….Rogerus dedit totum boscum suum quem habuit in villa de Swaniton sine aliquo retenemento, vel qui aliquo tempore se vel heredes suos potuerit contingere, cum tota terr &, cum omnibus aliis pertinentiis suis…
Anybody who has any knowledge of languages will know that the opening paragraph is Latin. Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying to translate whole blocks of Latin text using Google Translate…it has been an eye opening experience! To illustrate the point this is what Google Translate translated the text above to mean:
Roger made entirely out of wood in the village, which had Swaniton without any reservation or any time that they or their heirs can happen when all the land, and with all other appurtenances …
I think you’ll agree this is nonsensical. Of course you could legitimately argue that without knowing the context it makes any translation far less reliable. This is true but even when you know the context Google’s A.I. has made a real hash of the job. What it really means is, and this is my translation so will no doubt lack finesse:
Roger has gifted his wood and all the land in the wood in the manor of Swannington without any reservations and forever….
So why am I trying to translate 14th century Latin written by a clerk in the East Midlands? Well from time to time I dabble in a bit of local historical research (I have mentioned it before from time to time in this blog) and as I have time on my hands I have been filling it with a bit Latin translations. What this was all about was trying to identify the location of land gifted in Swannington to the Cistercian abbey at Garendon which once stood isolated in the countryside outside Loughborough (the site of the abbey today is next to the M1 junction 23 – a rural idol no more.). As a result of hours compiling translations I have now got a pretty good idea of the land use in 14th century Swannington and also where the missing Grange in the manor was located. It is a niche interest I know but we can’t all have the same hobbies or interests.
Taking of hobbies the Lockdown has really knocked my photographic endeavours for six but at least I have exercising the creative part my my brain by making some art.
BTW…it seems that digital art is now big business….