How to use Firefox Translations to translate websites in your browser

If you regularly translate websites in your browser, the official Firefox add-on might interest you. Here’s how to use Firefox Translations.

You can have your favorite websites translated into your native or preferred language while using the popular Firefox browser. This is possible with the Firefox Translations add-on. The Firefox Translations add-on works in the browser and is free.

In this article, you’ll learn more about Firefox Translations, how the add-on works, how to install and use the add-on, and how Firefox Translations compares to other cloud-based translation services.


How do Firefox translations work?

You may already be familiar with Google Assistant’s Interpreter mode, but wonder how the translation tools work. To translate languages, cloud-based services send your data to centralized data centers where GPU clusters deploy large language models to handle translations.

However, this is not the case with Firefox Translations. Mozilla’s Firefox Translations locally deploys all the necessary language machine learning tools and automatically translates websites right in your browser.

This provides complete privacy and anonymity allowing you to easily translate websites without disclosing your personal details to third parties in the process.

With Firefox Translations, you can fill out a web form in your own language and have it dynamically translated into the language of the page. It also flags low confidence translations in red so you can be aware of potential translation errors.

Firefox Translations currently supports eight major languages, namely:

  • Spanish
  • Estonian
  • English
  • German
  • Czech
  • Bulgarian
  • Portuguese
  • Italian

Four other languages ​​are in preparation, including Russian, Persian (Farsi), Icelandic, Nynorsk Norwegian and Bokmål Norwegian. Wondering what language you see? Try these popular language search services.

How to Install and Use Firefox Translations

Here’s how to install and use Firefox Translations to translate websites in Firefox:

  1. Open your Firefox browser.
  2. Go to the Firefox browser add-ons page.
  3. Click on Extensions.
  4. To research Firefox translations using the search box at the top of the page.
  5. From the available options, click Firefox translations. Or, you can just go directly to Firefox translations page.
  6. Then click on Add to Firefox.
  7. Review the information in the permissions pop-up window and click To add.

The add-on should now appear in the address bar next to the Bookmarks icon.

How to use Firefox Translations to translate a website

Firefox Translations is super easy to use. Here’s how to use Firefox Translations to translate a website.

  1. Open your Firefox browser and navigate to the website, page or article you want to translate.
  2. Click on the Firefox translations icon to display a new toolbar below the address bar.
  3. Click on the Choose a language box and select your target language.
  4. Click on Translate and wait for the translation engine to load and process the page.
  5. Check the Enable form translations to allow you to complete forms in other languages.
  6. Check the Highlight potential errors in red framed to point out any errors of interpretation.
  7. You can also have Firefox Translations automatically translate the current tab for all sites you visit by clicking Translate this tab automatically as you browse.

Firefox translations vs cloud-based translators

So how does Firefox Translations compare to other cloud-based translation services like Google Translate and other popular online translators?

The main difference between Firefox Translations and other cloud-based translators is that while the latter sends your data to centralized servers to be processed and translated via GPU, the former handles this process locally on the client side using your CPU. We’ve covered the differences between a GPU and a CPU.

This means that no data leaves your computer when translating a website with Firefox Translations. This ensures complete privacy and can serve as a model for more privacy-focused technology products.

Easily translate websites using Firefox Translations

There are many use cases for Firefox Translations and for online translators in general. For example, if you come across important information while browsing, you can translate it and forward it to family members or friends in a language they understand.

As online translators become more efficient, accurate, and accessible, we should see more client-side translators like Firefox Translations that work for websites and even word processors like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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