Translate texts with Google, DeepL and Co. – This is how it works

With online translation services, you can translate documents and texts from websites quickly and easily. In most cases, the tools are available free of charge and are always of better quality.

Online tools such as the Google translator, the German professional tool DeepL and several other online translation services help to translate texts from websites, documents, instructions, product sheets or information. The services are usually free of charge, the quality of the translations depends on the desired language.

Google translator – many languages ​​possible

The Google Translator doesn’t have a great reputation for results. but the tool is constantly being improved and can now also translate complete sentences very well. The advantage of this translation service is that you have a large number of languages ​​available here. Other translators, especially DeepL, are still very limited here.

The quality of the translated texts fluctuates, however, as not all languages ​​are translated optimally. For common languages ​​such as English, French or Italian, the Google translator uses a neural network. Not only are individual words translated, but entire sentences are brought into context. Of course, this improves the translation quality significantly.

How to translate texts with Google Translate

Translating with Google Translate is very easy. The text is entered or copied in the input field. The translator then translates and displays the result on the right-hand side. The target language can be selected manually. The program normally recognizes the source language automatically, but it can also be selected manually. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the translation, you can improve the translated text. Google saves the suggestions in order to improve the quality of its service.

You can also translate entire websites into another language. All you have to do is enter the URL of the website.

With the button “Documents” you can upload text files and tables in the formats DOC, DOCX, ODF, PDF, PPT, PPTX, PS, RTF, TXT, XLS or XLSX. Then Google Translator translates and displays the text in the web browser. The formatting is retained. Google also offers apps for Android and iOS.

Benefits of Google Translate

  • Many languages ​​can be translated

  • Many types of documents can be translated

  • Integrated directly into the Google search

  • Neural network for common languages

  • Translations can be improved

  • App available for Android and iOS

Cons of Google Translate

DeepL – a professional translator

DeepL is operated by a Cologne company that has attached great importance to the highest quality from the start. For this reason, many professionals use this translation service, which is also available free of charge. The advantage of DeepL lies in the better quality of the translations. However, in contrast to Google Translator, DeepL currently also supports fewer languages ​​(German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese). With DeepL, only 5,000 characters can be translated free of charge per translation process. If you want to translate more characters, several translation processes are necessary. This can of course be annoying with longer texts.

Translate with DeepL

DeepL also offers a tool for Windows and macOS with which you can also translate texts from applications or websites. The interface corresponds to the website. The tool is available free of charge, but can only translate up to 5,000 characters.

If you want to translate more, you will also need several translation processes here or you can use a subscription. The prices of the subscriptions are between 5.99 euros and 39.99 euros for the Ultimate Edition. With the exception of the Ultimate Edition, you can start the other variants with a free trial subscription.

How to translate text with Deepl

As usual, simply paste the text to be translated into the text field of the website or desktop app. However, the desktop application also requires an internet connection for translation. DeepL also offers an app for smartphones, but this relies on a web browser and is not an app in the strict sense of the word, as is the case with Google Translate or Microsoft Translator.

Advantages of DeepL

  • Very good quality of the translations

  • Tool available for Windows and macOS for faster translations

Disadvantages of DeepL

  • Support of fewer languages ​​than Google Translate

  • The scope of the translations is limited

  • Few file formats for document translation

  • All functions are only available for a fee

Bing Microsoft Translator

Microsoft also offers a translation service. Bing Translator is available as a web service and works similarly to Google Translate. Microsoft also offers a translator app for Windows. There are also apps for iOS and Android that use Microsoft Translator.

Pons, Promt and Lingenio

Pons also offers its own translation service through its publisher. Pons online dictionary offers a similar scope as DeepL and can use DeepL’s services in parallel to the translation. The Promt and Lingenio services are supported by the Pons translator. This allows you to translate a text in a window with multiple providers.

Pons offers a translation service that can also rely on other services


Pons offers a translation service that can also rely on other services

Translate with open source and freeware

In addition to web services and the associated apps, there is also software that can only be used on PCs. An example of this is the open source program LanguageTranslator.

Apps such as Translate Photo + Camera scan, with which you can photograph a text and have it translated immediately, are also becoming more and more popular. This is helpful, for example, for signs, labels or other texts that you need quickly on the go.

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