Friday, November 12, 2021

Offline Translation in Monterey

Howard Oakley:

The basics are very simple: select the text you want to translate, which could have been recognised and converted using Monterey’s new Live Text feature, bring up the contextual menu (Control-click, two-finger tap, etc.) and from that select the Translate … command.


I therefore recommend that, for the time being at least, and for those languages you’re most likely to use, you enable offline translation and download the supporting files required.

Do this by clicking on the new Translation Languages… button at the foot of the General tab in the Languages & Region pane.

This is a useful feature, but I ran into some issues with how it’s implemented:

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1/ it works well in Safari, for those languages I have downloaded – I am a little puzzled by that mention that Safari “always processes translations online”. I had some text (Safari) page in a language for which I had not downloaded a dictionary. the popover opened and suggested I downloaded the dictionary.

2/ you cannot select the translated text, but there is a button (or two, depending on the app you are in) at the bottom of the popover to copy or replace the selected text. When moving from e.g. Safari to e.g Textedit, teh popover disappears but the original text remains selected.

3/ overall the quality for those languages I used is good - DeepL is still better though. It is still machine translation though.

In my limited experience so far, it's also not very good at translating single words. For that the old Dictonary app still seems far superiour. Dictonary also has the advantage that you can invoke it on any selected word with a keyboard shortcut (CTRL-CMD-D).

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