...and chemistry table symbols over them.
In other words, diacritics. Most languages using a version of the Latin alphabet employ them. They are very useful and quite normal. Languages not using diacritics are the exceptions.
all bets are off with bigtime translators
Actually, those "bigtime translators" don't even know Latin. In fact, they don't know any language; they just work with "memorized patterns of contextual correspondences". What is hyped as "artificial intelligence" is really nothing more than a rather primitive version of machine learning.