How to turn Google Sheets into a translator

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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Many people love Google Docs, Sheets, and all the other free office services from Google because of how efficient and familiar they are.

They are also compatible with their Microsoft counterparts (Google Docs with Microsoft Word, Google Sheets with Microsoft Excel, etc.) making them great for personal use on a low budget.

What fewer people know is just how cross-compatible Google Docs is with other services from Google. One good example is how you can use Google Sheets and transform it into a multi-language translator.

This can be easily done by manipulating a few cells and giving them specific functions to operate off of.

In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how you can turn a simple Google Sheets document into a multi-purpose translator. By doing this, you won’t need to go to the Google Translate app in a separate tab anymore.

How can I turn Google Sheets into a universal translator?

  1. Launch your browser
  2. Go to
  3. Press on the Main Menu button in the top-left corner (it looks like 3 horizontal lines)
  4. Select Sheets from the drop-down list
  5. Press on the one labeled Blank to start a new spreadsheet
  6. Select a cell, and label it with the name of a language for easier recognition
    • In our example, we chose EnglishTranslate 1
  7. Select other cells, and label them with the names of other languages
    • Again, in our test, we chose Spanish and French
  8. Right under the cell where you wrote English, write an English word or a sentence
  9. Select another cell, such as right under Spanish, and write the following line in the functions bar (fx):
    • =GOOGLETRANSLATE(C2,”en”, “es”)Translate 2
      • In our case, C2 is the cell where we wrote the English word or sentence. Change this according to your needs</li>
      • “en” means that the source cell’s text is supposed to be detected as being an English word
      • “es” means that the destination cells need the Spanish (Espanol) translation of that English word or sentenceTranslate 3
  10. Press Enter

After a brief loading time, the destination cell will contain the Spanish translation of the source cell. One neat thing about this trick is that it supports dragging, meaning you can take the function and drag it along a column, and it will adapt accordingly.Translate 4

Additionally, this trick works with all languages that are supported by Google Translate.

For a quick summary of all major language abbreviations, check out the list below:

  • English – en
  • Spanish – es
  • French – fr
  • German – ge
  • Italian – it
  • Portuguese – pt
  • Russian – ru
  • Arabic – ar</li>
  • Hindi – hi
  • Chinee – zh
  • Japanese – ja
  • Korean – ko
  • Vietnamese – vi</li>

Did you find this trick useful? If you have any other questions or su>ggestions, leave them in the comments section below and we’ll certainly look at them.



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