Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Better Way to Translate Office Documents

There are several easy ways by which you can translate your Microsoft Office documents or PDF files from one language to another.

For instance, you may upload documents to the Google Translation website, select the language translation pair and hit the Translate button. Then there’s the Translator Toolkit, also from the Google stable, where you may not only translate documents but also edit the translated material. Microsoft also offers a free utility that brings translation capabilities right into all your existing Office programs (including Outlook emails).

There’s however a limitation you should be aware of. While the Google Translate website makes it a one-click affair to translate lengthy documents, it doesn’t preserve the formatting of your documents /presentations and turns them into almost plain-text after the translation.

If you want your translated documents to look just like the original as far as formatting is concerned, give DocTranslator a try. The user interface is horrible but the tool is pretty useful. You upload a document, select a target language and within a minute or so, it will translate all the text of that document in the required language while preserving the document formatting.

To give an example, here’s the original document in English and the translated document in Hindi. If you compare the two, only the text has changed while all the styles are preserved. DocTranslater internally uses Google Translate itself and hence supports all language-pairs that are supported by Google Translate.

You may use the tool to translate PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, video sub-titles, OpenOffice documents and plain text files. Here’s a video demo of the translation tool in action.

No comments: