Translate your Word document to another language

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I am proud to say I am fluent in English. Other languages, not really. Yet there are a few instances in which it would be handy to be able to speak (or write) in another language.  Some people do business in several countries, and there are those that have friends outside the US as well.

ms word logoIf you are using Microsoft Word and need to translate some text from one language to another, it’s easy.  The example shown below is with Word 2007, but Word 2003 also has this feature (not sure about earlier versions).

We’ll use the opening of the Gettysburg Address for this illustration:

Gettysburg Address

Chances are you would never want to translate this into Spanish, but that’s what we’ll do here.  First, highlight the text that you want to translate:

Now, click the “Review” tab at the top, then find the “Proofing” section and click on “Translate”:

This will now open a new sidebar on the right side of your document, and you will have the option to choose which language you want to translate the text into.  Here you see we have chosen Spanish:

Now, all you have to do is click the Insert button, and your text is translated:

You will see some red squiggly lines under many of the words – that’s because the spellchecker only works in English, and doesn’t recognize these new words.

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Jim Robertson
August 2nd, 2010

I never tried that feature, but I just did in Word 2003.

It worked quite well going from English to French, but as expected, the translation back to English from the French left a little to be desired