The Best 6 Translation Sites of 2018

When you need to read another language, these sites have you covered

Need to translate a word? How about a whole sentence or entire web page? Online translation websites can do this for you, usually in just a couple seconds.

Not all online translation services are created equal. Some will translate your spoken words into text, translate that text into another language, and then finally speak the translation in the other language. Others are less detailed and are better for simple word-to-word translations or website translations.

No matter what you need, these are the absolute best sites for translating that you can find on the internet. Some are even so exhaustive that they're useful for not only one-time help but even full-fledged language learning.

Google Translate: Best Overall Translator

Screenshot of Google Translate

Google has as online translator website called Google Translate, and it's the best one out there. If you try only one translator site, make it be this one.

In short, Google Translate is awesome for learning a new language and looking up single words or phrases to see how they appear or sound in another language. it also works surprisingly well if you're needing to speak with someone when neither of you can understand the other language.

What we like:

  • Works quickly
  • Identifies languages automatically
  • Supports a huge variety of languages
  • Can read the translation aloud
  • Lets you speak the input language
  • Some translations have been checked by Google's Translate Community to verify that they're accurate
  • Works right from a Google search
  • Translations can be saved for later use in your Google Translate Phrasebook
  • Supports translating URLs

What we don't like:

  • Google Translate has been known to make very wrong translations

One of the best features of Google Translate is its ability to take any text you throw at it and accurately determine what language it's in, and then instantly put it into a language you can understand. This is great if you don't know the originating language; it beats clicking through every one of them until the translation works.

If the instant mode is turned on, you can just type and watch the translation appear off to the right. This is awesome because you avoid having to click that Translate button each time you type.

You can type text, speak it, or use an on-screen keyboard. For the output side, you can have the translation read back to you in the translated language, which is not only helpful if you're trying to learn the language, but also super beneficial if you're with someone in person and they can't read the language well, but can understand it when spoken.

Any word you highlight in the input text box shows definitions, example sentences, and translation information. You can click those terms to instantly add them to the translation box, which provides a dictionary-like way of learning a language.

Yandex Translate: Best Translator for Images and Websites

Screenshot of an image translation at Yandex Translate

Yandex Translate is an absolute beast. It translates between lots of languages, works very quickly, looks great, and doesn't stop at just normal text translations. You can also use it to translate entire websites and even images.

What we like:

  • Supports voice input
  • Can add translations to your list of favorites
  • Will speak translations aloud
  • A special link of the translation can be shared with anyone
  • Fixes can be suggested for bad translations
  • Supports text input of up to 10,000 characters
  • You can swap between the two languages with one button
  • Checks spelling as you type
  • Image translations can be performed on a per line or word basis
  • Website translations can be positioned side-by-side your native language

What we don't like:

  • The photo translator doesn't accept online images, only local ones you upload

This translate website is really helpful for one-time lookups but is also nice to use for learning a new language. When you translate a website, you can position the foreign page right next to the one in your language so that you can learn which words are being translated to what, and the translations even continue as you click through the site.

If you're using the image translator, you can zoom way up if you have to and even highlight specific words to be translated. For example, you can select just one word to get that translation or select the whole image to have everything translated. Swapping to a different language during the translation doesn't force you to re-upload the image, which is great.

Reverso: Best Language Learning Translator

Screenshot of the Reverso translation website

Another online translation service is available at Reverso. Like Google Translate, it can translate between languages automatically and supports several of the more common languages.

What we like:

  • Includes a spell checker
  • Translates without having to click a button
  • Lets you listen to the source and translated text
  • An on-screen keyboard is available in many languages
  • You can rate the validity of translations to improve the service

What we don't like:

  • Supports only a dozen languages
  • Instant translations are often slow
  • Doesn't auto-identify the input language
  • Can't transcribe your speech into text

Something worth mentioning about the Reverso translation website is the context translations they offer. After performing a translation, just below the translated text is a box of a few more examples of how that translation might look if the input text was slightly different.

For example, translating "My name is Mary" to French gives the regular answer of "Mon nom est Mary," but you can also see translations for "My name is Mary Cooper and I live here" and "Hello, My name is Mary, I'll be with you till you go on this evening."

Bing Microsoft Translator: Easiest Translator to Use

Screenshot of the Bing translator website

Like some other translator sites, Bing Microsoft Translator offers an auto-detect feature for those times you can't guess the language you need to translate. What makes this translator website different is its simplicity: there's next to nothing on the screen yet it still works great.

What we like:

  • Really easy to use
  • Translates instantly
  • Supports lots of languages
  • The input text box accepts up to 5,000 characters
  • Attractive, modern interface
  • Text can be spoken with different accents, in a male or female voice
  • It's easy to share the translation or copy it to the clipboard
  • You can swap between the two languages with one button
  • Works through Bing searches

What we don't like:

  • Many languages are not supported

The ability to change the voice used to speak the input text or translated text is a really neat feature you shouldn't overlook. Some people can only grasp words if they're spoken with a certain accent, or prefer to learn new words in their own accent. Most of the languages in the Bing translator can be spoken in various accents.

For example, if you're translating something into English, you can have the words spoken with an Indian or Australian accent if you prefer. You can also swap between a male and female voice.

Aside from those unique features, the Bing translator is basically the same as any other translator website. However, it does work with lots of common languages and is very, very easy to use for anyone.

SYSTRANet: Best Translator for Files

Screenshots of a resume translated with SYSTRANet

Another language translator, SYSTRAnet provides not only a text translator but also one for files. Just upload a document, such as an MS Word DOCX file, and then re-download it when the translation completes to get your document in the new language.

This translator is perfect for translating your resume or reading foreign documents, like help manuals, in English or your native language.

What we like:

  • File translations are fast
  • Converted files retain their formatting
  • Translates regular text, too
  • Includes a dictionary
  • Supports common languages
  • Translated files can be emailed to you or you can download them

What we don't like:

  • Text translations are not automatic
  • Can only select from around a dozen languages
  • Requires a (free) user account to translate files

The SYSTRAnet translator is super helpful considering that most translation sites only let you translate text via copy/paste. However, with this one, you don't have to copy everything out of your resume, for example, and then paste it on the website for conversion only to have to then paste it back into your resume. Just upload the file to have all of it translated; even the formatting will stay the same.

Internet Slang Translator: Best Informal Translator

Screenshot of an internet slang translator

As the name would suggest, Internet Slang Translator is more for fun, not practical use. Just type some words you want converted into slang, or enter internet slang to translate it to proper English.

What we like:

  • Conversions happen automatically (no button-clicking needed)
  • Translates common internet lingo

What we don't like:

  • Only supports English
  • Lots of slang terms don't translate appropriately
  • Some regular words are translated incorrectly

While you might not use this translator site for anything realistic, it can still be fun to see what it comes up with as you type slang. Then again, maybe you're new to some internet terms, in which case it might help you get a feel for what all the kids are talking about.