What you need to know
- A new partial translation feature has been spotted on Google Chrome’s Canary channel.
- The tool allows you to translate selected text on a webpage into any supported language.
- It’s not fully operational right now, but it gives us an idea of when Chrome’s next translation update will be.
Google Translate has seen a number of functional improvements in recent months, but it still lacks one key feature: the ability to translate selected text. That could change soon, if a new feature spotted in Chrome Canary is any indication.
The search giant appears to be working on a partial translation option in Chrome’s Canary channel, as discovered by Reddit user Leopeva64-2 (opens in a new tab) (via 9to5Google (opens in a new tab)). The feature will allow you to translate parts of a webpage into any language supported by the service.
As you can see in the screenshots below, a bubble interface containing the highlighted text appears after you right click on a selection of text on a page and choose the translate option from the menu contextual. There is also an option to translate the entire page itself.
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You can change the destination language as you wish by clicking on the three-dot menu in the translation bubble. This option makes it easier to switch between languages rather than jumping through hoops as things stand.
However, this feature isn’t fully functional yet, which isn’t surprising for a feature discovered in Chrome Canary. When and if Google makes the partial translation tool available in the stable version of Chrome, it will be especially handy when opening a multilingual webpage.
If this feature sounds familiar, that’s because Microsoft Edge has had it for a while. Google Lens for Chrome also got a similar experience in April as part of a major update, including the ability to copy texts over an image or translate them. This feature has rolled out to many top Chromebooks and PCs.