How to translate Google docs

Have you ever felt joyful when approached in your mother tongue? It comes with a lot of confidence and flexibility, right? What a multilingual diversified world we are living in, where eventually people speak different languages but mostly feel comfortable with their regional side. It’s obvious and no one can deny.

Most of us tend to read and write comfortably in one language, thus it’s obvious to face a situation where you’ll require to translate a document or write something in a foreign language. There are more than 7,000 distinct languages around the globe.

English is understood by almost 15% of people around the world including people who choose English as a secondary language. Thus language plays a crucial role while dealing with documents. This could be a long and painstaking one with popular word processing programs Google has made it super simple.

Let’s explore the way by which we can translate Google Docs to other languages in this article.

Google’s support for languages

Before thinking about translating it’s always flexible if you can type in the language of your choice. Many might be already familiar with multi-lingual keyboards as they use it on their smartphones. Likewise, Google Docs offers a bunch of input tools for many languages to make it easier to type in other languages like Hindi, Russian, and Arabic, etc.

No matter it’s a new Google Docs document or an already written and used one, you can change language any time you want and that change won’t affect the already written content at any chance.

Google Docs supports almost 70 languages on the web, Android, and iOS versions. For each and every supported language in Google Docs, the user interfaces of the web, Android and iOS versions need to enable various features such as fonts that display all translated characters clearly, the use of application capabilities, input methods that capture translated words efficiently, spellcheck and autocorrect services that identify potential errors and offer alternatives accurately.

Different ways to translate documents in Google Docs

There are many ways one can change language in Google Docs. The most commonly used ways are, 

  • In-built translate support 
  • Using google translate
  • Changing the default language on Google Docs

How to translate Google Docs using the in-built translate option?

Why go for external add-ons and tools, when you have such an amazing support built-in exclusively on Google Docs? Let’s explore the steps in brief below. 

Steps to change the language in Google Docs to translate a document on the web:

Following are the steps to be followed in changing the language in Google docs,

Step 1: Open Google docs in your computer’s browser

Step 2: Open the Google Docs document that you want to translate.

Step 3: Find the menu bar at the top of your Google Docs screen, and click “Tools.”

Step 4: Select the “Translate document” option from the tools box.

translate Google docs
translate Google docs

Step 5: In the pop-up box that appears, type a name for the translated file and choose the language that you want to translate it to via the dropdown menu shown.

How to translate Google docs
How to translate Google docs

Step 6: Click “Translate.” A new window will then appear with your translated document. 

translate documents in Google Docs
translate documents in Google Docs

How to translate Google Docs on android?

Google Docs doesn’t allow you to translate documents directly from android mobiles as of now. Thus to translate a document, the only way is to open it in Google Docs on a computer and then follow the above steps.

How to translate Google Docs on iPhone?

Google Docs doesn’t allow you to translate documents directly from iOS mobiles as of now. Thus to translate a document, the only way is to open it in Google Docs on a computer and then follow the above steps.

How to translate a read-only document on Google Docs?

There can be times you will be shared documents with restricted access. But, you might feel comfortable reading it in your favorite language. But, how? Since it’s read-only you can directly translate the source document. No worries there’s always a way to it. 

You can make a copy of the document and translate it as done before. Easy right? The steps are as follows, 

Step 1: Open Google docs in your browser

Step 2: Open the document in Google Docs that you want to translate.

Step 3: Now click on the File menu and then select Make a copy. 

How to translate Google Docs on android
How to translate Google Docs on android

Step 4: Give it a desired name and then click on Ok. 

Step 5:Click “Tools.” from the menu bar at the top of your Google Docs screen.

Step 6: Now select the “Translate document” option.

Step 7:A pop-up box will appear when you select the “Translate Document” option

Give a a name for the translated file by typing in the box. A dropdown has a list of languages. Choose the language that you want to translate.

Step 8: Click “Translate.” A new window will then appear with your translated document. 

That’s it now your document is translated. 

Change the default language on Google

Another way to translate is to change the default language settings of your Google account. Instead of changing the language on Google docs explicitly, you can use this method to translate Google Docs.

How to change the default language on Google?

To change the default language on Google, simply follow the below steps:

Step 1: Fist visit the myaccount.google.com site. 

Step 2:Click Data & personalization > General preferences for the web > Language. 

Step 3: Now click on Language > Add another language. 

Step 4: Customize the languages you need. 

Step 5: To switch to English (UK) or (US), click on English, and list countries will appear. Choose the one you need.

Step 6: Use the “up” arrow in the language panel to move the language you want into the “default” position. 

How to translate content on Google Docs using Google translate?

Step 1: Visit https://translate.google.co.in/ on your browser

Step 2: Copy-paste your text over the first section. 

Step 3: Google would automatically detect the language for now. Just verify if the source language is correct. 

Step 4: Choose the language you wish to translate from the list on the right of the screen.

Step 5: Your text would be easily translated now. You can now copy-paste it back to Google Docs. You can also share it personally via Email/Twitter.  

Likewise, you can also switch to the alternate tab where you can pick documents from your computer and translate them. However, you need to first download your Google Doc in some supported format prior. (not recommended)

Common problems you would encounter on changing language in Google Docs:

Firstly, to check your Google Account language, open your Google Account. You should see the language that has been selected.

Problems can be of any one of the below types, 

  • The language change didn’t work: If your Google Account doesn’t match the language you selected, clear your browser’s cache and cookies and try setting the language again.
  • Note: Deleting cookies will also remove your saved settings for other sites you’ve visited.
  • My language isn’t listed: If you choose a primary language that isn’t supported by some products, we may ask you to select an alternate language. If this is needed, you’ll see your alternate language listed beneath your primary language in the Language section of your Google Account. You can select it to change it.

You may like the following Google docs tutorials:

Has the article provided all the details required to ease your language needs? Hope you enjoyed this brief article on translation on Google Docs. Keep experimenting. Your docs in your own language from now on!

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