Translate Shell

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Translate Shell (formerly Google Translate CLI) is a command-line translator powered by Google Translate (default), Bing Translator, Yandex.Translate and Apertium. It gives you easy access to one of these translation engines your terminal:

$ trans 'Saluton, Mondo!'
Saluton, Mondo!

Hello, World!

Translations of Saluton, Mondo!
[ Esperanto -> English ]
Saluton ,
    Hello,
Mondo !
    World!

By default, translations with detailed explanations are shown. You can also translate the text briefly: (only the most relevant translation will be shown)

$ trans -brief 'Saluton, Mondo!'
Hello, World!

Translate Shell can also be used like an interactive shell; input the text to be translated line by line:

$ trans -shell -brief
> Rien ne réussit comme le succès.
Nothing succeeds like success.
> Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.
What does not kill me makes me stronger.
> Юмор есть остроумие глубокого чувства.
Humor has a deep sense of wit.
> 學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。
Learning without thought is labor lost, thought without learning is perilous.
> 幸福になるためには、人から愛されるのが一番の近道。
In order to be happy, the best way is to be loved by people.

Prerequisites

System Requirements

Translate Shell is known to work on many POSIX-compliant systems, including but not limited to:

Dependencies

These dependecies are optional, but strongly recommended for full functionality:

Environment and Fonts

It is a must to have corresponding fonts for the language(s) / script(s) you wish to display in your terminal. See wiki: Writing Systems and Fonts for more details on scripts and recommended Unicode fonts.

Try It Out!

Start an interactive shell and translate anything you input into your native language: (in bash or zsh)

$ gawk -f <(curl -Ls git.io/translate) -shell

(in fish)

$ gawk -f (curl -Ls git.io/translate | psub) -shell

Installation

Option #1. Direct Download

Download the self-contained executable and place it into your path. It's everything you need.

$ wget git.io/trans
$ chmod +x ./trans

There is a GPG signature.

Option #2. From A Package Manager

Add the following line to your .zshrc:

antigen bundle soimort/translate-shell

Using your favorite package manager

See wiki: Distros on how to install from a specific package manager on your distro.

$ git clone https://github.com/soimort/translate-shell
$ cd translate-shell/
$ make
$ [sudo] make install

In case you have only zsh but not bash in your system, build with:

$ make TARGET=zsh

The default PREFIX of installation is /usr/local. To install the program to somewhere else (e.g. /usr, ~/.local), use:

$ [sudo] make PREFIX=/usr install

Getting Started by Examples

Translate a Word

From any language to your language

Google Translate can identify the language of the source text automatically, and Translate Shell by default translates the source text into the language of your locale.

$ trans vorto

From any language to one or more specific languages

Translate a word into French:

$ trans :fr word

Translate a word into Chinese and Japanese: (use a plus sign "+" as the delimiter)

$ trans :zh+ja word

Alternatively, equals sign ("=") can be used in place of the colon (":"). Note that in some shells (e.g. zsh), equals signs may be interpreted differently, therefore the argument specifying languages needs to be protected:

$ trans {=zh+ja} word
$ trans '=zh+ja' word

You can also use the -target (-t) option to specify the target language(s):

$ trans -t zh+ja word

From a specific language

Google Translate may wrongly identify the source text as some other language than you expected:

$ trans 手紙

In that case, you need to specify its language explicitly:

$ trans ja: 手紙
$ trans zh: 手紙

You can also use the -source (-s) option to specify the source language:

$ trans -s ja 手紙

Translate Multiple Words or a Phrase

Translate each word alone:

$ trans en:zh word processor

Put words into one argument, and translate them as a whole:

$ trans en:zh "word processor"

Translate a Sentence

Translating a sentence is much the same like translating a phrase; you can just quote the sentence into one argument:

$ trans :zh "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,"
$ trans :zh 'To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,'

It is also possible to translate multi-line sentences:

$ trans :zh "Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
> To the last syllable of recorded time;
> And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
> The way to dusty death."

To avoid punctuation marks (e.g. "!") or other special characters being interpreted by the shell, use single quotes:

$ trans :zh 'Out, out, brief candle!'

There are some cases though, you may still want to use double quotes: (e.g. the sentence contains a single quotation mark "'")

$ trans :zh "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player"

Brief Mode

By default, Translate Shell displays translations in a verbose manner. If you prefer to see only the most relevant translation, there is a brief mode available using the -brief (-b) option:

$ trans -b :fr "Saluton, Mondo"

In brief mode, phonetic notation (if any) is not shown by default. To enable this, put an at sign "@" in front of the language code:

$ trans -b :@ja "Saluton, Mondo"

Dictionary Mode

Google Translate can be used as a dictionary. When translating a word and the target language is the same as the source language, the dictionary entry of the word is shown:

$ trans :en word

To enable dictionary mode no matter whether the source language and the target language are identical, use the -dictionary (-d) option.

$ trans -d fr: mot

Note: Not every language supported by Google Translate has provided dictionary data. See wiki: Languages to find out which language(s) has dictionary support.

Language Identification

Use the -identify (-id) option to identify the language of the text:

$ trans -id 言葉

Text-to-Speech

Use the -play (-p) option to listen to the translation:

$ trans -b -p :ja "Saluton, Mondo"

Use the -speak (-sp) option to listen to the original text:

$ trans -sp "你好,世界"

Terminal Paging

Sometimes the content of translation can be too much for display in one screen. Use the -view (-v) option to view the translation in a terminal pager such as less or more:

$ trans -d -v word

Right-to-Left (RTL) Languages

Right-to-Left (RTL) languages are well supported via GNU FriBidi.

The program will automatically adjust the screen width for padding when displaying right-to-left languages. Alternatively, you may use the -width (-w) option to specify the screen width:

$ trans -b -w 40 :he "Saluton, Mondo"

See wiki: Languages to find out which language(s) uses a Right-to-Left writing system.

Pipeline, Input and Output

If no source text is given in command-line arguments, the program will read from standard input, or from the file specified by the -input (-i) option:

$ echo "Saluton, Mondo" | trans -b :fr
$ trans -b -i input.txt :fr

Translations are written to standard output, or to the file specified by the -output (-o) option:

$ echo "Saluton, Mondo" | trans -b -o output.txt :fr

Translate a File

Instead of using the -input option, a file URI scheme (file:// followed by the file name) can be used as a command-line argument:

$ trans :fr file://input.txt

Note: Brief mode is used when translating from file URI schemes.

Translate a Web Page

To translate a web page, an http(s) URI scheme can be used as an argument:

$ trans :fr http://www.w3.org/

A browser session will open for viewing the translation (via Google Translate's web interface). To specify your web browser of choice, use the -browser option:

$ trans -browser firefox :fr http://www.w3.org/

Language Details

Use the -list (-L) option to view details of one or more languages:

$ trans -L fr
$ trans -L de+en

Some basic information of the language will be displayed: its English name and endonym (language name in the language itself), language family, writing system, canonical Google Translate code and ISO 639-3 code.

Interactive Translate Shell (REPL)

Start an interactive shell using the -shell (or -interactive, -I) option:

$ trans -shell

You may specify the source language and the target language(s) before starting an interactive shell:

$ trans -shell en:fr

You may also change these settings during an interactive session. See wiki: REPL for more advanced usage of the interactive Translate Shell.

Usage

For more details on command-line options, see the man page trans(1) or use trans -M in a terminal.

Usage:  trans [OPTIONS] [SOURCE]:[TARGETS] [TEXT]...

Information options:
    -V, -version
        Print version and exit.
    -H, -help
        Print help message and exit.
    -M, -man
        Show man page and exit.
    -T, -reference
        Print reference table of languages and exit.
    -R, -reference-english
        Print reference table of languages (in English names) and exit.
    -L CODES, -list CODES
        Print details of languages and exit.
    -S, -list-engines
        List available translation engines and exit.
    -U, -upgrade
        Check for upgrade of this program.

Translator options:
    -e ENGINE, -engine ENGINE
        Specify the translation engine to use.

Display options:
    -verbose
        Verbose mode. (default)
    -b, -brief
        Brief mode.
    -d, -dictionary
        Dictionary mode.
    -identify
        Language identification.
    -show-original Y/n
        Show original text or not.
    -show-original-phonetics Y/n
        Show phonetic notation of original text or not.
    -show-translation Y/n
        Show translation or not.
    -show-translation-phonetics Y/n
        Show phonetic notation of translation or not.
    -show-prompt-message Y/n
        Show prompt message or not.
    -show-languages Y/n
        Show source and target languages or not.
    -show-original-dictionary y/N
        Show dictionary entry of original text or not.
    -show-dictionary Y/n
        Show dictionary entry of translation or not.
    -show-alternatives Y/n
        Show alternative translations or not.
    -w NUM, -width NUM
        Specify the screen width for padding.
    -indent NUM
        Specify the size of indent (number of spaces).
    -theme FILENAME
        Specify the theme to use.
    -no-theme
        Do not use any other theme than default.
    -no-ansi
        Do not use ANSI escape codes.
    -no-bidi
        Do not convert bidirectional texts.

Audio options:
    -p, -play
        Listen to the translation.
    -speak
        Listen to the original text.
    -n VOICE, -narrator VOICE
        Specify the narrator, and listen to the translation.
    -player PROGRAM
        Specify the audio player to use, and listen to the translation.
    -no-play
        Do not listen to the translation.

Terminal paging and browsing options:
    -v, -view
        View the translation in a terminal pager.
    -pager PROGRAM
        Specify the terminal pager to use, and view the translation.
    -no-view
        Do not view the translation in a terminal pager.
    -browser PROGRAM
        Specify the web browser to use.

Networking options:
    -x HOST:PORT, -proxy HOST:PORT
        Use HTTP proxy on given port.
    -u STRING, -user-agent STRING
        Specify the User-Agent to identify as.

Interactive shell options:
    -I, -interactive, -shell
        Start an interactive shell.
    -E, -emacs
        Start the GNU Emacs front-end for an interactive shell.
    -no-rlwrap
        Do not invoke rlwrap when starting an interactive shell.

I/O options:
    -i FILENAME, -input FILENAME
        Specify the input file.
    -o FILENAME, -output FILENAME
        Specify the output file.

Language preference options:
    -l CODE, -hl CODE, -lang CODE
        Specify your home language.
    -s CODE, -sl CODE, -source CODE, -from CODE
        Specify the source language.
    -t CODES, -tl CODE, -target CODES, -to CODES
        Specify the target language(s), joined by '+'.

Other options:
    -no-init
        Do not load any initialization script.

See the man page trans(1) for more information.

Code List

Use trans -R or trans -T to view the reference table in a terminal.

For more details on languages and corresponding codes, see wiki: Languages.

Language Code Language Code Language Code
Afrikaans
Afrikaans
af Hmong
Hmoob
hmn Punjabi
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
pa
Albanian
Shqip
sq Hmong Daw
Hmoob Daw
mww Querétaro Otomi
Hñąñho
otq
Amharic
አማርኛ
am Hungarian
Magyar
hu Romanian
Română
ro
Arabic
العربية
ar Icelandic
Íslenska
is Russian
Русский
ru
Armenian
Հայերեն
hy Igbo
Igbo
ig Samoan
Gagana Sāmoa
sm
Azerbaijani
Azərbaycanca
az Indonesian
Bahasa Indonesia
id Scots Gaelic
Gàidhlig
gd
Basque
Euskara
eu Irish
Gaeilge
ga Serbian (Cyrillic)
српски
sr-Cyrl
Belarusian
беларуская
be Italian
Italiano
it Serbian (Latin)
srpski
sr-Latn
Bengali
বাংলা
bn Japanese
日本語
ja Sesotho
Sesotho
st
Bosnian
Bosanski
bs Javanese
Basa Jawa
jv Shona
chiShona
sn
Bulgarian
български
bg Kannada
ಕನ್ನಡ
kn Sindhi
سنڌي
sd
Catalan
Català
ca Kazakh
Қазақ тілі
kk Sinhala
සිංහල
si
Cebuano
Cebuano
ceb Khmer
ភាសាខ្មែរ
km Slovak
Slovenčina
sk
Chichewa
Nyanja
ny Klingon
tlhIngan Hol
tlh Slovenian
Slovenščina
sl
Chinese Simplified
简体中文
zh-CN Klingon (pIqaD)
 
tlh-Qaak Somali
Soomaali
so
Chinese Traditional
正體中文
zh-TW Korean
한국어
ko Spanish
Español
es
Corsican
Corsu
co Kurdish
Kurdî
ku Sundanese
Basa Sunda
su
Croatian
Hrvatski
hr Kyrgyz
Кыргызча
ky Swahili
Kiswahili
sw
Czech
Čeština
cs Lao
ລາວ
lo Swedish
Svenska
sv
Danish
Dansk
da Latin
Latina
la Tajik
Тоҷикӣ
tg
Dutch
Nederlands
nl Latvian
Latviešu
lv Tamil
தமிழ்
ta
English
English
en Lithuanian
Lietuvių
lt Tatar
татарча
tt
Esperanto
Esperanto
eo Luxembourgish
Lëtzebuergesch
lb Telugu
తెలుగు
te
Estonian
Eesti
et Macedonian
Македонски
mk Thai
ไทย
th
Filipino
Tagalog
tl Malagasy
Malagasy
mg Turkish
Türkçe
tr
Finnish
Suomi
fi Malay
Bahasa Melayu
ms Udmurt
удмурт
udm
French
Français
fr Malayalam
മലയാളം
ml Ukrainian
Українська
uk
Frisian
Frysk
fy Maltese
Malti
mt Urdu
اُردُو
ur
Galician
Galego
gl Maori
Māori
mi Uzbek
Oʻzbek tili
uz
Georgian
ქართული
ka Marathi
मराठी
mr Vietnamese
Tiếng Việt
vi
German
Deutsch
de Mongolian
Монгол
mn Welsh
Cymraeg
cy
Greek
Ελληνικά
el Myanmar
မြန်မာစာ
my Xhosa
isiXhosa
xh
Gujarati
ગુજરાતી
gu Nepali
नेपाली
ne Yiddish
ייִדיש
yi
Haitian Creole
Kreyòl Ayisyen
ht Norwegian
Norsk
no Yoruba
Yorùbá
yo
Hausa
Hausa
ha Pashto
پښتو
ps Yucatec Maya
Màaya T'àan
yua
Hawaiian
ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi
haw Persian
فارسی
fa Zulu
isiZulu
zu
Hebrew
עִבְרִית
he Polish
Polski
pl
Hindi
हिन्दी
hi Portuguese
Português
pt

Wiki

Lists of all languages, writing systems and fonts for reference:

The following pages demonstrate the advanced usage of Translate Shell:

Find out whether your Linux distribution has included Translate Shell in its official repository. If not, contribute one:

Frequently Asked Questions, historical stuff, AWK coding style, etc.:

Reporting Bugs / Contributing

Please review the guidelines for contributing before reporting an issue or sending a pull request.

Licensing

This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain. See LICENSE and WAIVER for details.