QTranslate, Versatile Desktop Translator For Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 6, 2012
Updated • Dec 25, 2012
Software, Windows software

Having a translator at hand can be quite useful when you are browsing the Internet. With users from different social background and countries coming together, there is always the chance that you stumble upon text written in languages that you do not understand. Often your only option to make sense of the text is to use a machine translation service like Google Translate or Microsoft Translate.

Web browsers like Google Chrome offer built-in translation options, others offer add-ons like Quick Translator to add this functionality to the web browser.

But browser add-ons or features are limited to one browser, which may not be enough if you are also receiving emails, messages or documents in languages that you are not fluent in.

That's where desktop translation clients come into play. QTranslate is a lightweight free translation software for the Windows operating system. The program supports six different translation engines: Google Translate, Microsoft Translate, Promt, SDL, Yahoo Babel Fish and Yandex.

QTranslate registers several global hotkeys that let you translate text from any open program window. The two most important hotkeys are Ctrl-q, which displays a translation of the highlighted text in a popup window, or Ctrl-Ctrl which sends the highlighted text to the program window where it is then translated.

Tests in the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email client, Google Mail and Microsoft Office were all successful.

QTranslate detects the original language the highlighted text is written in automatically. First time users need to make sure that the target language is set correctly in the main program window.

desktop translator

The keyboard shortcut Ctrl-e furthermore uses text to speech synthesis to read the text out loud. This only works if Google Translate or Microsoft Translate are selected as the translation engines.

Another interesting option is the ability to run a web search for selected text with the shortcut Ctrl-w. Web hits are displayed in a small popup window next to the highlighted text.

web search

The program keeps track of all previous translations, which can be displayed in a history window with the shortcut Ctrl-H.


QTranslate is a versatile translation software for the Windows operating system. Support for six translation services and hotkey driven translations are the program's main selling points.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Roman ShaRP said on February 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Second screenshot, of English-Russian translation, makes me cry :.-/ But machine translations from Latin-based to Cyrillic-based languages was never good

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