Chrome users have it made; whenever you find yourself on a webpage in a language that isn’t your default, the browser automatically offers to translate. But Firefox users, while they don’t enjoy an inbuilt translate option, needn’t fret about copy-pasting entire paragraphs to a translation web service, either. Using the right-click context menu, you can translate either selected text via Translate Menu or, better yet, the whole page, via the TranslateWebpageAtGoogle add-on.
While at any foreign language website, simply right-click an empty space and select the newly-added ‘Translate this Webpage at Google’ option from the context.
Unlike Chrome’s native translator, which translates the content on the same page, this Firefox add-on sends the current page’s URL to the Google Translate website, opening it in a new tab. Depending on how you see it, this is either a nuisance or a convenience; personally, I prefer my webpages translated as they are, but you could be learning French and wouldn’t like having to load the page back and forth over and over again. Opening in another tab does seem to solve this problem.
Once on the Google Translate website, click the link on the right to open the translated webpage.
The add-on simply takes you to the Google Translate website, this might actually be a better option for some compared to the on-the-spot translation that Chrome offers because, in this case, you can choose which language you want your results in.
The translator’s control panel overlaps a portion of the display, and from a drop-down menu, you can view the page in almost any language you want. Mousing over text will show you its original, non-translated version. You can even toggle between the original and translated view of the whole page via a switch on the panel.
No translation service is good enough to suit my taste. Not yet, anyway. And especially not when a website itself can offer me its content in other languages. Admittedly, there are usually only a couple languages to choose from, but the manual translation is usually superior to what a web app can produce. Plus, text in graphical form (within pictures and videos) goes unnoticed.
That having been said, it can’t be denied that there is a reason Google Translate is consistently preferred over the other services out there. It is particularly adept at converting longer paragraphs with multiple, complex sentences. TranslateWebpageAtGoogle makes this comprehensive resource more easily accessible for Firefox users. The add-on might not be as seamless as Chrome’s built-in translator, but for now, it is as good an alternative to the latter as you’re going to get on Firefox.