How To: Translate Web Pages using the Google Translate Extension for Google Chrome

How To: Translate Web Pages using the Google Translate Extension for Google Chrome

Image Source:  Google Translate

Sometimes you come across a web-page that is in a language you don't understand, and you need to translate it to obtain important information. This can be especially true if you are overseas, as many sites are location based and don't allow you to specify a language manually - or are only available in one language.

There have been a number of translation services on the web for several years now - Babelfish, originally developed by AltaVista and later bought by Yahoo!, was one of the first and was followed a little white after by the superior Google Translate. Both services allow users to enter or paste text into a field, specify an input and output language, and view the translation instantaneously - usually with fairly good accuracy, although obviously no replacement for human translators.

Now, if you need to translate entire web pages instantaneously, instead of copying and pasting individual paragraphs into another field, you can use the Google Translate extension for Chrome. Based on the same reliable technology as Google Translate, the extension is capable of converting entire pages of written content between nearly 60 different languages - including Arabic, German, French, Norwegian and Spanish - with just a few clicks.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • 1

    You will need the Google Chrome browser before you can start using the Google Translate extension. If you are not already using this excellent web browser, access the related download link for this article and grab the installer. Once it has finished downloading to your computer, locate the installer in your downloads folder and run it, then follow the on-screen prompts.

  • 2

    Access the homepage for the Google Translate extension, using the Google Chrome browser and click the blue Add to Chrome button. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Install to verify the procedure. Google Translate is now added to the browser, and its functionality is accessible via the Google Translate button to the right of the address bar.

  • 3

    Right-click the Google Translate button and choose Options. The Google Translate settings menu is displayed in a new browser tab.

  • 4

    Select your Default Language using the dropdown list. This is the language that you would normally want to read web-pages in.

  • 5

    If you want Google Translate to prompt you about translation whenever you view a web-page that is not your default language, check the Prompt Automatically box. The Google Translate banner will appear whenever you view pages in other languages, allowing you to easily translate the text. Click Save to store your settings.

  • 6

    Access a web-page that is in a foreign language, to test out the Google Translate extension. You can quickly find a site in a foreign language by searching in Google for "Russian news" (or whichever language you want to test Google Translate against).

  • 7

    When a foreign language site is displayed in the browser, if you checked the Prompt Automatically box in the Settings menu, the Google Translate bar will appear at the top of the page. Click Translate to convert the entire page to your default language. If you opted to leave Prompt Automatically disabled, all you need to do to translate the page is left-click the Google Translate button to the right of the address bar.

Tips & Advice

  • The Settings menu of Google Translate also provides an option for automatic translation. Click the Automatic Translation checkbox and click Save to enable this setting. Whenever you open a web-page in a language other than your default, the text will be automatically translated by Google Translate.
  • Bear in mind that the translations provided by the Google Translate service are not usually 100% accurate and should only be used for guideline purposes, especially when used for important documents (such as contracts or legally-binding agreements). If you want to fully understand the meaning of an important document written in a language you do not understand, you should consult a certified translator.

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