You can view, and participate, in our support forums, or contact us directly via our Support portal here: www.sdl.uservoice.com
Note: the instructions below may vary between operating systems and/or internet browsers. In these cases, please refer to the documentation that was supplied with your software.
Using the free text translator is easy.
Copying and pasting text into the free text translator
Select the text that you wish to translate by highlighting it with your mouse and then copy it to your clipboard by either: right clicking with your mouse and selecting ‘Copy’ or hold the ‘Ctrl’ key and press C.
Paste the text into the text translator using one of the following methods:
Right click into the source box and select ‘Paste’ from the menu
Click inside the source box then hold the ‘Ctrl’ key and press C.
Entering special characters
For special characters or other languages, please use the international keyboard by clicking on the Virtual Keyboard icon in the lower-left side of the Source text box.
Copying and pasting your translation results
Use your cursor to highlight your translation results that you wish to copy, then use one of the following methods:
Click the copy icon () to the right of where it says the number of words translated; or
Select the translation results by highlighting all the text, then either:
Start up the application where you want to paste your translation results into and paste them using one of the following methods:
Click where you want the text to appear then either:
Printing your translation results
To print your translation results, you can simply click on the print icon in the target box, once your translation has been processed, and is visible, or you can copy/paste the contents of your translation in any word processing program from where you can format the text before printing.
Improving your translation results
Always use correct punctuation and provide grammatically correct input. Using grammar and spell checking software can help to produce better results. If a word is misspelt it may get translated incorrectly, or it may not be translated at all.
Please ensure that the source text is accurate. Be sure to type all accents and other special characters required in the language you are typing, even on capital letters.
Avoid ambiguous words. English words ending in "ing" are ambiguous. For example, the word "swimming" can be a noun or a verb, and may have different translation depending on its part of speech. Whenever possible, choose alternatives to "ing" forms.
To get the most accurate translation results, we suggest using one of the Language Cloud’s professional translation services. For a fee, a human translator will either edit the free translation to improve its quality, or professionally translate your original text from scratch so you get the best translation possible. Simply select the service that's best for your needs.
What is Machine Translation (MT)?
Machine Translation, sometimes referred to as MT or Automated Translation, is a sub-field of linguistics that involves the translating of one natural language to another.
SDL uses the Statistical Machine Translation approach to automated translation technology. You can read more about it by accessing the Wikipedia link, here: Machine Translation (MT) or, just watch the video, here: Machine Translation (MT)
What should Machine Translation be used for?
Machine Translation is instant and is therefore ideal for many purposes where human translation is simply not an option.
Machine Translation is ideal for rapid, draft-quality translations that provide individuals and professionals with the "gist" of foreign language documents such as email, web pages and correspondence. A "gisted" translation allows readers to understand the meaning of the original document and determine its relevance to themselves or their business.
When speed and cost are important factors, Machine Translation is ideal. However, Human Translation - or a Human-Edited translation service - is often more desirable for its accuracy and quality.
If you need a higher level of accuracy, please visit the Language Cloud’s professional translation services for a range of fast turnaround, high-quality human translation services.
Why is FreeTranslation.com free?
We want to showcase our Machine Translation technology and its various applications.
We want to be the place for translation on the web. Getting the best price, turnaround and quality in translation has been a difficult and time-consuming task, until now. We want people who need translation services to know about SDL, our translation services and products. We identify people's needs and offer them exactly the right translation service depending on their accuracy, time and budget requirements. Offering world-class Machine Translation for free is a statement of our commitment to providing what the customer needs whilst introducing people to the world of professional translation products and services.
When is FreeTranslation.com not suitable and what are the alternatives?
FreeTranslation.com is for obtaining an instant, basic translation. Only professional human translators can consistently produce high quality translations. If you need a perfect translation, a qualified translator should be used. We have incorporated professional translation into the main FreeTranslation.com website by adding links to Language Cloud’s professional translation services.
Why does the translation not always make sense if I translate my text into another language and then back again?
When you translate the text into another language, some words can be translated in a number of ways. Using grammar rules and context analysis, FreeTranslation.com works-out which one is most likely to be correct and uses this. Consequently when the text is translated back into the original language these words may be translated differently.
As described above, Machine Translation is not perfect and computers don't yet possess "life knowledge"