How to Translate a Document in Word: 5 Easy Methods

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Written by

Adedamola Ojedokun

Looking to translate a document in Word?

It can be done in five simple ways:

Pro tip: Use a professional TMS like Centus to translate Word documents while preserving their original layout and formatting. Centus has glossaries, translation memories, QA checks, and other features for ensuring high-quality document translation. Learn more.

how to translate a document in word

Method #1: Translate Selected Text in Word

This method is useful for quickly translating certain phrases or sentences without using other tools. Whether you're working on a document with content in a foreign language or collaborating with international colleagues, Word has a built-in translation feature that you can use.

Here's how to translate selected text in Word:

1.Open your document in Microsoft Word

2.Select the text for translation with a cursor

3.In the Review tab, select Translate > Translate Selected Text

translate selected text in word

4.In the window that opens, choose the target language

5.Click Insert to paste the translated text into your Word document

Method #2: Use the Built-in Translation Tool in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has a built-in translation tool feature that allows users to quickly and easily translate an entire Word document. Here’s how it’s done:

1.Open your document in Microsoft Word

2.In the Review tab, select Language > Translate > Translate Document

3.In the dialog box that opens, choose the source and target languages and click OK

use built-in translation tool

4.Click Send in the dialog box that pops up*.*

Method #3: Upload the Document to Google Translate

One of the most accessible and often used options for translating Word documents is Google Translate. Here’s how to use this method to translate a Word document online:

1.Open Google Translate

2.Click the Documents tab

google translate

3.Upload the document for translation

Learn about the accuracy of Google Translate and how the tool stacks up against other popular translation options here.

Method #4: Use Google Docs to Translate a Word Document

Google Docs is a popular web-based word-processing tool with built-in translation features. Follow the steps below to translate your Word document using Google Docs:

1.In Google Docs, click File > Open > Upload

2.Upload your Word document

3.In the toolbar, click Tools > Translate Document

using google docs

4.Select the target language

5.To save the translated Google Docs file as a Word document, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx)

Method #5: Use a Professional Translation Tool

Centus dashboard

For accurate and efficient document translation in Word, use professional localization tools like Centus. The professional tools have features for simplifying the translation process and ensuring the accuracy of the final outcome.

Here’s how to translate an entire Word document using a professional translation tool:

Choose a reliable translation tool

There are various professional translation tools on the market, each with its unique features and functionalities. Research and choose a tool that meets your specific translation needs and budget. Look for tools with robust language support, collaborative features, and translation memory.

Configure the translation tool

Before translating your document, configure the translation tool to your preferences. Set the source and target languages, specific terminology or glossaries, and any other options that will enhance the translation process.

Prepare your document for translation

Ensure your Word document is properly formatted and well-structured before you start translating it. Remove hidden text or unnecessary elements that may interfere with the accuracy of the translation. It's also advisable to back up your original document in case something goes wrong.

Initiate the translation process

Open Word and select the translation tool from the toolbar or menu. Follow the tool's instructions to import your entire document for translation. Depending on the translation tool you’re using, you may be able to translate the full document or specific sections.

Use advanced translation features

Professional translation tools usually have advanced features that help improve the translation process. These tools include translation memory, which stores previously translated parts for reuse, glossaries to ensure consistency, and quality assurance checks to detect potential errors or inconsistencies.

Collaborate with human translators

Professional translation tools provide collaborative workflows when working with a team of translators. If you choose Centus for Word document translation, you will be able to delegate documents or even specific sections of the document to different translators, track human translation progress, and efficiently manage the translation project.

Review and edit the translation

After translating your document, thoroughly review it to ensure its accuracy. Professional translation tools have editing features to help you make changes or improvements.

To ensure that the final text is error-free and culturally suitable, pay attention to grammar, spelling, formatting, and cultural nuances.

Read this article for a deep dive into the translation quality assurance process.

Word Document Translation Tips

best practices for translating a document in word

Achieve accurate and high-quality document translation in Word by following these best practices:

Avoid complex formatting during translation

Keep formatting as simple as possible when translating a document. Complex formatting (like advanced formatting features or intricate tables) can cause problems during the translation process.

To ensure that the translated copy retains its structure and readability, use basic formatting options such as headers, paragraphs, bullet points, and numbered lists.

Track translation versions and changes

Keep track of translation versions and any modifications made during the translation process to preserve clarity and avoid confusion.

To indicate the translation version, use Word's built-in version management feature or create a naming convention. This can help you easily refer back to previous versions and keep a clear record of the translation's progress.

Use translation memory tools for future translations

Translation memory tools ensure terminology uniformity and save time by reusing already translated content. To improve translation productivity, consider using tools with translation memory technologies such as Centus.

Proofread and edit the translated document

After translating your document in Word, proofread and edit it. Check the translated text’s grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure to ensure that the newly translated document is accurate and of high quality.

Learn more about translation and localization quality assurance here.

Adapt the document for cultural and regional nuances

The translation goes beyond simply substituting words.

Consider cultural and regional differences to ensure that the target audience understands the translated document. You should also consider any special linguistic, cultural, or regulatory restrictions in the target language and adjust the text accordingly.

This will help you create a document that feels natural and is culturally appropriate for the target audience.

To Sum Up

Translating a document in Word can be a straightforward process with the right tools and methods. In this article, we explored different methods that you can use to translate Word documents, including built-in tools, external platforms, and professional translation tools.

Localization management tools, such as Centus, can help you streamline document translation in Word by centralizing project administration, using translation memory and machine translation, managing translation with a translation management system, simplifying collaboration, supporting many file formats, and ensuring quality assurance.

Use Centus to improve efficiency, consistency, and accuracy throughout the localization process, improving overall project management and translation outcomes. Learn more.


Is there a way to translate text in Word?

Yes, there are ways to translate text in Word. These include:

  • Built-in translation tools

  • Third-party translation services

  • Translation add-ins such as Microsoft Translator

  • Google Doc

Your requirements and preferences will determine the method you use to translate text in Word.

Can I use Google Translate in Word documents?

Yes, you can use Google Translate in Word documents. You can do this in different ways:

  • Use the Google Translate add-in

  • Copy and paste the text into Google Translate

  • Use the Google Translate API

How do you translate a Word document and keep its formatting?

You can use Centus to translate a Word document and preserve its formatting. Here are the steps to follow:

1.Upload your document to Centus

2.Click the Translate button

3.Save the translated document

How can I translate a written document?

To translate a handwritten document, follow these steps:

1.Scan the document

2.Convert the document into text using OCR software

3.Save the converted document on your computer

4.Go to Google Translate

5.In the menu, click Documents

6.Choose your source and target languages

7.Click Browse

8.Select the converted document

9.Click Translate

How do I translate a Word document on my phone?

To translate a Word document on your phone, follow these steps:

1.Open the Word document

2.Select and copy the text for translation

3.Paste the text into Google Translate

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