Mozilla integrates Firefox Translations into Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
May 29, 2021

Mozilla has integrated Firefox Translations, the upcoming privacy-friendly translation system, into the latest Nightly version of the Firefox web browser. Translations happen locally on the system, and not in the cloud; this is the main distinguishing factor between the translation feature and popular solutions such as Chrome's Google Translate integration.

We have followed the development of Firefox Translations, previously known as Project Bergamot closely, ever since the project was revealed back in October 2019.

The first usable Firefox extension was released last month. Then-called Project Bergamot, it introduced translation functionality in the browser. Earlier this month, a second version was released and with it came the name change to Firefox Translations.

The new version introduced several improvements that made the extension leaner and more useful in the process.

Today, still in May 2021, Mozilla included the latest version of the translation engine into the Firefox Nightly browser. The feature is not enabled by default, but all users who use the latest Nightly version can install it. The Nightly version on my test system had the version 90.0a1 (2021-05-29).

The translation feature supports only a handful of languages at this time, including English and Spanish. Support for more languages will be introduced soon.

Enable Firefox's Translation feature

firefox enable translations

  1. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful.
  3. Search for extensions.translations.disabled.
  4. Set the preference to FALSE to enable translations in Firefox.
  5. Restart the browser.

You will find Firefox Translations listed under add-ons in Firefox. The version is still the same as the version that we reviewed earlier this month.

You can disable the translation feature again by disabling the extension in the add-ons manager, about:addons, or by setting the preference to TRUE instead.

Using the built-in translation feature

firefox built-in translations

Visit a website that is in a foreign language, which is not a system language on the operating system, and Firefox will display a small translation bar at the top. It offers the usual options, to translate the page, or to never translate the language or the site.

Closing Words

Integration in Firefox is a milestone for the project. While it is certain that the translations feature won't be included in Stable versions of the Firefox web browser anytime soon, it is clear that Firefox will get the long-awaited translation feature eventually.

Now You: Have you tried the translation feature? What would you like to see (via Sören Hentzschel)

Mozilla integrates Firefox Translations into Firefox
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Mozilla integrates Firefox Translations into Firefox
Mozilla has integrated Firefox Translations, the upcoming privacy-friendly translation system, into the latest Nightly version of the Firefox web browser.
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  1. Karyn wathen said on June 9, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    When will they come out with a translator for android OS?

  2. Gabriela said on July 7, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    I use the es-AR locale on a Windows 7 machine. I changed the pref, restarted Nightly and browsed to an English newspaper. No translation options to be seen. Am I doing something wrong? Any helpful tips please? I would greatly appreciate them!

  3. owl said on June 3, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Offline translation is destined to have to bundle the “language files” needed for translation. The program size can be reduced by limiting the number of “language files” to be included (for example, to your native language and English). This is also true for other programs (I remove and do not add unused language files in my multilingual programs).

  4. Rex said on June 2, 2021 at 6:13 am

    > Completely castrate the XUL extension system that made your browser powerful and truly extensible (in terms of extending the UI and adding new features, not just modifying webpages) in a bid to imitate Chrome and instead inherit all the malware that used to be written for Chrome since it can now easily be ported here (which mandatory extension signing and web extensions were supposed to prevent)

    > Go on adding more and more features that would’ve done great as extensions into the core browser, bloating it beyond compare and forcing it on everyone regardless of whether they wanted the feature or not. Started with Pocket and going strong.

    Total clown world.

    1. owl said on June 3, 2021 at 10:57 am


      “Firefox Translations” will be an officially supported browser extension by Mozilla. To use it or not to use it (enable/disable the feature) is a guaranteed user option. You may want to engage in negative agitation, but if you don’t comment based on the truth, no one will take you seriously as a “mere troll!

      The “XUL extension” is a technology from the early days of the Web, and nowadays, not only Mozilla but Pale Moon will also discontinue support for it because “its API can control the program itself and is seriously flawed, including the risk of external tampering”. Even in Waterfox, the addition of Legacy Add-ons is “limited to the Waterfox Classic version and XUL extension is not supported”.
      Should stop spouting outdated “delusions”.

  5. Sheikh said on May 31, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    the size of the add on is twice the browser size… they could have implemented the translation engine in the mozilla cloud servers.. this seems space wastage!

    1. Plants said on September 1, 2021 at 3:11 am

      >they could have implemented the translation engine in the mozilla cloud servers

      Do you realize that that would defeat the whole purpose?

  6. Anonymous said on May 30, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Cool feature. Too bad Proton killed Firefox for me.

  7. Tom Hawack said on May 30, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    “Translations happen locally on the system, and not in the cloud.”

    I imagine that a performant digital translation tool requires quite an amount of data and algorithms.
    As I see it, either Firefox, the installer and once installed, will triple (at least) its size, either the translations performed will be of low quality. Consider Google Translate, greatest number of languages, and DeepL Translate, best quality but less available languages : both must rely on megabytes, dozens maybe hundreds of them, to accomplish the quality we enjoy. I just cannot understand how Mozilla Translation will fit in the dilemma size/quality inherent to a locally based product.

  8. Anonymous said on May 30, 2021 at 9:46 am

    @Sol Shine

    Brave has absolutely nothing to do with that annoying AVG crap. I personally had to deal with it, because I used to have AVG on my computers some time ago, and apparently AVG won’t clear their crap when you uninstall their products.

    I don’t have a Windows 10 machine in front of me, so you’ll have to find the folders below on your own, I’ll only give you directions where to look.

    Open Registry Editor (regedit) and expand both HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

    You’ll find a directory called “Google” somewhere in both HKEY_ directories. Open Google > Chrome > Extensions and clear the content of the directory.


    1. Open regedit.
    2. Find Google > Chrome > Extensions (Note: it’s inside more than one HKEY_ directory!).
    3. Clear the content of the “Extensions” directory.

    1. Sol Shine said on May 30, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks for the info.

  9. Syd Williams said on May 30, 2021 at 3:51 am

    Translations without sending all your private data to Google? That’s amazingly cool. Thank you Mozilla. You’re not perfect, but you’re so much better than all the others.

    1. Karl said on May 30, 2021 at 10:40 am

      Oh are they also “better than all the others” they openly support censorship and deplatforming of people? and then spammed android with a firefox push notification to support the boycotting of Facebook because Facebook apparently doesn’t already censor enough?

      Yeah a translation extension surely changes that and now Firefox is the best /s
      You could… I don’t know, use another service, extension or even learn a new language so you don’t depend on connection and internet, I mean, there used to be a time where you got a little book, I don’t know if you know what that is, but it has pages of pages, and it had all the words in a language. Are Firefox translations even good or mostly garbage like anything else that will never be able to properly translate sentences.
      Let’s not even question how you are sending information to Mozilla and Firefox, so what makes you think they are any better when they get tons of money from google.

      There are other browsers like Brave that proxy the connection between you and google so google can’t track you back. but nah, Firefox is better, yeah yeah, “open and free internet for all” meme browser company, because of a translation extension!! open and free until you think twisted garbage like they think, if not, you should be censored and deplatformed, what wrong can go there… what is wrong with that picture, I guess it doesn’t matter because only Mozilla/Firefox, the only ones who get tons of money from google are getting your information instead of Google directly getting it through some translation extension that you could avoid using if you weren’t so lazy.

      1. Anonymous said on May 31, 2021 at 2:58 pm

        “they openly support censorship and deplatforming of people? ”
        Karl, quit with your bullshit.

        Mozilla is against people on social media platforms who entice harm. Your a typical case of someone reading half a statement and ignoring the rest.

      2. Anonim said on May 31, 2021 at 8:17 am

        They are getting tons of money because without them google will be sued for monopoly for even more tons of money, since chromium engine is used almost in any other place(since it is opensource, but controlled by google). So don’t think that Google is doing this just for some data for a small % of people which can be collected by other metods anyways. It’s just a way to avoid monopoly investigation from zones like EU, where each country can sue for millions$ for this kind of stuff

    2. Yash said on May 30, 2021 at 8:34 am

      “You’re not perfect, but you’re so much better than all the others” You sir won the day :-)

  10. Sol Shine said on May 30, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Important update:
    I said earlier that the Brave browser had installed the AVG SafePrice extension by default.
    Now I see that AVG updater was still installed on the laptop, even after I had previously uninstalled AVG antivirus and AVG updater on that laptop.
    It looks like AVG updater can not be unistalled using the normal uninstall feature of Windows 10.

    So it is possible that AVG updater working in the background is what automaticly installed the AVG SafePrice extension as soon as Brave was installed.
    If this is right, than I was wrong and Brave is in the clear, and this is another example of AVG sneaky tactics.
    What Brave still does wrong is using the setup program to download and install Brave.

    1. Beavi Stronk said on May 30, 2021 at 10:53 am

      Obviously you are wrong about Brave installing some lame extension from a lame “security” software AVG, hope you learned your lesson and stop blaming others for what YOU did.
      Probably you read one of those blogs talking about some Orange Browser Boogieman is bad and will eat you while you sleep… but come on, I don’t think anyone but you would think Brave is so dumb to install some obvious extension like that, I mean, you could how Brave is bad and how “Orange lion browser badz”, but you even admit you and only YOU installed AVG, so it is obvious Brave will install automatically whatever is in your computer installed, reason why Microsoft, AVG and Adobe and others install those plugins/extensions like that in your computer.

      1. Sol Shine said on May 30, 2021 at 4:13 pm

        @Beavi Stronk
        People make mistakes. I admitted mine and tried to fix it..
        You made the mistake assuming I installed AVG, even saying I admitted installing AVG.
        I did not. I was a friends laptop.
        I had even unistalled AVG from the laptop before installing Brave because I know it was spyware.
        I then assumed all of the AVG junk was uninstalled. I do not use AVG so did not know it left junk behind after uninstalling it.
        Then later I installed Brave, openend it to check the settiings and install uBlock origin.
        I then saw that it allready had the AVG extension installed.
        Would it not be logical to then assume that the extension came with the Brave installation?
        Then later I saw that some AVG junk (I forgot the exact name, updater or something like that) was still installed.
        So again thinking logicaly, I assumed that it was this AVG junk that installed the extension in Brave.
        I then made a new comment explaining the situation, to be fair to Brave and not give readers false info about Brave.
        I even gave reasons why I choose to install Brave in the first place.
        I also do not think it is unreasonable to think companies that start good can turn bad.
        Think of Google and Mozilla.

  11. Sol Shine said on May 29, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Having translations happen locally is good for privacy. So this is a good idea from Mozilla.
    Firefox gives you more privacy than Chrome.

    Related topic:
    Some websites only work with Chromium based browsers and not with Firefox.
    I use Ungoogled Chromium for such websites.
    But for non-techie family and friends I wanted a Chromium based browser that had a easier update mechanisme and a more secure future than Ungoogled Chromium.
    I choose Brave for that because they have a way of making money with ads that respect your privacy and support content makers.

    So last week I installed Brave on a friends laptop that runs Windows 10.
    To my surprise I saw that the Brave installation came with the AVG SafePrice extension installed by default. The extension was not enabled by default, which was strange.
    Why add it and not enable it?
    It was not in Brave on my Linux OS.

    The AVG SafePrice extension has a reputation of sneaky snooping on users and was removed from the Mozilla and Google stores for this reason. Later they were admitted to both stores, aftr making changes.
    Avast (Owner of AVG) has a reputation of using extensions to collect and then sell users browsing history

    Brave adding a extension that has a reputation of snooping, from a company that has a reputation of snooping on users, is a bad idea.
    My speculation is that the reason Brave added the extension and did not enable it yet, is idf users would notice and how they would react.
    If there was no large outcry, they would then enable it by default.
    Even if they did not enable it, having it installed in your browser by default is a bad idea and could cause some naive users to enable it, thinking it was needed or out of curiosity.

    Another problem with Brave, is that you can only install it on Windows using a small setip program that downloads and installs the Browser.
    This methode of installing programs is a privacy risk.
    By default I block all programs from having internet access and only give a selected few programs internet access.
    Before I let a Browser or other program get internet access, I want to install the program, run it to check it out and change settings to be more privacy friendly if needed.
    Then I can give it internet access.
    With Brave I have to give the setup program internet so that it can install Brave.
    The setup program can collect all kind of personal data (installed programs, user name, etc) and send that data to it’s masters.

    Sadly, my trust in Brave is gone. I wil be installing Ungoogled Chromium or Vivaldi as a Chromium-based browser.

  12. Dumbledalf said on May 29, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    13 years too late to the party.

    1. some1 said on May 30, 2021 at 10:41 am

      Who made offline translation that doesn’t send your data to Google, 13 years ago?!?!

      1. Dumbledalf said on May 30, 2021 at 2:28 pm

        Pretty much every offline dictionary program out there for the past 20+ years.

        There is no free lunch, you know, so don’t think that this is some kind of manna from heaven.

        Firefox and Mozilla funded by Google and Google mostly pays them so they can get all the data of Firefox users. If Mozilla denies, Google will close the valve and Mozilla will announce bankruptcy and Firefox will be gone. Even if they made it FOSS and give it to volunteers to keep working on it, which they won’t it won’t have a future unless it switches to Blink, because Gecko or whatever the current rendering engine is called keeps getting worse and worse at being web-compatible every day. After a while Mozilla, like Opera will be forced to abandon their rendering engine and embrace Blink.

      2. Plants said on September 1, 2021 at 2:28 am


        Name even one such program please. Let alone one that’s 20+ years old. And Firefox IS foss.

        Re: switch to Blink. Do you realize that monopoly is bad?

      3. John said on May 30, 2021 at 9:35 pm

        The off-line translation project is specifically funded by a grant from the European Union, not Google money.

        Also, some other search companies pay Mozilla for searches when selected by the user, so if Google stopped paying them, I would imagine they’d find something else to use as their default search engine. It might pay significantly less and that would pose an issue for Mozilla, but it wouldn’t necessarily be game over. Yahoo was actually Firefox’s default engine for a few years and paid them *more* (More is unlikely given what the search engine marketplace looks like now, but find someone to pay them something? Seems doable.).

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