I know you have been there, too: There is this substance that you really, really need but no one else ever cared about. Fortunately about eighty years ago someone cooked up a quantity of the stuff by accident and published the synthesis in some obscure foreign journal. In a foreign language.
What to do? Yes, there are translation tools like Babelfish. But given their rather heterogenous results, would you trust them to get chemical nomenclature right, or at least right-ish enough to be useful?
Actually, software engineers are working on this. There is a current paper by one Roger Sayle about nomenclature translation software, and I highly recommend it. It’s open access, and it’s fun. There’s something about language structure, search engine algorithms and what’s hydrogen in klingon. It’s
Actually this is probably the first chemistry paper that lists the Klingon Language Institute in the references. K’plaH!
Now what about, say, 4,5,6,7-tetraiodo-benzofuran-1,3-dione?
[via Carbon Based Curiosities]