Google Translate Alternatives

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Translate

Google has a firm grip with their products and services ubiquitous on the desktop. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there can be questions about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

In this series we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We recommend open source solutions.

TranslateGoogle Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service that translates text and websites from one language into another.

It offers a website interface, a mobile app, and an application programming interface that helps developers build browser extensions and software applications.

What open source alternatives are available? Unfortunately, alternatives are somewhat lean on the ground, but here are the best.


1. Pot

Pot translate
Click image for full size

Pot is a cross-platform translator application that offers translation by selection and input. It supports clipboard listening, screenshot optical character recognition, and screenshot translation.

Pot offers parallel translations with multiple services. As shown in the image to the right, we’ve entered some sample text which has been translated into Turkish by DeepL, Bing, Yandex, and Google Translate. A very wide range of languages are available although not every single one is supported by each service.


2. Apertium

We also like Apertium. This is a machine translation platform, initially aimed at related-language pairs but expanded to deal with more divergent language pairs (such as English-Catalan). There are 51 language pairs which are mature, and their GitHub repositories contain other language pairs in development.

Apertium
Click image for full size

The platform provides a language-independent machine translation engine, tools to manage the linguistic data necessary to build a machine translation system for a given language pair and linguistic data for a growing number of language pairs.


3. Speech Note

Speech Note lets you take, read and translate notes in multiple languages. It combines the power of Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Machine Translation. Text and voice processing takes place entirely offline, locally on your computer, without using a network connection. Enhanced privacy is always a big advantage with self-hosted software.

Speech Note translator


4. Argos Translate

Argos Translate is state of the art neural machine translation software. It’s written in Python and published under an open source license. Argos Translate uses OpenNMT for translations and can be used as either a Python library, command-line, or GUI application.

Here’s an image of the GUI in action which uses PyQt, a Python binding of the cross-platform GUI toolkit Qt. The GUI is very basic but functional.

Argos Translate GUI


Another useful open source translation solution is LibreTranslate. It’s built on top of Argos Translate. Unlike other APIs, it doesn’t rely on proprietary providers such as Google or Azure to perform translations.


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Google's Products and Services
Google AnalyticsAnalytics is a platform for both website and mobile app analytics. This hosted web analytics software remains the mostly widely used analytics service.
Google CalendarCalendar helps manage your busy life with a digital calendar. It offers tons of features and makes it easy to keep track of life’s important events all in one place.
Google ChatChat is communication software which provides direct messages and team chat rooms, together with a group messaging function.
Google ChromeChrome is application software for accessing the World Wide Web. It's the most popular web browser but has a chequered track record from a privacy perspective.
Google ClassroomClassroom is a learning platform for educational institutions that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments. The main aim of the platform is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students.
Google Contacts iconContacts is a contact management service. It's available on the sidebar of Gmail, a web app, and for Android.
Google DNSDNS resolves a particular domain name to its IP equivalent. There are many free DNS providers. A few stand out from the crowd.
Google DocsDocs is a web-based productivity office suite. The suite includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Keep.
Google DrawingsDrawings is diagramming software included as part of the web-based Google Docs Editors suite. Create and edit flowcharts, organizational charts, website wireframes, mind maps, concept maps, and more.
Google DriveDrive is a file storage and synchronization service. Want a solution that also includes the online office components available in Google Docs?
Google Earth ProEarth Pro maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS. Fly anywhere to see satellite imagery, 3D buildings, 3D trees, terrain, Street View, planets and much more.
Google FinanceFinance is a website focusing on business news and financial information. It provides real-time market quotes, international exchanges, financial news, and analytics.
Google FirebaseFirebase is a platform for creating mobile and web applications. It's currently their flagship offering for app development providing an all-in-one cloud service.
Fonts is a computer font and web font service. It offers font families and an interactive web directory for browsing the library.
Google FormsForms is a survey administration software included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite.
GboardGboard is a virtual keyboard app developed for Android and iOS devices. It features Google Search and predictive answers.
Google MailGmail is a hugely popular email service. You might not like the automated scanning of email content.
Groups is a service that provides discussion groups for people sharing common interests. Part of the service is similar to mailing lists.
JamboardJamboard is a digital interactive whiteboard developed to work with Google Workspace. Sketch your ideas whiteboard-style while benefiting from the access and connectivity of an interactive canvas, on mobile or directly from your web browser.
Google KeepKeep is a note-taking service. The app offers a variety of tools for taking notes, including text, lists, images, and audio.
Google MapsMaps is a web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, and interactive panoramic views.
Google MeetMeet is a video-communication service. It offers enterprise-grade video conferencing built on Google’s global infrastructure.
News is a news aggregator service. It offers a continuous flow of links to articles organized from thousands of publishers and magazines.
Google SearchPassword Manager is a password manager built into Chrome and Android devices. It's published under a proprietary license with little information about security used.
Google PhotosPhotos stores your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere. Lots of useful tools, but it’s difficult to shake the sinking feeling that Google is analysing your pictures.
Google SearchSearch looks at privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search. If you believe that Google invades your privacy, what alternatives do we recommend?
Google SheetsSheets is a spreadsheet program included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite.
Google SitesSites is a structured wiki and web page creation tool. Build internal project hubs, team sites, public-facing websites, and more—all without designer, programmer, or IT help.
Google SlidesSlides lets you create pitch decks, project presentations, training modules, and more. It's part of the Google Docs Editors suite.
Google TranslateTranslate is a multilingual neural machine translation service that translates text and websites from one language into another.
Google YouTubeYouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform. It's a hugely popular service but has encountered a number of privacy issues.
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Robert Ciobanu
Robert Ciobanu
3 months ago

Great post! Very informative and well-written. Looking forward to more content from this blog!Thank you