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How to Get Automatic Email Translations in Gmail

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Spam or misdirected message? Auto-reply or phishing attempt?

Is my Chinese even worse than I thought, or do the characters really make no sense?

To answer these questions in Gmail, you do not have to call over the Cantonese colleague, hunt down your translator friends or copy and paste the entire message into an online translation robot, say Google Translate.

To answer these questions in Gmail, you have but to click Translate and the Google Translate engine will transform the email before your eyes from perfect Turkish to English in no time.

Get Automatic Email Translations in Gmail

To get an email in a foreign tongues translated right in Gmail:

  • Open the desired email.
  • Pick the desired source and target languages (or, of course, Detect language for the former if you're not sure) in the translation bar that appears above the message's body.
    • If you do not see a translation bar:
      • Click the More down arrow next to the message's Reply button.
      • Select Translate message from the menu that comes up.
    • Gmail will remember the language you have selected as the target as the default for translations.
  • Click Translate message.

See the Message in Its Original Form

To read the email in the original language:

  • Click View original message while seeing the translated email.

(Updated May 2012)

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