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Translate automatic or manual in Outlook

Outlook for Windows has both automatic and manual options to translate incoming messages into a language you understand. We’ll explain the choices available and the Outlook settings that are in a strange order.

Microsoft Translator supports over 100 languages, enabling users to translate text across a diverse array of linguistic contexts. You can easily translate either a selection of text or an entire document, file, or email across a wide range of languages. The translation feature powered by a cloud-based Translator service so an Internet

The Translation functionality is integrated directly into the software provided you are using Outlook 2019 or a later version for Windows or as part of Microsoft 365.  We’re talking here about ‘classic’ Outlook for Windows. ‘New’ Outlook has similar translation features but that’s still a work in progress.

Outlook has two translation options. Manual where you choose either a message or part of a email and select Translate.  Automatic will translate incoming emails right away into your preferred language.

Set your preferred language and other settings

To translate messages in Outlook, you must first establish your preferred translation language/s and also tell Outlook what languages you know.

Go to File | Options | Language | Translation. Change the options from the bottom to the top (a strange choice in ordering by Microsoft.

Manage Languages: select your language or languages. These are languages you know and Outlook will NOT automatically translate.

Translate messages into: the default language to translate into.

How to handle messages received in other languages:  Outlook can either automatically translate, ask if you want a translation or ‘Never Translate’.  More on that below.

Once you’ve made your selections, click “OK” to apply the changes.

Translate an email Message in Outlook for Desktop

Depending on your selected preferences, the email will either be automatically translated or provide you with the option to translate it. In either case, you should see a link within the message to translate it into your preferred language.

Select some text in an email message and select “Translate” from the menu to view the selected message translated to your preferred language.

If you select Translate Message, then your entire message is translated to your preferred language.

You have the option to switch back and forth between the translation and the original text. Click the Show Original link right above the message to revert.

Note – You only need to set your preferred translation language once. Afterward, you can translate any email message in Outlook by selecting Translate| Translate Message.

You can utilize the translation feature for outgoing emails in Outlook.

Enable Auto Translation for Emails In Outlook

Although translating email messages in Outlook app is quick, you can further streamline the process by automating it. By doing so, Microsoft Outlook will translate messages in different languages into your preferred language automatically. Setting up automatic email translation in the Microsoft Outlook app is a straightforward process.

To enable auto translate, select the “Always translate” option.

Select your preferred language from the drop-down menu next to “Translate messages into” and then click on the “OK” button to confirm your selection.

Translations are not saved

Outlook Translation doesn’t save any translations, most notably not for translations of an entire incoming email.

That means you have to request a new translation each time you view the message, which might not be possible if you’re offline.

Without translation saving, it can be hard to find the message in an Outlook search of the email text.

A clumsy alternative is to open the email and edit the message to add the translated text.

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About this author

Mayurakshi Mohapatra

Maya has been a contributor to Office Watch since 2017. She's an experienced Technical Writer working in the gaming, entertainment and financial industries. Boasts a Master of Arts (M.A.) in English Language and Literature. After a stay in Sydney, she speaks both English and Australian . ‘Making a difference’ is her motto in life.