By thinking about this blog post, I knew that it won’t be the only one dealing with helpful tools. No matter if these are for computers or smartphones, there are a lot of little helpers making the use of our technological devices even handier. So I decided to open up a series for this topic and call it “Toolish”. As I said, I’ll show you some nice tools within this series that built up your knowledge within the world of IT and technology and will make you everything but not look like a techy fool 😉
Well then, let’s start with the first tool.
As I mentioned in About, English isn’t my first language. So, since I’m studying in London I, therefore, have to use a translator from time to time. For example, when I’m writing a blog post…andneed to look up a word I always have to switch between the taps in my browser window. But now, I found a really good tool to avoid exactly this annoying step. And I’m sure it can be of great usage for you, too. I mean, if you use translators of course.
For nearly every internet browser you can install so-called “add-ons”. The Oxford Dictionary defines this as follows: An accessory device or piece of software designed to increase the capability of a computer […]. In this case, we’re increasing the capability of your internet browser. I’ll show you some solutions that make using an online translator much more practically.
Add-on no. 1: Linguee
Unfortunately, this dictionary add-on is, apparently, only available for Firefox. In my opinion, it’s a great tool, though. With Linguee you can translate several languages into others, just choose what you need. Type into your search engine something like “linguee translator add on firefox” and the first or one of the listed results should lead you to the add-ons page of Mozilla Firefox itself. Click on the green button “add to firefox” as shown in the picture below:
Allow Firefox to install the add-on. If it doesn’t appear by itself in the top right corner, click on this button:
At the bottom of the window click on:
You can now see the Linguee add-on in the list, as shown below, and customise the browser window.
Easily, just drag the icon towards wherever you want to place it. As an example, I placed it right beside the URL box. After you’ve done so, just confirm with clicking on the blue circled button:
How to use it:
By clicking on the little icon, a search bar will open up and you can easily type in whatever you need to be translated. If you’re surfing on a website that is written in a foreign language you can also mark single words then click on the icon and it’ll show you the translation automatically.
Add-on no. 2: Leo.org
This solution works for Firefox and Google Chrome. But, for your information, this translator operates mainly with German and its translations into eight different languages. Which means, you cannot translate French into Spanish e.g. Now you know what my mother tongue is, don’t you? 😉
So, use your search engine and type in something like “leo translator add on firefox” or “leo translator add on chrome”.
For Firefox, the installing procedure is exactly the same as by Linguee. The user interface, however, is different. Once you’ve installed this add-on you can only translate words, you’ve marked. Then use a right-hand click, go down to “Translate”/ “Übersetzen” and choose the language. A new tab will automatically open up and show you the translation on the leo.org website itself.
With Google Chrome, you have two opportunities to use the leo.org translator. Either the “LEO Dictionary Widget”, which will appear as the first result, or “LEO Wörterbuchsuche”, which will appear secondly.
“LEO Wörterbuchsuche” works exactly like the add-on for Firefox. Once you’ve installed it, an icon will appear in the top-right corner of the browser window. Chrome itself leads you really good through this installation and shows you the appearance of the new add-on. Although you have this icon, you won’t really need it, because it works as follows: mark the word you want to have translated, make a right-hand click, go to “LEO Wörterbuchsuche”, then choose the language and it’ll lead you to leo.org itself.
“LEO Dictionary Widget” works a little bit like the Linguee add-on. After the installation, you’ll also see the appearance of a little lion head icon in the top right corner of your browser window. But also, you won’t need it. This add-on functions in three different ways.
- You can mark a word, make a right-hand click, choose “Look up [the word(s)]” and a little window will pop up, like this:I marked the word “surface” in this article and LEO shows me the possible translations into German.
- Instead of using the right-hand click, just press the key combination “alt+w” and the window pops up with the translations, too.
- You can also use the key combination “alt+w” to open up the translator window without having marked a word to translate whatever you want.
Alright, that’s it! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything similar for Internet Explorer or Safari. But I recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox anyway. To be fair though, I haven’t tried Opera, yet. But Opera doesn’t have these add-ons from Linguee and leo.org as far as I figured that out – only others. If you want to try, just check the add-ons page of Opera 😉 As long as you don’t use Internet Explorer…