DeepL Translator now with document translation functionality
We reviewed the online translation service DeepL when it first appeared online in 2017 and concluded back then that it did offer high-quality translations that often beat those of comparable services such as Google Translate or Bing Translate.
Users had to paste or type text on the DeepL site to use the service to translate it to one of the supported languages. Language support was somewhat limited back then and that is unfortunately still the case with just seven languages supported at the time of writing.
DeepL supports English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Polish translations currently; this leaves out widely spoken languages such as Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and limits DeepL's reach because Google's and Microsoft's offerings support pretty much any language out there.
DeepL document translations
The company behind DeepL rolled out a new feature recently that gives users options to use the service to translate documents they upload to it automatically.
Usage is pretty straightforward as the new functionality has been baked into the interface. A click on the translate document on the Translator page on the DeepL website displays supported formats and lists the languages that the document may be translated to.
DeepL's support for formats is limited to the Office formats .docx and pptx right now; it does not support doc or ppt, or other formats such as plain text txt or open formats.
The document is uploaded to the service once you have made the selection. It is then translated on the fly and downloaded automatically to the local system again. You can click on the "download again" button to restart the download if something blocked it.
DeepL won't touch the formatting of the document in any way. The company states that the service translates all elements of the document including body text but also titles, captions, or footnotes, and that the original formatting is retained.
It is possible to edit the document locally after translation and download; DeepL Pro customers benefit from faster translation speeds and options to edit the translated file. I was able to edit the downloaded file in Word, however without Pro account.
DeepL promises that it will add support for additional formats in the coming months; the company did not reveal the formats in the announcement, however.
Support for document translations is an important feature that should increase the reach of DeepL. I threw a couple of documents at DeepL to find out how well the translation of documents worked.
While translations are understandable, they are far from perfect. I just checked the English to German translation capabilities; any document that I uploaded to DeepL needed work after the translation as sentences sounded robotic and not human-like for the most part.
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