This is Firefox’s upcoming page translation feature


JF-Expert Member
Jul 23, 2013
One of the features that Google's Chrome browser offers that Firefox does not is the browser's built-in translation service.

Whenever you visit a website that is published in a language that you have not installed in Chrome, a small translation bar is displayed at the top of the window that you can use to translate the page into another language.

You can disable the feature for any given language so that you are not bothered anymore by the translation notification.

The Firefox browser has its fair share of translation add-ons, but there is none that I'm aware of currently that replicates Google Chrome's translation functionality.

The extension GTranslator offered that functionality previously, but it is no longer compatible with newer versions of the Firefox browser.

Mozilla announced back in February 2014 that it made the decision to integrate native machine translation functionality to Firefox similar to what Google is making available for Chrome.

The team has been working on the implementation ever since. Test builds have been created, reason enough to check out the current implementation so that you can judge for yourself how far it has progressed.

The feature works similar to how Chrome handles translation notifications. Whenever you visit a web page published in a different language, the translation bar is displayed at the top.

It displays the language the page is published in, and gives you options to translate the page right away. If you select the option, the page is translated into the browser's default language.

It takes some time to translate the page, and when it is done, the language the text has been translated to is displayed in the notification bar. It is displayed as a menu so that you can switch to a different language using it.

Only a selection of languages are supported right now including English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Italian or French. Firefox's current implementation does not support as many languages as Chrome does, but considering that the feature has not found its way to the Nightly channel yet it is not really something to worry about.

You can use the toolbar to display the original text again at any time, or use the options to define permanent preferences. You can configure Firefox's translation feature to never translate a language or language on a particular site.

One option that is currently missing is to always translate the selected language when it is encountered in Firefox.

The translation preferences link is working but the preferences page itself is not listing any options yet for the translation service.

Again, this is understandable considering that this is a development snapshot and not a finalized product yet. It is very likely the team will resolve these issues before the feature lands in any release version of the Firefox web browser.

Firefox's Machine Translation feature won't use Google Translate as Google has started to charge for API access which makes the project even more ambitious as it has to find or create an alternative that matches the quality of Google's translation service.

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