Google Translate Service

This service provides access to Google Translate from almost anywhere you can edit text on Mac OS X. Select some text and choose “Google Translate” from your application’s Services menu. Choose a translation from the window that pops up and click Translate. The selection is replaced with its translation.

Download Google Translate Service 67 KB

I wrote this a few weeks ago. I didn’t release it because I wasn’t completely satisfied with its behavior, although I did document some of the quirks I encountered.

I haven’t resolved those issues, but I have found the service useful—or at least amusing. So, I’ve decided to release it anyway. Consider this a prototype. The main problem is that the window containing your selection loses focus after running the service. It’s got other rough edges, too.

What’s fun is the fact that you can actually translate selected portions of web pages in Safari (interesting, since the page content isn’t otherwise editable). Other tools exist to translate web pages, and the same thing can probably be accomplished with a clever JavaScript bookmarklet, but this mechanism let you translate selectively, and it works outside the browser.

This software is not endorsed or supported by Google (or by me).

Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2007. Tags: .