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2 Great Widgets to Translate Your Website Into 20+ Languages TranslationThumbInternet World Stats show that English web surfers represent less than 28% of the Internet population. In other words, if your blog or website is English-only, it is largely useless to 72% of Internet users. True, your readers can take the effort of using a translation service themselves, but wouldn’t it be friendlier to make it easy for them?

Making your blog or website language-friendly is not at all difficult. In this article, let us see how you can use free translation widgets on your site to allow visitors to instantly translate your website into the most popular foreign languages. If you want to let users subscribe to translated RSS feeds of your website, you should check out Mloovi. Let’s see how to use the Google Translate Gadget and the Microsoft Translator Widget and see how they compare.

Translate Your Website with Google Translate Gadget

Google Translate Gadget is powered by Google Translate Tools, and supports over 50 languages. The “gadget” is nothing but a short code snipped that you can place anywhere on your website. If you have a blog, the best place for the gadget is your blog’s sidebar. As an example, we’ll assume you have an English website powered by WordPress. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google Translate Tools and choose the language of your website.
  2. If you wish, you can restrict which languages you want to support. It is best to use the default All languages option.
  3. Copy the code snippet shown on the page.
  4. In your WordPress Dashboard, paste the code in a Text Widget in your Appearance > Widgets section and add it to your sidebar.

Google Translate Gadget

That’s it! Your blog can now be read in over 50 languages.

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When users who have set a different default language in their browser visit your blog, they are prompted to automatically translate your website to their native language. You can also check how your blog looks in different languages.

Mouseover Original Text

Also, when a translated page is viewed, moving your mouse over the translated text paragraph pops up the original text. You can conveniently compare the original and the translated text in this way.

Microsoft Translator Widget

The Microsoft Translator Widget supports over 20 languages. This is the same translation engine that is used in MS Office, Bing, and the Messenger translation bot we previously covered Translation for MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting Translation for MSN: Auto Translates Messages While Chatting Read More on MakeUseOf. To use the Microsoft Translator Widget, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Translator Widget page.
  2. Enter your website or blog URL address and the language of your site.
  3. Choose the widget of the widget as suitable for your blog. You can experiment back and forth if you need.
  4. Choose a suitable color based on the theme of your blog.
  5. Check the “I agree to the terms of use” box, and click Generate code to get the code snippet.
  6. Copy paste the code snippet in a Text Widget in your blog sidebar.

Microsoft Translator Widget

That’s it! Your blog can now be read in over 20 languages. Just like the Google Translate Widget, when a translated page is viewed, the original text is visible on mouse rollover. Here is how the widgets look in the blog sidebar when stacked on top of each other:

Translation your website

Which Widget Should You Use?

Choosing the right widget for your website may not be a simple matter of comparing the number of languages supported. Here are factors you can consider:

  • Obviously, the Google Gadget gives you the widest reach because it supports far greater languages (50 vs. 20)
  • The Google Gadget auto-detects the user’s language and prompts the user to translate
  • The Microsoft Widget supports different colors to suit your blog theme, while the Google Gadget has the classic minimalist look
  • The Microsoft Widget has a width option and looks different depending upon the size you choose
  • Lastly, the Microsoft Widget supports “Progressive Rendering”, which means web pages show up in the translated language in incremental fashion. Users do not need for the complete page to be translated before they start reading. This is useful if you have long pages of text.

You might also want to check out ConveyThis, which takes a different approach by popping up a dialog letting users choose from different online translation services.

Needless to say, machine (robot) translation has its limitations. Nevertheless, it can surely make your webpage comprehensible to foreign language users, who might otherwise quickly jump to another website. Will you try using these free tools on your site? Do they work well on your blog? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. Codefore
    February 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Google requires the code to be pasted into the head. This is not possible with the popular Webpage service Wix.
    Microsoft, (I think ) does not require the code to be pasted in the head but to get the code you have to allow their marketing service to access your computer. I have had this service before and its worse than a virus. Cant get rid of it. Its bull shit. Is there not some other service that will work with Wix and you don't have to give your first born to Microsoft?

  2. Ramzi
    December 12, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Thank you greatly for that sir.

  3. Ramzi
    December 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Great Post thanks for that.

    Given that this is not as accurate as manual translation, where could I possibly locate a person to translate a membership website to another foreign language? I tried to visit several freelancing websites but it seems that there is only services for text translation rather than a web developer that performs such services. Any suggestions?

    • Mahendra Palsule
      December 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm

      @Ramzi,

      I do not know of developer+translator resources off-hand, but you can try getting in touch with professional translation services like http://www.onehourtranslation.com/ to check if they can fulfill your requirements.

  4. ari
    December 10, 2009 at 8:13 am

    More language more easy. Isn't that?

  5. Aibek
    December 9, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    There are also a couple of WordPress plugins that can translate the posts into multiple languages. I have seen several medium and large websites using that to get additional search traffic. The only downside I am aware is that most of those can make your database several times larger.

  6. Kea
    December 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for your article. Just wanted to comment that "it can surely make your webpage comprehensible to foreign language users" is not entirely true, and I really wish that those who use these tools on their websites were more aware of this. In most cases, both of these, or any other translation tools that I have tested fail to give a comprehensible translation into any of the five languages I speak.

    The problem with using these tools is that you no longer have any control of your content, unless you actually speak all of those 20 or 50 languages and check the translations. Believe me, the mistakes I have seen are really, truly horrible. Most of the times, the text is just illegible, and other times the meaning of the translation is completely the opposite to the meaning of the original text.

  7. Cheryl
    December 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Oops: code didn't come through.... replace square brackets with accordingly.

    [div id="google_translate_element" style="text-align:CENTER; width: 220px; min-height: 55px; border-color: #726423; background-color: #CEBD7B;"]
    Translate Page[/div]

  8. Cheryl
    December 7, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for this article!

    If you want to control the width, height, and color of the Google widget, replace the first line's "div" code. Here's the code to do so:

    Translate Page

    Change the colors to suit your site. I left the border-color in, but honestly don't see that it acknowledged it on my site in either FF3 or IE6.

  9. designfollow
    December 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    great widgets, thank you.