Translation function in Excel

Can you call a Translation service to return results in Excel?

After checking out the clever European word translator, we started wondering about loading translations into Excel.   It should be simple to have some code to call a web server and return a translation of a word.

Office 2010 and Office 2013 have a ‘mini translator’ feature in the Research pane but that has to be done manually. 

We’re looking for an automated approach, ideally a function like Translate(“English”, “Turkish”,”My Hovercraft is full of eels”).  

It’s not an unreasonable ask for Excel since its main rival, Google Docs, has been able to do it since 2009 with the function GoogleTranslate(“text”, “source language”,”target language”) which can translate words, phrases and sentences.

Sadly, Microsoft hasn’t put a similar function into Excel.

We found an add-in Google Translate for Excel which also supports the Bing Translate service.   Aside from the price of $39, you also have to pay for API access to Google Translate.

For occasional use, you might want to make a Google Docs worksheet and copy the results from there to Excel.