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6 Must-Have Chrome Extensions for Multilingual Professionals Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Language Learning, Language News

In almost any field—politics, medicine, public services, marketing, retail—there is an increasingly great need to speak to clients, customers, and partners in other languages.

For most busy professionals, life doesn’t pause so they can learn a new language full-time. We develop language learning programs that remove time and place restrictions so soldiers, nurses, business managers and beyond can learn with as little disruption as possible. But there are other small steps professionals can take to develop their language skills as they go about their daily routine.

How much time do you spend online, reading breaking news, industry trends, sales reports, competitor’s websites, and so on? Google Chrome plug-ins can make this time more useful by spritzing a little language into the mix. Here are a few of our favorite Chrome plug-ins for language learners:

Language Immersion

The Language Immersion Chrome extension switches certain words and phrases from English into a language of your choice on any web page. You can choose your own difficulty level, corresponding to fewer or more words being translated at a time. Hovering over a translated word lets you hear the pronunciation and you can turn it back to English with a simple click.

It’s available in all the Google Translate languages (except Japanese, so we hear), but beware: it relies on machine translation, which is usually reliable for individual words, but should always be double-checked as time allows. Even still, this is a powerful tool for any multilingual professional looking to further immerse themselves in the target language while still going about their daily routine.

Readlang

As you may know, we’re big fans of spaced repetition for language learning. That’s why we love Readlang Web Reader. This Chrome extension will save any website you are reading, translate unknown words when you hover, and create flashcards of selected words you’d like to remember. It’s your personal integrated dictionary that saves the words that you need most. The plug-in is currently available in Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish, with a few dozen other languages in beta.

Google Input Tools

In the age of emails and texting, it’s critical to learn how to type in any language you wish to speak. But that can take some time and not all programs or devices support multiple keyboard layouts. A useful alternative is the Google Input Tools plug-in, which allows you to enter text in multiple languages at the click of a button. According to Google, the extension provides virtual keyboards for over 90 languages, full IMEs or direct transliteration for over 30 different scripts, and handwriting input for over 40 languages.

Google Dictionary

Speaking of Google, if it’s a good pop-up dictionary you’re looking for, consider Google Dictionary. Hover over a word and receive a definition (or in this case, a translation). This plug-in currently supports: Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Slovak, and Spanish.

Talking Web

While most of these plug-ins build vocabulary, you likely also want to build your pronunciation and auditory skills. Talking Web is a simple plugin that can read web pages to you using Microsoft’s text-to-speech technology. It currently supports 12 languages: Chinese, English (US), English (UK), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian.

Language Switcher

For those already reading entirely in the target language, you may wish to filter your Google searches by language. For that, we recommend the Language Switcher plug-in. Wondering about the pharmaceutical industry in Korea, perhaps? Use this plug-in to direct your queries to the localized Korean version of Google. The plug-in is currently available for: English-US (queries on google.com), English UK (queries on google.co.uk), Italian, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (redirects on google.com.hk), Russian, and Dutch. (Note: some users have had trouble getting this plug-in to work recently, but there is a newer, similar one available called Advanced Page Language Switcher.)

What other must-have Chrome plug-ins are we missing? Leave your recommendations in the comments below.

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About the Author:Transparent Language

Transparent Language is a leading provider of best-practice language learning software for consumers, government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses. We want everyone to love learning language as much as we do, so we provide a large offering of free resources and social media communities to help you do just that!


Comments:

  1. TxNightOwl:

    I would like to learn Hebrew as I’m studying the bible & would like to read it in the original text. Do you have any helpful sites or apps that could help me? Thank you for your consideration of adding Hebrew apps that can speak the pronunciation of words.

    • Transparent Language:

      @TxNightOwl Hi! We offer Hebrew in Transparent Language Online, though the intent is to teach modern, spoken Hebrew, so you may not find a huge overlap in vocabulary with the Bible. On the other hand, it includes a Hebrew alphabet course and pronunciation practice activities, which will be helpful to anyone learning Hindi!

      You can try it free for two weeks and see what you think by signing up for the trial here: http://www.transparent.com/personal/transparent-language-online.html

  2. Precious:

    This is so helpful. Thanks a million.


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