There are many online translation tools. Fed by artificial intelligence, these tools offer sometimes stunning translations. Some allow you to translate entire pages in a few clicks, others to exchange in real time with a foreign correspondent thanks to voice recognition.

But how do you find your way around the plethora of online translators? Which one to use? Which is better – if any, stand out from the crowd? We tested these tools for you. Here is our comparison and our recommendation. Let’s go!

# 1 Reverso

The Reverso site has existed for more than 20 years and allows translation into 13 languages. It offers translations of texts as well as translation in context, that is to say using words and expressions in their different meanings. It’s useful for fine-tuning already translated text. The site also includes a grammar, synonyms, and conjugation tab. For the translation of long texts, a paid subscription is necessary: ​​per month at 9.99 €, (up to 6000 words) or annually at 5.99 € per month (up to 75000 words per year).

Benefits

  • A precise pronunciation tool
  • Allows the translation and revision of documents (package)
  • The ergonomics of the Reverso Context application, which enhances language learning

Disadvantages

  • You have to open a new page after about 20 words
  • Registration required for a translation of more than 800 words
  • Pronunciation Tool Stops After 150 Characters

# 2 Linguee

Originally a multilingual dictionary launched in 2010, Linguee offers, like Reverso, contextual translations compiled from billions of published texts (novels, guides, cookbooks, etc.). The site claims to be the largest professional translation database in the world.

Benefits

  • Clear ergonomics, without advertising
  • The search bar is intuitive
  • Dozens of languages ​​available

Disadvantages

  • Lack of transparency on the choice of sources used
  • The translation in context does not decide between several meanings

# 3 Deepl

The Linguee technical team launched in 2017 a powerful text translation tool, Deepl, which relies on its database. Both services are accessible from the same portal and benefit from the same quality of use. Deepl recognizes the source language automatically. The premium offer for professionals includes data protection, unlimited translation of texts online as well as 20 documents for € 29.99 per month (€ 19.99 / month for an annual invoice).

Benefits

  • Superior translation quality
  • We can translate up to 5000 characters in the square as well as docx or pptx
  • The extension allowing to translate from the browser is practical and discreet

Disadvantages

  • “Only” 11 languages ​​available
  • Does not support different language registers

# 4 Microsoft Translator / Bing

Launched in 1999 by Microsoft, Bing prides itself on detecting 73 languages, from Catalan to Maori to Hebrew. Microsoft also offers a text messaging tool that translates participants’ comments in real time (voice recognition is included).

Benefits

  • You can enter an url directly in the square
  • A rather precise and fast voice recognition tool
  • The application allows you to translate directly from the camera

Disadvantages

  • Fall into the trap of literal translations
  • The browser extension does not translate entire pages
  • The messaging tool suffers from too many inaccuracies

 

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# 5 Google Translate

We no longer present the giant of Silicon Valley. Google used the mountains of data from its search engine to create Google Translate in 2006. The browser extension lets you translate entire pages while keeping the original layout.

Benefits

  • Translation of large files of many different types, such as .pdf
  • A powerful application allowing interpretation in real time
  • The application allows you to translate directly from the camera

Disadvantages

  • Translation quality remains limited
  • Translations are uneven from one language to another
  • No conversation tool like Microsoft

# 6 Systran

Systran is a professional translation software publisher created in 1968 by an American researcher who wanted to translate from Russian to English. It also offers an online tool. The free service includes 45 source languages.

Benefits

  • Detects source language
  • Speech recognition and pronunciation tool included
  • Translation engine offers specific to your industry

Disadvantages

  • Translation suffers from too many errors
  • A limited voice recognition tool even with very good diction
  • The readability of the offers for professionals lacks clarity

# 7 Prompt

Launched in 1991 in St Petersburg, Prompt offers the whole range to express itself in the chosen language: dictionary, translator, contexts and word forms (conjugation). The translation service displays a selection of 20 languages. The commercial offer allows translation into any application for 2.49 € per month.

Benefits

  • Site ergonomics
  • A complete basic service
  • Competitive prices

Disadvantages

  • Incorrect grammar for somewhat complex sentences
  • The number of languages ​​available is limited
  • The free app includes ads

# 8 Babylon

Launched in 1997 by an Israeli entrepreneur, Babylon is a professional translation software publisher, also offering a free online translation service. The browser extension has been criticized for being intrusive and remains suspicious of antivirus reviews.

Benefits

  • A rather readable site despite a self-promotion pop-up
  • 30 languages ​​available for translation on the site

Disadvantages

  • Overall poor quality translation
  • An extension not very efficient and inconvenient to use
  • No app available

Conclusion

Some online translators (Deepl, Google Translate) stand out from the crowd by their performance. For these two firms, the site makes it possible to efficiently translate large documents. Deepl and Google Translate extensions are also the most efficient and least invasive for translating entire passages and even web pages immediately in your browser.

The great advances in artificial intelligence make voice recognition possible, with a more concrete promise of multilingual conversations in real time. In addition, linguistic corpora are more and more technical.

However, no tool is sufficient in itself: dated expressions like sayings, expressions with a particular style, even grammatically atypical sentences often lead to translation errors. It is a good idea to use the translated text with contextual translation tools like Linguee or bilingual dictionaries, like Larousse, or Wordreference, which includes a forum for discussion of translation questions with native speakers. For advanced translation needs, tools will never replace humans.

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Comparison

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