10 Top Browser Tools To Translate Web Pages

Dan Price 29-02-2016

According to the latest figures from W3Techs, 53.7 percent of all content on the Internet is written in English.


That’s lightyears ahead of the rest of the top five (6.3 percent Russian, 5.7 percent German, 5.0 percent Japanese, and 4.9 percent Spanish) – but it still means that almost half of all the Internet is inaccessible unless you’re fluent in multiple languages.

There are any number of reasons you might want to read content in another language, from understanding local news stories to researching places to visit while on vacation.

So what are the best tools for translating web pages? MakeUseOf investigates…

Google Translate

With more than 90 supported languages, 200 million daily users, and versions for multiple browsers and operating systems, Google Translate remains the undisputed king of translation.

It first went live on 28th April 2006 and has consistently added more features. It can now understand and translate the spoken word, offers downloadable dictionaries for offline use on mobile, and provides real-time photographic translation.


It is also not without its drawbacks. For example, it does not apply grammatical rules because its algorithms are based on a statistical machine analysis rather than a more traditional rule-based approach, in non-European Union languages errors are frequently seen (Google uses perfectly-translated EU Parliament notes as the basis for all its translations), and certain tenses (such as the Spanish subjunctive) are almost impossible for it to recognize.

With all that said – let’s take a look at how it works on various browsers.

Google Chrome

Predictably, Google Chrome provides the best Google Translate experience.

The official Google Translate extension in the Chrome Web Store places a button on your browser’s toolbar, but also adds a lot more functionality to the browser itself.



The extension can:

  • Provide instant translation of any selected text within a web page
  • Translate any typed phrase in the same way as the main Google Translate web page
  • Translate entire web pages at the click of a button

It also recognizes when a part of a website is not in your main language and provides a pop-up button next to it. Clicking this will show you the translation in a box on the screen.


Google does not offer an officially supported Firefox translation add-on, but there are plenty of tools that use the service’s API to provide the same functionality.


The three best are arguably Google Translator for Firefox, S3.Google Translator, and Google™ Translator. They all offer a slightly different user experience, but at their core they are providing the same service.

Google Translator for Firefox

  • Adds a translate option to the right-click context menu
  • Adds a clickable toolbar icon
  • Allows you to set up a “translation hotkey”

S3.Google Translator [No Longer Available]

  • Automatically translates subtitles on YouTube
  • Provides text-to-speech functionality
  • Includes a language learning mode



It is the language learning mode Learn a New Language Just by Browsing the Web in Chrome This extension makes it easy to pick up new language vocabulary without any effort on your part. Read More that makes this tool stand out. Just head to Settings > Learning Language and set up the languages and number of phrases that you want to use. Thereafter any site will automatically replace phrases with the selected language’s equivalent.

Google™ Translator [NO LONGER AVAILABLE]

  • Translate long articles by holding ALT while selecting text
  • Double-click translation of individual words
  • Menu bar pop-up for quick translation


Like Firefox, there is no official version of Google Translate on Opera.

The most widely used unofficial version is Google™ Translator by Sarahavilov – this is the same add-on and developer as the Firefox add-on listed above.

The features are very similar:

  • One-click translation of single words
  • Pop-up bubble translator
  • Context menu option
  • Automatic spell-check function


Unfortunately, Edge does not yet have extensions A Microsoft Edge Review From A Die-Hard Chrome User Make no mistake, I am a die-hard Chrome user. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I took the plunge and tried Microsoft Edge. Read More or add-ons, so Google Translate is not available.

If you stumble across a page you need to translate, there is a workaround. We’ll come back to it later.

Make a Keyword Search for Google Translate

If you’d prefer to use the main Google Translate web page rather than extensions and add-ons, it’s really easy to make a keyword search 11 Advanced Searches to Bookmark to Become a Google Power User Turn yourself into a true Google power user with these 11 advanced searches and pro tips. This will make sure you never have to recall these searches and yet will always have them at your fingertips. Read More .

Google Chrome

Firstly, head to Menu > Settings > Search > Manage Search Engines. You’ll be presented with a list of all the search engines currently saved in your browser.

Paste the following link into the space where it prompts you to add a URL.


Make sure you replace [language] with the two-letter code of the language you want to translate into. For example, Spanish is “es”, English is “en”, Italian is “it”, and so on.

Give the search an appropriate keyword. Now all you need to do is enter your keyword followed by the word you want to translate in Chrome’s omnibox.

Hint: if you frequently need to translate into multiple languages, set up a keyword search for each language.


On Firefox, open your Bookmark Library by clicking on the bookmark icon in the toolbar and selecting Show All Bookmarks.

Choose Bookmark Menu from the panel on the left, right-click in the main window, and select New Bookmark.


Fill in the necessary details, pasting the same URL as listed above into the Location box and choosing an easy-to-use keyword. When you’re done, click Add.

Now you can enter your keyword into the address box followed by the word you want to translate. Google will take care of the rest!

Google Translate Alternatives

Google Translate remains the number one choice for most people, and the vast majority of third-party tools use its API to power their own product.

Nonetheless, there are non-Google products out there which are equally powerful.

IM Translate – Chrome, Safari, Opera

IM Translate uses a combination of Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, and Babylon Translator to give users a combination of statistical machine translations and rule-based machine translations, and thus more accurate results.


It has four main features:

  • Inline translator
  • Single word translator
  • Pop-up bubble
  • Web page translation

All your activity is stored in its translation history for easy recall, and it has a text-to-speech feature that supports 26 languages.

Bing Translator – Internet Explorer and Edge

Remember we mentioned that workaround for Microsoft Edge? It involves using Bing.

If you come across a page you need to translate on the latest Windows browser, just click on the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner and select Open With Internet Explorer.


Once the page fires up, right-click and choose Translate With Bing.

The Bing translation tool is actually an “accelerator” What's the Internet Explorer Gallery All About? If Internet Explorer is your primary browser, at some point you're going to need to come into contact with the Internet Explorer Gallery. Read More , but comes pre-installed on all recent versions of Internet Explorer.

If yours has been disabled or deleted, head to Tools > Manage Add-Ons > Accelerators and find the Bing option to fiddle with its settings.

Translate Safari – Safari

The last tool we’ll cover is Translate Safari.


It adds a toolbar button and contextual menu item that will allow you to translate any web page by using either Google Translate or Bing Translate.

It is widely considered to be the best and most reliable translation tool for Apple’s browser.

Which Tool Do You Use to Translate?

Which of the above tools do you use for you own translation needs? Perhaps you’ve come across a little-known gem that your fellow readers are unlikely to be using? Whatever your story we’d love to hear from you. Leave us your opinions and thoughts in the comments section below.

And remember, browser-based tools like the ones we’ve covered above have plenty more use cases beyond webpage translation. You can use online translators in the real world The 10 Best Online Translators You Can Use in the Real World Need a quick translation to another language? These free online translators are perfect for word swapping to another language. Read More too!


Related topics: Google Translate, Translation.

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  1. gj
    December 23, 2016 at 7:09 am

    This is a question not a comment.
    I am located in Japan and all my windows PCs have the Japanese language kit.
    My OS is set to "American" English and all my pull down menus are automatically in English.
    I do not read Japanese kanji. More and more searches and web sites are coming up in Kanj. I have trouble opening some applications which come up in Japanese. In most of these situations the default of either the web site or application is English but the stupid application writers always seem to pre-set the software to only check where the PC is located and open up in the language of that location. Some few give me a language choice with "English" written in English but most do not.
    Is there any convenient way to set my PCs so , if the page or application has an English language setting, that it comes up automatically (defaults to English)?

  2. Mehrdad
    February 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm
    I used this for translate my texts but now I want to get a translator for my firefox browser

  3. Frans
    February 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    gtranslate in FireFox