How many times have you been researching something and come across a promising result, only to find it is in a language you do not read? It has happened to me on multiple occasions, and can be extremely frustrating. However, there are a couple of easy ways to get around this and be able to magically change the words to English (or whatever your primary language may be.)
The two biggest options for you are using Google Translate – which is free to everyone, even if you do not have a Google account – and using your web browser itself. I’ll go through each of these with you here in order to help.
How to Translate a Webpage Using Google Translate
Keep in mind that no single translation service is perfect. None of them will give you absolute 100% results. However, Google Translate comes pretty darn close and you will be able to read the website… and get the gist of anything not quite “right.”
For this small demonstration, I have chosen a website in French, as I actually do speak the language. This will allow me to let you know how closely accurate the end result is.
First, open up a new browser tab or window, and head over to the Google Translate site.
In the box on the left, type the entire URL of the site you need translated. Be *sure* you include the http or https at the beginning!
Once in a while, the language detected (just above your typed URL) may change to English, as mine just did. Change that manually by clicking on the language that the website is actually written in. Now, over to the right box: click on the language you wish the site to be translated TO.
Just under the URL in the right box, you will see a tiny blue box with a right-pointing arrow in it. Click on that to translate the website. A new tab will open with your website changed!
There are a couple of other things you can do while you are still on this translated tab. At the top, you’ll notice that you can change the language as often as you like. If you speak both Spanish and English, for instance, you can have that original French website changed into both languages for you to compare. Also, on the top-right of the page next to the word ”View”, you will see that you can toggle back and forth between the original French text and your new English version any time. This is extremely helpful when you are attempting to learn a new language!
That’s all there is to it. Now, onward!
How to Translate a Website in Chrome
Not all browsers support changing the language of a website, but Chrome is the easiest, by far. Open your foreign language page in Chrome. At the top of the page, click on the tiny ”Translate” button. An ”Options” box will appear, asking you if you wish to always automagically translate French pages to your preferred language (the one you have set up in Chrome,) never automatically translate them, or even translate them to a different language.
Additionally, you can follow these steps:
- Click on the three dots at the upper-right corner of the page.
- Scroll through the menu and then click on “Settings” and then continue to scroll towards the bottom so you can click on “Advanced”.
- Scroll down the list until you come to “Languages,” and then click the down-facing carrot next to your preffered language and a dialogue box will open up.
- Toggle ON the option to “Offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language you read”.
Chrome will now always offer to translate any websites you may come across that are in a different language.
How to Translate a Website Using Firefox
Firefox does not have an automatic translation feature, but you can add one of the Firefox Translation addons to the browser.
How to Translate a Website Using Microsoft Edge
Likewise, Edge does not have a translator built-in, oddly enough. You’ll need to add the ”Translator” from the Microsoft Store, which is then very intuitive to use.
When was the last time you needed to translate a website? Did you do it a few words at a time, or were you able to figure out a way to do the entire thing at once? I’m curious to know if any of you use a method I have not discussed here, so let me know.