How To Translate Documents In Google Docs

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We all come across a lot of documents in our day to day work life be it spreadsheets, presentations, call letters or resume. Mainly, the documents we receive are in the English language, but out of 7.5 billion people on earth only 1.5 billion people speak or understand English, that’s roughly 20% of all the population. There are about 6500 languages in the world out of which English is the third most spoken language, Chinese and Spanish being the top two spoken languages respectively. By this, you can assume how important it is to translate a document in another language, but then the question may arise “how possibly can we do it?” If you too have this question then look no further as we have an answer that matches your query.

So, the tool which we are going to use for translating documents is Google Docs which is a free web-based office suite software from Google. Everyone must have used Google Docs or at least heard of it once in their lifetime, but many don’t know about an interesting feature it has to offer and that is translating the documents. So, In this article, we are going to give you a step by step guide to how you can use Google Docs to translate Documents in another language.

Translate Google Docs To Any Other Language

It may sound very difficult but it is not rocket science. We will guide you through the process stepwise.

1. Open Google Docs and sign in. It will fetch and show all the documents on your Google Drive. If required you can upload or import new docs. Once you have the desired document click on it to open option

2. Next, on the top menu bar, you will find Tools. Click on it and select Translate document… from the menu.translate option

3. With this, a new pop up window will appear. It will ask you for the name of the translated document and the language in which you want to translate the document.

translate document

4. After providing the required information click on the Translate button.translate in Google docs

5. The translated document will open in a new window and a copy of it will be saved in your Google Drive or Docs.Translated article(french)

Important: Before translating a document convert it into Google Docs or else you will not get the Translate document option.

Google docs vs Word
Google Docs vs Word

Google Docs also includes Google sheets. You can also use Google Sheets for translating content in the spreadsheet but unlike Google Docs one cannot directly translate content in the Google sheet. That’s because you will need the formula to do it in the spreadsheet.

Steps To Translate Content In Spreadsheet Cells

1. The formula or function which you need to use is – =GOOGLETRANSLATE(“cell number” , “source language code”, “target language code”) Let’s understand it with an example.


2. Here, we will be translating the content of cell number A2 from English to French.translated spreadsheet

3. In this case, the formula will have the following values. =GOOGLETRANSLATE(A2, “en”, “fr”) where A2 is the cell number that contains the text, “en” is the language code for English language (source language) and “fr” is the language code for the French language (target language. Now, to apply the formula, you need to first select the cell where you want to get the result and then type or paste the formula in fx (formula/function) field at the top.

translate cell in Sheets

It is also possible to directly translate specific text by using that text instead of cell number. For instance – =GOOGLETRANSLATE(“Welcome to TechUntold”, “en”, “fr”)

By following the above steps you can easily translate the content in the spreadsheet cells.

You don’t have to remember all the language codes as you can get them on this link.

Recommended: How To Convert Picture To Excel Table

Next, there’s one more scenario in case of a read-only document when you won’t get translate option. But here’s how you can perform translation for them as well.

Translate A View Or Read-only Document

A lot of time it happens that we receive a read-only or view-only document, which we cannot edit without the owner’s permission. To tackle such situation we have a simple workaround that can help you do it.

1. Open the view only Document in Google Docs

view-only Google Docs

2. After that, click on File in the menu and select Make a copy…Make a copy of Google docs

3. Next, give it the desired name and click on Ok.Translate read-only Google Docs

4. With this, the copy of the document will open in a new tab. Now, when you click on Tools in the menu of this duplicate copy which you just created, the Translate document… option will be enabled.

Additional Tip

You can also use Google Translate.Google Translate

  • Copy the view only document from Google Docs and paste it in Google translate.
  • Select the desired language in which you want the document to get translated.english to french

Once the content gets translated you can copy it and use it wherever you want.

Note:- There is a word limit of 5000 words in Google Translate.

Another important topic which you might be interested in is the ability to write or type in a different language. We’ve got you covered for that as well.

Type In A Different Language In Google Docs Or Sheets

  • Open a desired existing document or create a new one.
  • In Google Docs, you need to click on File and go to Language. From the sub-menu, select the desired language.Change Language In Google Docs
  • While In Sheets click on File and select Spreadsheet settings… From there, select the required Locale and hit Save settings.Spreadsheet settingsWrite in a different language in Google Sheets
  • When you change the language you will get Input Tools for languages like Hindi which you can see in the toolbar at the top.
  • Here, you can select the desired mode of input by clicking on the drop-down next to it. Or you can use the shortcut command+option+Shift+k on Mac while Ctrl+Alt+Shift+k on Windows.Input Tools In Google Docs
  • For Hindi, available options are transliteration where you can type Hindi words in English and it will suggest you the Hindi words to write. Type in a different language in Google docsOthers are Phonetic, Hindi Keyboard and handwriting to text input.

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Earlier people used to hire translators to translate their documents in their regional language and used to pay them huge bucks. But now one can easily achieve that and that too for free. Google Docs is the best free office suite software that can be used by anyone to translate documents as it is hassle free and easy to use. We strongly recommend the readers to use Google Docs as it can save you a lot of time and money. Google Docs can translate documents with an accuracy of 90.5% approx, which is phenomenal for a free app/software and guess what it is only getting better with time.

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