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See also: translaté



From Middle English translaten (to move something from one place to another; to transfer; to disinter (a body); to relocate (a saint's relics); to take captive, deport or exile; to destroy; to alter the location of; to change allegiance; to adopt new customs or laws; to transfer sovereignty from one ruler or people to another; to transfer property or rights; to remove; to assume into heaven; to alter, transform; to replace; to translate from one language into another) [and other forms],[1] and then from:

Trānslātus is derived from trāns- (prefix meaning ‘beyond’) + lātus (borne, carried) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *telh₂- (to bear, endure; to undergo)), the irregular perfect passive participle of ferō (to bear, carry). The English word is cognate with Catalan traslladar (to transfer), Irish trasladar (to move something from one place to another; to transfer; to translate), Italian traslatare, Late Latin translatare (to translate from one language into another; to transfer a bishop from one see to another; to relocate (a saint's relics); to transcribe), Old Occitan transladar, translatar, traslatar, Portuguese transladar, trasladar (to move something from one place to another; to translate), Spanish trasladar, transladar (to move; to transfer; to translate; to copy, transcribe; to transmit).[2]

The word displaced Middle English awenden (to change; to translate) (from Old English āwendan), Middle English irecchen (to explain, expound, interpret) (from Old English ġereċċan), and Old English ġeþēodan (to engage in; to translate).



translate (third-person singular simple present translates, present participle translating, simple past and past participle translated)

  1. Senses relating to the change of information, etc., from one form to another.
    1. (transitive) To change spoken words or written text (of a book, document, movie, etc.) from one language to another.
      Synonym: overset
      Hans translated my novel into Welsh.
      • 2002, Matt Cyr, Something to Teach Me: Journal of an American in the Mountains of Haiti, Educa Vision, Inc., →ISBN, 25:
        His English is still in its beginning stages, like my Creole, but he was able to translate some Creole songs that he's written into English—not the best English, but English nonetheless.
    2. (intransitive) To provide a translation of spoken words or written text in another language; to be, or be capable of being, rendered in another language.
      Hans translated for us while we were in Marrakesh.
      That idiom doesn’t really translate.
      ‘Dog’ translates as ‘chien’ in French.
      • 2004, Ted Jones, The French Riviera: A Literary Guide for Travellers, Tauris Parke Paperbacks (2007), →ISBN, chapter 3, 58:
        However appealing Antibes may be to migrant authors, indigenous ones are relatively scarce. A notable exception is Jacques Audiberti, Antibes-born novelist and prolific playwright who wrote in the turn-of-the-century surrealist style, with titles that translate as Slaughter, or In Favour of Infanticide.
    3. (transitive) To express spoken words or written text in a different (often clearer or simpler) way in the same language; to paraphrase, to rephrase, to restate.
    4. (transitive) To change (something) from one form or medium to another.
      The director faithfully translated their experiences to film.
      1. (transitive, music) To rearrange (a song or music) in one genre into another.
    5. (intransitive) To change, or be capable of being changed, from one form or medium to another.
      Excellent writing does not necessarily translate well into film.
      His sales experience translated well into his new job as a fund-raiser.
    6. (transitive, genetics) To generate a chain of amino acids based on the sequence of codons in an mRNA molecule.
  2. Senses relating to a change of position.
    1. (transitive, archaic) To move (something) from one place or position to another; to transfer.
      • 1838, [Edmund Flagg], chapter XXV, in The Far West: Or, A Tour beyond the Mountains. [] In Two Volumes, volume II, New York, N.Y.: Published by Harper & Brothers, [], OCLC 1067122218, page 32:
        To find one's self suddenly translated from the wild, flowery prairie into the heart of an aged, moss-grown village, of such foreign aspect, withal, was by no means easy to reconcile with one's notions of reality.
      1. (transitive) To transfer the remains of a deceased person (such as a monarch or other important person) from one place to another; (specifically, Christianity) to transfer a holy relic from one shrine to another.
        • (Can we date this quote by Evelyn and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
          In the chapel of St. Catharine of Sienna, they show her head—the rest of her body being translated to Rome.
      2. (transitive, Christianity) To transfer a bishop or other cleric from one post to another.
        • (Can we date this quote by Camden and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
          Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, when the king would have translated him from that poor bishopric to a better, [...] refused.
        • 1792, Anthony à Wood, The History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford: In Two Books[1], volume 1, Oxford: John Gutch, OCLC 642441055, page 661:
          One hall called Civil Law Hall or School, flouriſhed about this time (though in its buildings decayed) by the care of the learned and judicious Dr. Will. Warham Principal or Moderator thereof; which he leaving this year (having before had ſeveral Deputies therein) becauſe of his preferment to the ſee of London, became void for ſome time. The year following the ſaid Warham was tranſlated to Canterbury [...]
      3. (transitive, Christianity) Of a holy person or saint: to be assumed into or to rise to Heaven without bodily death; also (figuratively) to die and go to Heaven.
        • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Hebrews 11:5, column 2:
          By faith Enoch was tranſlated, that he ſhould not ſee death; and was not found, becauſe God had tranſlated him: For before his tranſlation he had this teſtimonie, that he pleaſed God.
        • 1654, Samuel Clark[e], “The Life of Vitus Theodorus, who Dyed Anno Christi 1549”, in The Marrow of Ecclesiastical History, Contained in the Lives of One Hundred Forty Eight Fathers, Schoolmen, First Reformers, and Modern Divines which Have Flourished in the Church since Christ’s Time to this Present Age: [], 2nd enlarged edition, London: Printed for T. V. and are to be sold by William Roybould [], OCLC 1118052517, page 323:
          He [Vitus Theodorus] was called to be a Paſtor at Norinberg, his own country, [...] till it pleaſed God to put an end to his labors, by tranſlating him out of this vale of tears into his Everlaſting Kingdom, Anno Chriſti 1549.
        • 1873, Thomas Wimberley Mossman, quoting Pope Clement I (in translation), “The Genuine and Supposititious Writings of St. Clement”, in A History of the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ: From the Death of Saint John to the Middle of the Second Century: [], London: Longmans, Green, and Co., OCLC 59217512, page 58:
          And afterwards Thou [God] receivedst Seth and Enoch, and Enoch Thou translatedst; for Thou art the Creator of men, the Fountain of Life, the Supplier of Want, the Giver of Laws, the Rewarder of them that keep them, the Avenger of them that transgress them.
      4. (transitive, medicine, obsolete) To cause (a disease or something giving rise to a disease) to move from one body part to another, or (rare) between persons.
      5. (transitive, physics) To subject (a body) to linear motion with no rotation.
      6. (intransitive, physics) Of a body: to be subjected to linear motion with no rotation.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To entrance (place in a trance), to cause to lose recollection or sense.
    William was translated by the blow to the head he received, being unable to speak for the next few minutes.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Translation (sense 1.1) is often used loosely to describe any act of conversion from one language into another, although formal usage typically distinguishes interpretation as the proper term for conversion of speech.
  • While translation attempts to establish equivalent meaning between different texts, the conversion of text from one orthography to another (attempting to roughly establish equivalent sound) is distinguished as transliteration.
  • Literal, verbatim, or word-for-word translation (metaphrase) aims to capture as much of the exact expression as possible, while loose or free translation, or paraphrase, aims to capture the general sense or artistic affect of the original text. At a certain point, text which has been too freely translated may be considered an adaptation instead.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



translate (plural translates)

  1. (mathematical analysis, in Euclidean spaces) A set of points obtained by adding a given fixed vector to each point of a given set.


Further reading[edit]






  1. first-person singular present indicative of translater
  2. third-person singular present indicative of translater
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of translater
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of translater
  5. second-person singular imperative of translater




  1. vocative masculine singular of trānslātus

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of translaten