When we need to translate a text from the language of Shakespeare to that of Molière or others, several possibilities and means are available for us. The best option is always to call upon the services of an experienced translator. However, when such an option is not possible, there are still many free online translation solutions available.

The number of online translation tools is quite large and offers the possibility to translate a text at a lower cost while staying at home or behind the screen.

Despite the many services, the translation quality level is not similar. Some free translation sites take a global approach, working more on the general meaning, while others commit themselves to translate a sentence, an extract or even a whole text word for word.
 In light of this wide-ranging choice, here is a list of 5 essential online translation tools:

1. Google Translation

it is often the primary reflex when one is looking for the translation of a word or a sentence in a few seconds. It is the most used online translation service in the world. Developed by Google, it responds immediately to the request, and offers an endless number of languages (more than a hundred). The quality of the translated texts, although offering comprehensible results in the majority of cases, is certainly not up to what a human translator would be able to offer you.

2. DeepL

Fairly recent (launched in 2017), it is considered by many specialists as the most relevant and efficient online translation software in terms of translation quality. There are no grammar errors, the context and sentence structures adapt dynamically. Created by the Linguee website team, DeepL relies on its database to carry out its translations. Its only drawback is its reduced number of translation languages (7 languages).

3. Reverso

Another great name in free online translation, Reverso has the advantage of accompanying its translations with examples of use, allowing the translated sentence to be contextualized.

Reverso can translate from French into English, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and Japanese.

4. Linguee

One of the most convenient free translation tools.

Unlike machine translation tools, it offers several examples of use in different contexts, in order to find the most accurate translation possible.

5. Systran

The Systran company primarily sells translation software for individuals and professionals. 

In order to promote these and also to attract Internet users. It offers on its website a window allowing you to translate your texts into about fifteen languages.


Online automated translation tools seem to provide acceptable results, especially for those who do not have a budget to invest in translation. 

Nevertheless, the robot translator will never replace the human performance that conveys tone, style, redefining whilst retaining the structure of a text and underlining every nuance without losing its meaning. 

The progress of automated systems is real, as shown by the results of standardized tests that are used to rigorously evaluate the quality of the tools. 

Chances are that the future lies in the combination of man and machine rather than in their opposition.

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