received. The department, however, despite its sincere desire to be of service, cannot guarantee that any individual request, particularly those for more extensive work from graduate students, will be matched with a response.

Thank you very much for your interest.