Microsoft Word has some built-in translation tools that allow users to convert text into another language. Do not expect that it will produce the perfect translation, similar to what humans are capable of, but it will definitely do the trick if you want to understand the context of the document you’re reading.
Below are several ways to translate Word documents into any language.
How to Translate a Whole Document in Word
If you’re trying to translate the whole Word document into another language, there’s a feature for that. This does not require you to pick something in your document; it takes the contents and converts them into your preferred language.
A fantastic aspect of this Word function is that it’s not going to overwrite your original text. It remains as-is, though Word generates a new text for your translated version. This means that you keep the original file.
You can do the full-text conversion function in Word as follows:
- Open your Word document.
- Click the Review tab at the top, choose Language, choose Translate, and choose Translate Document.
- Select the source and target language for your text on the right-side column. Then click Translate to start the translation of your document.
- Word will create and open a new document containing your translated text. You can save this document by clicking on the save icon as usual.
How to Translate Selected Text in Word
If you’re only trying to translate certain text or parts of your Word document, you can take advantage of a Word function that only translates the chosen word or text block. This is not going to touch the other areas of the paper.
You can use this selective translation functionality by doing the following:
- Launch a document in Microsoft Word.
- Find the text you want to translate in your document and use your cursor to highlight it.
- Switch to the Review tab at the top of the page. Here, select Language and then click Translate, followed by Translate Selection.
- A new panel with your translations will appear on the right side of the page. In most instances, Word will sense your source language, so all you need to do is choose your target language.
- Once your text has been translated and you’re pleased with it, press Insert to add the translated text to your document.
You will see more information about your chosen text and words at the bottom of the translation panel. This includes the meaning and part of the speech of the term.
When you’ve finished translating your text, press X in the Translation panel to close it and get back to your document.
How to Use Google Docs to Translate a Word Document
Although Google Docs is a different office suite, you can still use it to open and function on your Word documents. Google Docs has a translation feature that you can use with uploaded Word files.
This uploads the Word document to Google Documents converts the language and saves the translated version to your computer. You can do so as follows:
- Open a new tab in your browser and go to Google Drive. This is where you can upload documents for editing in Google Docs.
- Click New, then upload the file and select your Word document.
- Right-click on your document on Google Drive and select Open with, followed by Google Docs.
- When the document is opened in the editor, click the File menu and select Save as Google Docs. You need to do this because Google Docs can’t translate Word documents directly.
- A new Google Docs file will be opened with the contents of your Word document. To translate this, click the Tools menu at the top of the page and select Translate document.
- Enter the name of your new translated text, choose the target language from the drop-down menu, and click Translate.
- Your translated document will be opened in a new tab. To save it as a Word document, click the File menu, and then click Download, followed by Microsoft Word.
Use Online Translators to Translate a Word Document
If you’re not pleased with Word’s translation feature or want a second opinion, you have a range of online options to translate your Word document from one language to another.
Before you use these platforms, bear in mind that not all of them can maintain the style of your text. If that doesn’t concern you, here are two free translation services that you can use with your Word document:
Google Translate is potentially the best online translator available and provides a wide variety of languages to select from. Unlike other Google services, you do not need a Google Account to use this translation feature.
This is how you use it with your Word documents:
- Copy the text that you want to translate from your Word document.
- Head to the Google Translate website in your browser.
- Paste the text in the box on the left and select the source language. If you aren’t sure, click Detect Language and Google Translate will detect it for you.
- Choose the target language on the right box and your translation will instantly appear in the box.
- Copy the content from the box on the right and paste it into your Word document.
Online Doc Translator
Unlike Google Translate, Online Doc Translator does not require you to manually copy text from your translation document. You can upload the whole Word document to translate it into your preferred language.
The service uses Google Translate to do the job, so you know that you’re going to get a high-quality translation of your text. It works as follows:
- Open the Online Doc Translator site in your browser.
- Click Upload file and upload your Word document.
- Select the source and target languages. Then click Translate.
- Click Download your translated document to download your Word document.
Translating Word Docs is Easy!
Sometimes you might come across Word documents that aren’t in the language you know. For these cases, you have both built-in and external options to translate the Word documents. Try the right one to suit your needs, and you’ll have a version of your text that’s readable to you.