Coming across a site in a foreign language isn’t the best of things to happen while using Safari on an iPhone or an iPad. Apple’s mobile web browser is devoid of any translation features whatsoever, and manually copying snippets of text to Google Translate isn’t a fun experience either.
Thankfully, there are a few workarounds that you can rely on to make things comfortable. If you stumble across foreign websites regularly, then consider using the three tips below to seamlessly translate articles to English (or other language for that matter). So without any further ado, let’s get started.
1. Use Microsoft Translator
Just don’t freak out after reading that! You don’t have to do any copying or pasting to Microsoft Translator. But instead, it’s about using Microsoft Translator’s Share Sheet extension to translate webpages. It supports Safari, is super-easy to set up, and makes translating pages a breeze.
Note: Google Translate doesn’t support this feature.
Step 1: Install Microsoft Translator from the App Store.
Step 2: Open Safari, and then tap the Share icon. On the bottom row of the Share Sheet, scroll to the right.
Step 3: Tap More, turn on the switch next to Translator and then tap Done.
Step 4: Whenever you come across a foreign website, it’s now simply a matter of opening the Share Sheet and tapping Translator.
A progress bar will show up at the top of the screen for a few seconds, and the page should be rendered in English soon. Pretty cool, right?
Tip: You can also change the default language (English) to other supported languages. To do that, simply open the Microsoft Translator app, head into its Settings panel, tap Safari Translation Language, and then select your preferred language.
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2. Translate Article Shortcut
Sometimes, there comes that moment when you need to save all of that translated text for later. But obviously, images and advertisements get in the way. And that makes copying and pasting text to another app an arduous task. If that’s the case, you can utilize a cool shortcut called Translate Article to translate and convert any web page to pure text.
And the fascinating thing about using this shortcut is that it uses Microsoft Translator for translation purposes, and you don’t need to have the actual app installed. Hence, consider this is a neat alternative if you don’t want to have an additional app taking up space on your iPhone or iPad.
Step 1: Open the Shortcuts app, and then search the Gallery for Translate Article. You will likely see two similar results — add either one of those to your shortcut library.
Step 2: When browsing on Safari, run the shortcut on any foreign web page.
Step 3: Give the shortcut a few seconds to run the page through, and you should have your translated text soon. Cool stuff.
Not as aesthetically pleasing as using the Microsoft Translator Share Sheet extension, but the pure text is pretty easy to copy over to another app.
Tip: To change the output language, simply begin editing the Translate Article shortcut via the Shortcuts app, and then select your preferred language from underneath the Translate Text With Microsoft section.
Switching browsers isn’t fun. But if you prefer the ability to translate sites without the need to pull out the Share Sheet all the time, then consider using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Both browsers are quite adept at detecting foreign languages and prompts you to translate them automatically.
Google Chrome uses Google Translate to generate translations, doesn’t even require you to have the latter installed, and supports over a hundred languages. You can also configure Chrome to automatically convert a language to another always without prompting you for permission.
Microsoft Edge also offers similar functionality using the Microsoft Translator, and you don’t need to have it installed. Just like the deal with Chrome and Google Translate. However, you need to be mindful of the fact that Microsoft Translator only supports about 60 languages, which is quite low compared to Google Translate.
If you deal with a lot of foreign language sites, it’s best to take the plunge and use either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Read our detailed comparison of both browsers before deciding on which one to use.
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I Learned a Second Language
Thanks to the three tips above, you should be able to translate any website to a language you understand. So, which is your favorite pick of the three? Do let us know in comments.
Next up: How about getting to grips with that elusive language that you so much love? Here are three terrific apps that make learning languages fun for a change.