There’s a whole world outside of the English-speaking corner of the internet, so chances are you’ve stumbled upon a website in a language that isn’t your own.
When you do this, resist the temptation to immediately tap the back button, as modern mobile browsers can translate the text in just a few clicks. The accuracy of these tools isn’t perfect, but the technology behind them keeps getting better, and even with some bugs, you’ll still be able to understand the main idea and details in a story.
What you need to do to translate a website on your mobile device depends on your preferred browser. In most cases, the app assumes that the language you speak fluently is set on your phone, which is controlled via System & Languages & Input in Settings on Android and via General & Language & Region in Settings on iOS becomes.
How to translate websites in Google Chrome app
Google has both a popular mobile web browser and a translation engine. So when you open a foreign language website in Chrome, you’ll see an overlay popup at the bottom (Android) or top (iOS) screen offering to translate it for you. Tap English (Android) or Translate (iOS) to decode the content.
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Translation will continue across the site until you turn it off. So when you browse links on the site, the text will still be automatically displayed in English. If you need to revert to the original language on an Android device, tap it in the translation bar. On iOS, tap the Google Translate icon to the left of the address bar and select View Original.
Tap the three dots (Android) or gear icon (iOS) on the right side of the translation popup to automatically translate specific languages or websites. You can also manage these options by tapping the three dots in the top-right (Android) or bottom-right (iOS) corner of the Chrome interface and selecting Settings and Languages.
How to translate websites in the Microsoft Edge app
Edge (for Android and iOS) also comes with its own translation engine. Open a website in a language that isn’t your own and you’ll see a translation offer at the bottom (Android) or top (iOS) of the screen. Tap to accept the translation, which will continue as long as you stay on the same site.
If Edge misdetected a language, you want translations to run automatically, or you want to exempt the current site from future translations, tap the three dots (Android) or gear icon (iOS) on the overlay that appears. On Apple devices, these additional options are also presented as an additional step before translating a website.
To return to the original language, reload the page and don’t accept the translation when prompted. You can also configure how the browser manages translations through the browser app settings: tap the three dots at the bottom of the Edge UI, then select Settings, General, and Microsoft Translator.
How to translate websites in Apple Safari app
Safari comes as a built-in browser on iOS and can take care of all your translation needs. Load a website in a language other than your iPhone’s default language, tap the AA icon to the left of the address bar at the bottom of the screen, and choose Translate to English from the menu that appears.
You must also tap Enable Translation on the next dialog box to confirm that you consent to Apple sending the website’s text to its servers for translation. If not, you will have to rely on your own language skills. Safari remembers which websites you’ve given it permission to translate the next time you visit them.
The translation will stay on until you leave the current website, so any links you tap on within the same website will be automatically translated without an additional privacy pop-up coming through. To return to the original language on a page, tap the translation icon to the left of the address bar, then tap View Original.
How to translate websites in other mobile browsers
Many other mobile browsers are available, including some with built-in translation options (Brave) and others without (Opera). You can always use the translation features built into your phone’s software to decode blocks of text if needed. It’s not quite as helpful as translating entire pages, but it’s better than nothing.
[Related: How to translate any website from your browser]
On Android, you must first install the Google Translate app. Open it, tap on your profile picture (top right), select Settings and then Tap to Translate to enable the feature. Once that’s done, you should be able to select text in any of your apps and select “Translate” in the pop-up overlay to do just that.
On iOS, simply select a block of text and the “Translate” option should appear (if not, tap the right arrow icon). You’ll need to confirm that you’re OK with Apple analyzing the text, and if so, you’ll be presented with a window with the translated text. You can have it read to you or copy it to your iPhone’s clipboard.