Speech Recognition

Crow Translate – free desktop translation software

Google Translate is a free multilingual machine translation service developed by Google, to translate text. It’s a popular service. We use Google Translate to offer translations on LinuxLinks (see the right hand column of every page).

Crow Translate uses this API, along with similar APIs provided by Yandex and Bing. Crow Translate bills itself as a cross-platform, lightweight, translator supporting 117 different languages.

It sports both a command-line interface and a graphical user interface. The software is written in C++ and uses the Qt cross-platform application framework and widget toolkit.


Crow Translate is released under an open source license. So you can download, compile, and install the software.

I generally recommend users compile software. It’s a good way of learning more about how software works, as well as deepening their understanding of how the operating system functions.

The developer provides official packages for Debian/Ubuntu systems, as well as Windows. Other popular distributions also provide packages for the software. For example, it’s included in the Arch User Repository.

On a fairly vanilla Ubuntu 18.10, I was missing libqt5multimedia5 and libqt5multimedia5-packages. But after installing these packages, installation proceeded smoothly.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary


  1. Please recall there is a data security issue here. Your text is stored on the Google server if you use the Google API so you should not use this for anything confidential. Presumably the other APIs do the same to improve the quality of the translations.

      1. No, it isn’t. Doug is correct in pointing that out.
        Is it useful? Sure. Should it be used without care? Definitely not.

        Did you know Facebook registers everything its users write even if they eventually delete the text and decide not to post?

    1. Well, you shouldn’t use internet nowadays at all. Everything is tracking you. Do you give email and your name to leave commentary here, right?

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