Lorem Ipsum source

In “What does the filler text “lorem ipsum” mean?” dated February 16, 2001 and just re-posted as a “classic,” please note that the original source of the text is probably the edition of Cicero’s “De Finibus Bonorum Et Malorem” translated by H. Rackham and published by William Heinemann in London and The Macmillan Co. in NY, in 1914. A full copy of the text is available online at <https://ia801407.us.archive.org/19/items/definibusbonorum00cice/definibusbonorum00cice.pdf>. Numbered page 36, or page 70 of the pdf file, begins with the broken text “lorem ipsum” and is probably where the typesetter copied (poorly) from.

Clickable, more stable link.

Direct link to the page.

“-lorem” has been broken. You have to go back a page to see that the full word is “dolorem”.

*Google translates “dolorem ipsum” as “the pain”.

Yes, dolor = pain. Dolorem is the accusative case. FWIW “the pain” does not make sense as part of the translation here - what pain? Latin itself has no articles, of course.

Fun fact: You can generate unlimited Lorem Ipsum text in MicroSoft Word documents:

From MS Word 2007 onwards, typing =lorem(i) or =lorem(i, j) in MS Word creates greeking text–don’t forget to hit the enter key; i and j need to be integers, where i stands for the amount of desired paragraphs and j numbers the sentences per paragraph. j has a default value of 3 and a maximum set to 6665.

“It was a dark and stormy night.”:wink:

Google translates “ipsum”, by itself, as “very”. So: big pain? Agony? Or, with the truncation, “g pain”?

That’s a poor translation of “ipsum”. It’s much closer to “itself”.

“ipse” in this case means “itself”; dolor ipse (dolorem ipsum in the accusative) would be “pain itself”, as in “nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain”. So “lorem ipsum” might be “ain itself” or “ain of itself”.

It could be translated as “very” in a phrase like “that very hour”. I’m not sure how Google Translate works for simply looking up an isolated word, but apparently not very well. A simple search in Wiktionary brings up “himself, herself, itself, the very-, the actual-”

I’m not surprised that Google Translate is shaky, but I didn’t know that Wiktionary included Latin words. Cool.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Google Translate is less accurate with Latin than it is for modern languages, since a large part of its magic works by using the existing corpus of text, and there’s a lot more digitized text in English, say, or French or Mandarin or Swahili or whatever, than there is in Latin. It might just have fixated on a usage like “this very hour”, or the like, without noticing that that’s not how the word usually translates.

Google Translate also has trouble with wacky word order, which is downright common in Latin.

This is how this thread comes across to people who did not take Latin in school:slight_smile:

That’s also how it comes across to people who did take Latin.

Google Translate is notoriously bad for Latin.

IMO it shows the limitations of this approach to translation.