When you’re surfing the web, you may come across a webpage in a different language. This is likely to happen if you’re using the Internet to research international travel plans. If you’re looking at foreign hotels, attractions and tours, you might land on a website where the text is entirely in the native language.
Fortunately, a few free tools are available to easily translate the text into English. You can also use these tools to translate something from English into another language.
Let’s try it with www.paris.fr, the homepage for the city of Paris.
1. Look for a button on the web page to switch the language
Since English is a very commonly used language, many foreign language websites also have an English version available. You just have to find the button to switch the language. Look for it at the top or bottom of the webpage; the button will probably say “English” or “EN.” (If you can’t find a translate button, this might not be an option; in that case, go directly to step 2).
Once you find the button, just click on it and the language should switch. Oftentimes the English version of the site looks different because only the important information was translated.
This is the Paris homepage. I circled the button in red that will translate the page.
Notice that after I click “English,” the page looks completely different. But, it’s easier to read now!
2. Use the Google Translate iTool to translate an entire webpage
If you can’t find a button for translating the webpage, you can use Google’s free online language translation service to instantly translate it into another language. You’ll start by typing the address of the webpage you want to translate into the white box in Google’s tool. Google with automatically determine the language of the page, then use the drop down menu to select which language you want to translate the page into.
Click the yellow translate button, and you’ll be taken to a new page with the translation.
3. Copy and paste the text into Google Translate
You may not need a whole page translated. Perhaps you only need to translate one sentence or paragraph. In that case, head to translate.google.com. Here, you’ll copy and paste the text you want to translate into the white box on the left. (If you’re not sure how to copy and paste text, click here to see a step-by-step Tekspert tip.) Select the language you want to translate the text into, and you’ll see the translation on the right.
Got a question? Ask it in the comments box below, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org