Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Free Translation Tools And Online Services

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Translation services and low-cost tools - Part II

In this article:

2. Wordreference - Personal
3. AltaVista Babelfish
4. FreeTranslation
5. WorldLingo Free E-mail Translation
6. Translate
7. Babylon
8. Universal Language Translator
9. InterTran
10. Arcnet Translation Page
11. Ajeeb Translation
12. PROMT'S Online Translator

Web service
= worth knowing

My SYSTRANet is a FREE translation service that allows you to perform translations by accessing files directly from your desktop with added customization and format preservation features.

You need only to register for this service once and then you can easily access the online personal translation service which allows for a Web page, a file (only TXT, RTF and HTML file formats are supported) or a string of text thast you can paste in a dedicated box.

You can select the language translation pair, the Custom Topic dictionary that best fit your content and an option to introduce some custom terms that you may want to utilize in your translated documents.

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Wordreference Personal
Software - WINDOWS
= worth knowing

WordReference Personal Free for Internet Explorer and Netscape.

Translate any word in any Web page with a few quick clicks, using the Collins translating dictionaries from HarperCollins Publishers.

WordReference Personal works with Windows 95/98/NT and comes in two forms, one for Internet Explorer, one for Netscape.

1) Highlight any single word on a web page
2) Press the Translate button on your Web browser
3) Get a translation in a pop-up window

Download the Internet Explorer free version at: InstallIEnew.htm

Download the Netscape free version at: InstallNS.htm

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AltaVista Babelfish
Web service
= worth knowing

Powered by SYSTRAN translation engines AltaVista's BabelFish is the most popular of these services and allows for easy and speedy translation of up to 150 words text copy from and to English from a large set of languages.

Among the languages supported at Babelfish:

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Web service
= interesting, promising is an easy-to-use site for rapid translations where you can get the "gist" of foreign language text and web pages. offers also a Web translator where you can just provide a URL and have it immediately translated in one of the several supported languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Norwegian and Portuguese from and to English) offers instant, free translations of text or web pages. is powered by SDL's Enterprise Translation Server, a very powerful automatic translation engine.

Each translation can be of a web page or of up to 4 or 5 pages of text or about 4,000 to 5,000 words of text, which is about 8 or 10 pages of a fairly dense word processing document.

If you have a larger job, you can consider submitting the job to in pieces.

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WorldLingo Free E-mail Translation
Web service products_services/ email_translation.html
= interesting, promising

WordLingo offers a very useful free facility online that allows you to send directly from this web page an e-mail that will be automatically translated to your preferred language upon delivery. An attachment can be added to the e-mail message and this will be translated as well.

When the recipient receives the e-mail she is also provided with an official quote for the professional human translation of the same message. One can simply click on the link provided in the e- mail and choose to receive the professional, human translated version.

This WorldLingo service supports translations from and to any of these languages: English, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Japanese.

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Web service
= interesting, promising

LogoMedia's Translate offers access to a battery of FREE translation services. These include Web page translation, document upload and translation via machine translation software, direct text machine translation, and e-mail translation.

It is also possible to access a custom quotes form to have an estimate for any human translated job.

Translate a block of text instantaneously

Access FREE web pages translation at:

Access FREE upload and translation of documents at:

Translate and send e-mail messages in other languages

I personally noticed that the translation quality of the LogoMedia FREE translate service is significantly above average and provides more than a good "gist" of the actaul content translated. Recommended.

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Software - WINDOWS
FREE trial
= must have

Babylon is a great tool for translating and learning words in other languages. Highly recommended. I have reviewed Babylon in MasterMind issue 3, and I was already impressed with it. Read what I had to say at:
MultiLanguage search - translate - define word tool

Babylon has further evolved adding a great number of other languages that it can translate to and refining the few great features it already had.

Consider this a mini tool that you can keep sitting on your system tray or as a small window on top of your document in which you type in words that you need to be immediately translated. Babylonis very unobtrusive and the very great thing is that you can actually load Babylon each time you need it only by hitting a keyword combination you select yourself in its simple configuration interface. Babylon can be set to automatically hide as soon as you move your mouse away from it and it will remember how large you have set its window size last time you have used it.

Babylon works in a hybrid mode both offline and online by tapping its online database only when you need to access translation dictionaries that you do not normally use.

Amazingly Babylon supports over 64 different languages and provides also custom dictionaries and glossaries on a vast number of topics and interest areas.

Dictionaries and glossaries can be either downloaded and used at all times, even when not connected to the Internet, or accessed just-in-time when you need them, online.

To make things really good for people who also like to learn how words are pronounced in other languages Babylon Pro provides a text- to-speech integrated facility which allows you to immediately hear any translated word into your selected target language!

View a complete list of Babylon Dictionaries and Glossaries at:

Download a FREE trial version of Babylon at:

In the "paid" PRO version of Babylon you get the following extra functionalities:

1) Conversions - Currency, measurement and time zone conversions.

2) 'Say-it' - Hear the English pronunciation of any word

3) Search the Web - Access leading search engines and reference sites directly from the Baylon interface.

Babylon Pro is presently available at an introductory price of only $17.95 for a one-year license, or $28.95 for a two-year one or $44.95 for a PERPETUAL LICENSE.

Download a FREE trial version of Babylon at:

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Universal Language Translator
Web service
= interesting, promising

A web service organized by CMP webmaster Michael Steenbergen the Universal Language Translator aggregates the most popular free translation services onto one page for your convenience while listing and introducing a very useful commented list of online translation services and tools for a large number of languages.

Thanks to Web-a-dex, Systran and SDL International, the speakers of 6 major languages can now browse each others web sites. If I want to view a web page that is in French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian or German, I simply type the address in the free language translator to the side. The page will load within a second or two added for the translation time. Even the links will translate for continued ease of browsing. While you should not expect miracles, you certainly can get a good "gist" of what is being said on the page.

I did find web-a-dex an interesting and promising service with translation quality above the average and alternative translation services next to each other. I would recommend it to anyone needing to rapidly access a web service where to find fast draft-level translation for a web page.

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Web service
= worth knowing

InterTran (tm), short for Internet Translator, is a free web translation service that can translate single words, phrases, sentences and entire web pages.

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Arcnet Translation Page
Web service
= worth knowing

This is a new important and useful service for all of you who needs fast "gisted" translations using languages like Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Malay.

Three services are provided at this site:

1) Online Dictionaries
This service provides a word-by-word translation. Available
translation sets are English<->Japanese, English<->Malay,
Malay<->Japanese, English->Chinese, and Malay- >Chinese.

2) Text Translation
This service enables you to translate the text you input.
Available translation sets are Japanese->English, Japanese-
>Malay, English<->Chinese, English<->Indonesian, and English<-
>Malay. Currently, English->Japanese service is not available.

3) WEB Translation
This service enables you to translate WEB pages. Available
translation sets are Japanese->English, Japanese- >Malay,
English<->Chinese, English<->Indonesian, and English<- >Malay.
Currently, English->Japanese service is not available.

How to use this service:

a) Select a language pair.

b) Input an URL to translate into the text field.

c) Click the 'Translate' button, then the translated WEB page appears on a new window.

Complete set of language pairs supported at this site:
Simplified Chinese->English
Traditional Chinese->English
English->Simplified Chinese
English->Traditional Chinese


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Ajeeb Translation - Arabic to English and back
Web page and pure text translation service online FREE
= worth knowing

Another unique translation service online the Ajeeb Translation Site provides a FREE facility for translating between Arabic and English and back.

The service allows for both text and Web page translations. I noticed though that the web translation service allows only to translate web page written in english into Arabic but not the opposite.

A number of useful options are also offered to enhance the translation quality. These include:
a) Better accuracy, less layout
b) Progressive translation
c) Transliteration

Choice of the specific custom dictionary to use among many specialized ones.

For text translations the processing is almost immediate and you get to see Arabic words and characters correctly displayed on your screen. The translation appears immediately below your original text, without reloading a new page.

If you want to see your page redone in Arabic and displayed left to right, or your Arabic page translated into english and with left-to-right reading layout, you are only one click away from it. I have tried it and it does work.


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PROMT'S Online Translator - Russian to English and back
Web service
= worth knowing

PROMT'S Online Translator, active since 1999, allows you to translate web pages, text and emails from English to Russian and vice-versa. The service offers also the option to select among a large selection of custom dictionaries the most appropriate one for your translation.

Text translation
After you have input your original text in the first box and having clicked on the "Translate" button, the page is reloaded and you can see now in the second box below your original text, cirillic characters and words of your translated content.

Web translation
Active since August 2000 this is a good FREE web translation service which works not only for Russian and English but also for French and German and among each possible pair. Custom dicitonaries are available as well as the option to automatically translate all of the links on the web page submitted.

E-mail translation
Translate E-mail allows you to send translated e-mail letters in any language supported by PROMT.

Choose translation direction and go to the appropriate page.
Fill the "From", "To", "Cc", "Subject" fields with the appropriate address information and letter subject. Type or paste your e-mail letter text into the field "Body". Select letter subject in the "Subject" list. Check the "Send source" option, if you want the original letter text to be sent. Click the "Translate & Send" button.

Language pairs available for e-mail translation are:
English, German, French, Italian --> Russian;
Russian --> English, German, French;
English <-> French,
German <-> French,
German <-> English,
English <-> Spanish.


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Recent Related Resources:

Readers' Comments    
2010-07-26 01:43:30


I use for free online translations. If you need a human translation, Tomedes are the cheapest.

2005-10-17 14:02:27

Jess Sento

I like to suggest Agspro Dictionary. It is my own software and I am proud of it because it's the first of it's kind. Most important functions are my software allows user to add, edit,save and delete words as they want.

2005-09-11 08:44:44

Terry Stavridis

Do any of these of translation software work offline?

can anyone suggest a software that works offline?

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, November 29 2001, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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