If you are using Google Chrome, you will know that it comes with a default translation feature that prompts you to translate a page when it detects you are on a foreign site. Firefox doesn’t come with such feature, but there are several extensions that you can use to easily translate foreign text to your own language.
1. Google Translator For Firefox
This is my favorite translator tool for Firefox. The translation is done using the Google Translation engine, so you will get a pretty good translated text with the correct meaning. Once installed, you can access the translation option from the context menu (mouse right click) or “Ctrl + F2″ to load the current page in the Google Translate page.
There are a few ways to use this. You can select a paragraph, or a single word, right click and select “Translate Selection with Google Translate”. The translation will be done on the fly and the translated text will replace the highlighted text.
To translate the full page, you just have to right click at anywhere without selecting any text and click the “Translate this page with Google Translate”.
2. Fast Translation
Fast Translate works in the same way as Google Translator for Firefox, except that it pops up a translation window rather than replacing the highlighted text.
Once installed, you can go into the options to configure the translated from and translated to language. For the best result, you might want to set the “Translate From’ field to “Auto”, unless you are dealing with only one foreign language at all times.
At a foreign page, you can highlight a paragraph or text, right click the mouse and select “Translate”. A window will popup to show the result.
ImTranslator may not be the easiest to use, but it is the one that comes with the most features. Other than Google Translate, it also provide PROMT, Babylon and Microsoft as the alternative translation engines. It also comes with a speller, dictionary, keyboard and various keyboard shortcuts.
The usage is similar to the above-mentioned extensions. You highlight a paragraph/text, right click the mouse and select “ImTranslator.” It will then open the ImTranslator widget with the original and translated text. In this window, you can change the translation engine, or even open up the dictionary to check up the meaning of a foreign word.
If you can’t read well, you can even click the TTS icon to get it to read out the translated text. Just a warning though, the text-to-speech will read out the translated text, which could be garbage and nonsensical, depending on the difficulty of the original text and the translation engine. Be prepared for a good laugh.
There are several other translation extensions for Firefox, but most of them have not been updated for at least a year and are not compatible with the latest version of Firefox. Out of the three mentioned above, I prefer the Google Translate For Firefox as it is clean and easy to use. Depending on your preferences, you might opt for Fast Translation or ImTranslate instead.
If there is other translation extensions that I missed out, do let me know in the comments.
Image credit: Language Written In Chinese by Big Stock Photo.
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