Fastest Way to Translate a Web Page

May 24, 2006 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

English speakers: When you arrive at a web page that's in a language you don't understand, try this:

1. Copy the URL of the web page from the browser address area to the Clipboard (Edit > Copy).

2. Click inside your browser's Google Search field (or go to and click in the Search field there)

3. Paste the URL (Edit > Paste) into there and hit Return/Enter.

When you search for a URL in Google, the search results page shows only one hit, that exact page. If you're lucky, you'll see a "[Translate this page]" link after the search result. Click that link and Google will show the same URL — the same web page — but the text will be translated to English.

It's only a machine translation, and it only works on live text (not text that appears in an image), but it's often more than enough to suss out the meaning of a page.

Google can translate these languages into English (sorry, not the other way around): Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese

Here's a neat way to test out Google's translation prowess. A friend of mine, Adobe trainer/consultant Rufus Deuchler, maintains a blog in both English and Italian, two languages he speaks fluently. Compare how Rufus translated the Italian version to English versus how Google translates it.

Rufus's site, Italian version (I think it's his native tongue):

Compare Google's translation of that page to Rufus's own English version:


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