Computer Translation Tools?

I have Translate for spot translations.

I haven’t found a good solution for full-document translations though. demands that I battle the site to identify the source language-- the selection box jumps about and sometimes snaps closed as I try to reach the source language, because it is off-screen-- and then spits out the same text in the source language without translation.

Batch File Translater (sic) just crashes.


I don’t know a good answer, but in the interest of finding something you can use for now, does it help that google translator can be used with URL parameters? For instance, the following should translate from Spanish (sl=es) to English (tl=en):

It may not be convenient, but at least it lets you skip their interface.


This looks interesting, but the support page has background images and isn’t accessible.

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Thanks. But will it get Google Translate to translate?


I tried installing translate-shell:

[ERROR] Translator not found: [snip]
Run ‘-list-engines / -S’ to see a list of available engines.

[prompt]$ -list-engines / -S

-bash: -list-engines: command not found

Maybe I’m missing something because I can only read the support site in Reader View…?

P.S. Got caught by this bug:

Now getting asked: Did you mean: ББК 63.3(4 Ук)

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Now I just get broken pipe errors.

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My txt-splitter software was creating unusuable txt files, which were causing these errors.

Anyway, I thought this was going to be an on-board solution, but its dependency on outside engines means no it isn’t-- it relies on the internet connection.

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I suppose that depends. The version I quoted gets it to translate webpages. I’m not sure if there is the same for documents; sets the languages but you still have to put in the text. I don’t think there should be problems with it returning the same input, though, so long as it recognizes the words.

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Well there are problems…

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That’s fair. I was hoping that was some consequence of the language selection not working right.

I know I’ve had it translate at least webpages like the one I linked above, and things typed by hand. If those work then it would have to be something about the input format, and if not I would guess some problem running the scripts, but I don’t know about the requirements for either. Sorry I couldn’t be any better help. :frowning:

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I’d really prefer an offline translation tool, to sidestep connection problems. And there are some for pains using Android and/or iOS, and there are some for other languages, but I can’t find any that I can use.

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This looks interesting, but looks like it requires too much pre-processing:

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Promt also looks interesting but doesn’t do Ukrainian. The prices vary depending on the source and the language options. The big question is whether it does file translation, with seperate output files, or spot translations, or the fancy thing Google Translate does with webpages, which crashes my computer when I try to save the results and convert them to epubs.

P.S. Apparently most of the Windows versions do file translations, but the mac versions don’t.

Marja, bear in mind the very real limitations of automatic translation. I edit translations for a Thai translator working in her weak direction (i.e., from her mother tongue to English or French), which means that I have to have some idea of the original to produce an effective edit. I will use Google on occasion as one of my tools: its crowd-sourced nature means that it can recognise idioms better than a straight dictionary-based tool (which is useful when my human translator isn’t quite sure of a corresponding idiom in the target language), but Google tends to fall down when dealing with syntax. The real problem with this is that it often does so in a plausible fashion, which can be very misleading.

My go to tools tend to be a pair of dictionary-based sites that give me all the parts of speech that a given word or particle might be. Thai is a very analytic language, so a given particle might be a noun or adjective or verb, all possibly of very different meaning, depending on context. It might also be a modifier of a following word - there is a particle that Google frequently chokes on that creates nouns from verbs when prepended, similar to our suffixes -ment and -tion. Other potential sources of problems are the lack of articles and plurals (although there are modifiers that indicate inclusion in groups), a different sense of phrase location in relation to the phrases’ referents (English tends to place phrases very close to their referents), some use of redundancy when needed to establish context, and the frequent elision of pronouns when context renders them superfluous.

These sites tend to translate word by word, and can sometimes string the particles together incorrectly in their preferred translation, but… I get a list of what all the particles can mean, and my human translator’s draft gives me the intended meaning and a clear direction for the final edit. (My job is to ensure that the English or French is idiomatic and as elegant as possible, and that any subtleties in the original are brought out.)

Now, I presume your Ukrainian is pretty good, so, if you use Google or similar to speed things up, just look over the output very carefully lest it bite you on the nose.