Using DeepL for Genealogical Translations
Sooner or later, we all have received emails from fellow researchers in a language other than our own. In past years, we have had to ask around for volunteers to translate or at least provide a summary of what was written. Then came Google Translate and the many languages that can be translated online. Google Translate has been a blessing for us – we quickly forgot what it was like before it existed.
Like any new technology based on Artificial Intelligence, Google Translate is not perfect and we soon learned the importance of translating up and back until the messages we send in a foreign language made perfect sense to us. But what about those messages that we receive in a language other than our own that may not be clear or can be interpreted in several ways? While not perfect either, the arrival of DeepL has been a major help by providing alternative and often smoother translations that are more appropriate for the topic or sentence.
Before talking about how to use DeepL, we do want to mention a cautionary note based on the results of a recent study. It stated that for sentences, DeepL is usually more fluid and accurate while for individual words, Google Translate should also be consulted.
As Polish is the language for which we most often need a translation, we refer to it in the following how-to instructions.
Step-by-step tutorial on how to use DeepL to translate Polish text to English
We have provided screenshots to assist in the journey, along with each step.
Step 1: Accessing DeepL
To get started, open your web browser and navigate to the DeepL website. There’s a text box in the center of the screen where you enter the text you want to translate.
DeepL also has an option to drag and drop PDF, Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx), or text (.txt) files.
Step 2: Selecting the languages
To translate from Polish to English, select the appropriate languages from the drop-down menus on either side of the text box.
Step 3: Entering the text
Copy and paste or enter the Polish text you want to translate into the text box. You can enter up to 5,000 characters at a time. When composing a message in your language, we recommend that you “copy and paste” so that you will have the original text to modify if translating up and back (and refine the text) to be sure the message will be clear to your recipient. To reduce the possibility of confusion, we also suggest using short sentences wherever possible.
Step 4: Translating the text
Click the “Translate” button to start the translation process. DeepL will analyze the text and produce a translation in English, which will appear in the text box to the right.
Step 5: Reviewing the translation
Review the translated text carefully to ensure that it accurately conveys the intended meaning. If you notice any errors, you can edit the text directly in the text box.
To repeat what is mentioned in step 3: When composing a message in your language, we recommend that you “copy and paste” so that you will have the original text to modify if translating up and back (and refine the text) to be sure the message will be clear to your recipient. To reduce the possibility of confusion, we also suggest using short sentences wherever possible.
Step 6: Using the translation
Once you’re satisfied with the Polish->English / English->Polish translation, copy and paste it into a document, email, flyer or any other countless options.
In conclusion, DeepL is a powerful tool that makes it easy to translate one language to another and refine the translation as needed. By following these steps and using the suggested images as a guide, you can quickly translate the text you need.
Other DeepL Options.
1. Embed the DeepL widget into your Chrome or Edge browsers to instantly translate email.
2. Download the software to have DeepL “always available.”
3. Upgrade to the DeepL Pro version for additional features and large files.