3 Great Language Translators for Linux

Translation Featured

Many of us speak more than one language. You might also be a translator. Regardless of your situation, the fact is that translation tools are regularly used by many. In any case, most of us will probably need to use one at some point in our lives. When you think of Linux, you may not immediately think of great translation apps. However, there are some solid language translators for Linux, with some of them examined here.

1. Translate Shell

Translate Shell is a command-line-based tool which uses engines from Google Translate, Apertium, Yandex.Translate, and Apertium.

There are a few options for installing Translate Shell. You can install from the terminal with the following distros.

Debian and Ubuntu-based distros:

sudo apt-get install translate-shell

Arch based-distros:

sudo pacman -S translate-shell


sudo dnf install translate-shell

Alternatively, you can download and install Translate Shell directly from its Git repository:

git clone https://github.com/soimort/translate-shell
cd translate-shell/
sudo make install

Using Translate Shell

Translate Shell translates to English by default. To translate one word in another language to English:

trans word

For instance, if you translated the Spanish word “bueno” to English, you would be given translations in English such as “good.”

Translation Translate Shell Basic 1

To translate an entire sentence, use trans and surround the sentence you want to translate with quotes. For example:

trans "comment t'appeles tu"
Translation Translate Shell Words

You can also translate the contents of a file:

trans file:filepath

Replace “filepath” above with the full path to your file. If you want to find the language codes that correspond to the various languages, then simply run:

trans -R
Translation Translate Shell Language Codes

Knowing the language codes is important for translating words to specified languages. This is necessary sometimes since you will want to translate to more than one language. For example, if you want to translate “technology” into French and Spanish, you would type the following command:

trans -t fr+es technology
Translation Translate Shell To Multiple Languages 1

If you want to translate to multiple languages, then you would use the following syntax:

trans -t fr+es "Make technology easier"
Translation Traslate Shell Translate Multiple Langugaes Sentence

You may also need to specify the language you are translating from. You can do this with the ta option. This is necessary since the translation engines don’t always identify the source language correctly. For example, if you wanted to translate “vert” from French to English, you would type:

trans fr: vert
Translation Translate Shell Specify Language

2. Crow Translate

Crow Translate is a language translator for Linux that has both a GUI and a command-line interface. It uses the translation engines of Google Translate, Yandex Translate, and Bing Translator.

Installing Crow Translate

Crow Translate is available fo r both Windows and Linux. All of the necessary files are available on GitHub. This tutorial walks through how to complete the installation on Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint.

First, you will need to install some dependencies:

sudo apt install libqt5multimedia5 libqt5multimedia5-plugins libqt5multimediagsttools5 libqt5multimediawidgets5 libqt5qml5 libqt5quick5 qtgstreamer-plugins-qt5

Next, you will need to download the .deb file from GitHub to your Downloads folder.

Run the code below. Make sure to replace “filename” with the name of the .deb file you downloaded.

cd Downloads
sudo dpkg -i filename

If you run into any errors, run:

sudo apt --fix-broken install
Translation Crow Shell Install 2

After completing this installation process, you will be able to run Crow Translate.

Using Crow Translate

Translation Crow Translate Gui

Crow Translate supports 117 languages. They are viewable within the app.

Translation Crow Shell Supported Langugaes

Choose the translation engine you wish to use from the bottom right of the screen. It’s fairly simple to operate the GUI and is capable of autodetecting the language you want to translate. It also lets you specify the languages you are translating in case the translation engine doesn’t recognize what’s going on.

If you wish to use Crow Translate from the command line, run a help command to get you started:

crow --help
Translation Crow Shell Command Line

3. Tuxtrans

Tuxtrans is an entire Linux operating system geared toward translation. It’s based on Ubuntu and comes with many tools to help translators. These include Apertium and OmegaT. It is clearly geared toward someone who is a professional translator. The Tuxtrans website lists all of the software that is provided with the operating system. You should also know that Tuxtrans is available for free.

Final Thoughts

Linux offers many tools that can help you translate between languages. Great choices for the average user are Translate Shell and Crow Translate. If you are a professional, you may even want to consider using the Tuxtrans operating system since it provides all the tools you need to do your job effectively. However, if you still prefer the web-based Google Translate, you can learn some of the tricks to using Google Translate like a pro in this tutorial.

William Elcock
William Elcock

William has been fiddling with tech for as long as he remembers. This naturally transitioned into helping friends with their tech problems and then into tech blogging.

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