How to translate webpages on iPhone or iPad

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translate webpages safari ipad
Cult of Mac in Catalan!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Do you ever find yourself staring at a web page, unable to understand a word? All the letters look familiar, only they’re arranged into some weird order? That’s called “foreign,” and it’s how people from outside America talk to each other. Some of them don’t even write their websites in English.

Fortunately, a good old American company has done something about this terrible habit. Microsoft Translator can fix up a web page and turn all that foreign gibberish into a language we can all feel comfortable with. You may already use Google’s translate bookmarklet for this, but Microsoft’s version is so much better it’s in a different league.

Microsoft Translator

Just tap the Microsoft Translator action extension to translate a page.
Just tap the Microsoft Translator action extension to translate a page.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Unlike Google’s bookmarklet — which puts a big banner at the top of the translated page, and manages not only to break the page layout, but also to disable all kinds of essential elements like links — Microsoft’s Translator doesn’t change the appearance of a page at all. It just switches out the original language for your target language. It looks much nicer, and you can continue to navigate from the page, instead of having to hit the back button from Google’s hideous incursion into your browser.

 

Translate webpages in place

You also don’t have to wait for Google’s translated version of the page to load. You get a progress counter at the top of the page which fills up as the translation goes towards 100%. The text is just replaced on the already-loaded page. It works from the top down, so you can start reading before it’s done.

Another big advantage of Microsoft Translator is that you can still use Safari’s Reader View

Cult of Mac in Catalan.
Cult of Mac in Catalan.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

To use Microsoft Translator in Safari on iPad and iPhone, just install the app, and then use its action extension when viewing a page. Just tap Safari’s Share Arrow, and then tap the Microsoft Translator icon, and you’re done.

Price: Free

Download: Microsoft Translator from the App Store (iOS)