How to Build Your Self-Translating Glossary in Google Sheets

I am certainly not saying that Google can create your glossaries for you when preparing for a technical conference on African wildlife or nanotubes. But if you know your languages well enough to tell a bad translation from a good one, it may still be a time-saver. Especially for those words you don’t use every day, like Salpetersäure or grey crowned crane, and that you only put into your glossary to trigger your memory.

To integrate the automatic translation function in a glossary in Google Sheets, you can either enter the translation formula directly with the click over here now into the respective cells, or use the nice little add-on Translate My Sheet.

This is what the formula looks like:
=Googletranslate(A2,„en“,„es“)
A2
being the cell with the orginal text, en the source language and es the target language.

Here is a short demo video on how to use the GoogleTranslate formula in a glossary:

If you want to use Translate My Sheet, you first need to go to the Add-ons menu and add it to your add-ons („get add-ons“, search for the add-on, add it). The user interface looks like this:

This video shows an example of Translate  My Sheet translating from English into Spanish:

And this one shows English into German:

I found the quality similar to that of the Microsoft Translator – not too bad as long as your language combination includes English.

And don’t forget: Never translate (or even handle) your client’s sensitive data in Google without their permission!


About the author

Anja Rütten is a freelance conference interpreter for German (A), Spanish (B), English (C) and French (C) based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has specialised in knowledge management since the mid-1990s.