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The best translator Chrome extensions
Although there’s usually at least one website in your native language for any given interest, there can be plenty of exceptions — you might, for instance, have to go to a Japanese site to buy a rare Famicom game cartridge, or read a French article to find out what’s going on in a family member’s hometown. Whatever your translation needs, there’s almost certainly a Google Chrome extension for it.
The best translator Chrome extensions
You’ll probably only need one of these extensions — no points for guessing which one — but there can be reasons to consider alternatives, such as the ability to translate more than HTML text, or getting better results for specific languages. In any event, each of these options brings something different to the table.
You should almost certainly default to Google Translate, and not just because it’s from Google. As of this writing it supports 53 languages, and it integrates well into Chrome, making it dead simple to translate an entire page or selected text. You can also just click on the extension itself and type in a word or phrase.
Whenever you select or enter text the extension allows you to hear pronunciations, which can be extremely useful if you’re trying to learn a language, or just avoid grating ears whenever a word comes up in conversation. Optionally it can automatically provide a text translation whenever anything is highlighted.
Google Translate isn’t without its flaws, of course. It can’t translate any content in graphics, and its Detect Language option is relatively easy to break, especially if there’s some parallel between words across multiple languages. When that happens you’ll need to manually select a source language, which might be a problem if, for instance, you can’t tell the difference between Finnish, Norwegian, or Swedish.
In many respects, Lingvanex is closely modeled after Google Translate. There are some advantages here though, perhaps the biggest being image recognition — if a selected area has an image, the extension will try to translate any text in it, which matters given how visual the modern web tends to be. Success rates will probably depend on stylized the text is.
Lingvanex also supports over 108 languages, and offers not just dictionary definitions and synonyms, but even hyponyms and hypernyms (words that are related but more or less specific than the one in question). That could be overkill, yet it might also give you a deeper understanding of what you’re reading.
Reverso is focused on translating subtitles while you’re watching web video. Supported services include Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and others. You do have to hover over words, but in addition to supplying live translations, you can save them to a favorites list for later reference. Indirectly, Reverso can be a helpful learning tool.
Outside of videos you can double-click on words to get both translations and definitions, including a special emphasis on detecting idioms. Just be aware that Reverso supports far fewer languages than Google Translate, currently up to 26.
Here the party trick is studying. While you can use Rememberry as a basic translation tool, you can also create flashcards which will periodically test your memory. Whenever you attempt one, you’ll be asked to rate how hard a translation was to remember, which allows the extension to fine-tune its algorithms and (hopefully) enhance the learning experience. Cards can be further divided into category decks, and the extension offers alternate learning modes if one type of memorization produces better results.
Rememberry supports over 100 languages, and can run offline for studying purposes. When online, its translations include definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and pronunciations.
The beauty of TransOver is in its simplicity. You can translate individual words to your chosen language simply by clicking on or hovering over them, and longer stretches by highlighting phrases or paragraphs. It’s not hugely unique on the surface, but this approach will reduce interface friction unless you need full-page translations.
Other options include reverse translation, text-to-speech, and the ability to manually enter something to translate. Our main concern is that it’s not clear which languages are supported — this is an open-source project, however, so if a language you want is absent, you may be able to contact someone about it or even help out yourself.
If you’re looking for plugins that’ll read text to you out loud, consider these excellent text-to-speech Chrome extensions.