Translation tools for writers

Online tools to help you communicate across language borders


Communities live by communication. Multilingual communities need communication across language borders. Naturally, not everyone is as fluent as a native speaker. Even native speakers need not be fluent in their own language. Here are some internet tools to help you improve your communication across languages.

Improving your texts

At the All Souls Protestant Church, we want to improve our communication. Even though everyone speaks English, not everyone is confident enough to be an author. “My English is not good enough” is a much-heard answer. Luckily a lot can be done to improve your texts by using some clever tools.

Being flawless is not the goal. The real issue is the content (what you write). To encourage people to contribute and to lower thresholds for potential authors is the goal of this post. Communities are a result of communication, not a result of flawlessness. Just go ahead and write something. The value is in the writing.

Once you start writing, tools are here to help you polish your texts.

Translating with Deepl

The best translation engine out there today is Deepl. The Germany-based company uses artificial intelligence to create phenomenal translations. Deepl translates to and from many European languages and gives results which are way better as the more widely known Google Translate.

Deepl now also released translation apps for Mac and Windows which make it extremely simple to use it on your own computer (internet connection needed).

deepl.com

Other languages: Use translate.google.com.

Dive deeper into languages with Leo

Leo.org is another fabulous website for writers and anyone interested in languages. Leo is a fantastic tool to find proper translations and expressions. An active forum is a perfect way to ask questions and verify expressions in languages you are not very familiar with. The website leo.org always presents a list of found expressions, showing varieties (like British and US English), highlighting ambiguous terms, and adding posts from the forum about the search term.

Leo also has apps for Android and iOS as well as several other tools to work in web browsers.

Spellchecking with Grammarly

If you are writing English texts, Grammarly is a must. It interprets your texts, checks your grammar and syntax and offers great spellchecking. It will not auto-correct your texts, but rather present changes, that you can correct it yourself. For that reason, Grammarly is also a great learning tool.

Grammarly is everywhere. Find Grammarly online at the website, as a plug-in for Web browsers, or as native desktop applications and there even are apps for mobile devices.

Duden Mentor for German

Duden dictionaries are the leading dictionaries for the German language. The equivalent of the Grammarly website for German is mentor.duden.de. On this website as well, you can check your texts thoroughly. The basic functionality is free.

Duden Mentor has not yet any other native tools for this functionality.

Other Tools

There are numerous other (online) tools. For example languagetool.org offers text corrections in multiple languages, both as Add-ons for browsers or as standalone software for your desktop. It is helpful to be aware of these tools and use them wherever you feel it’s appropriate.

Strategies to follow

There are several strategies you can follow. For example, if you know your languages, simply write in English, but switch on Grammarly. This will give you a reliable spellchecking and much more. If your mother tongue is German, consider writing your text in German, correct it with Duden Mentor, then translate it with Deepl, followed by a thorough reading by yourself or someone else.

What else do you find helpful in writing? Let us know!