The best ways to translate a document

There can be many reasons why you would translate a document from one language to the other. Sometimes you need a quick translation to understand a document, other times you want to translate the document accurately. For example when it’s for business use. Then there are situations where your document is classified and its contents cannot be shared. Nowadays there are many services that can help you translate a document.

Machine translation

The world of machine translation develops fast. The quality of machine translation became better and better over the years, making it a real option to translate a text. That doesn’t mean that the technology took over the place of human translators though. Machine translation can be a big help but it needs to be combined with human intervention. If you want to translate a large document you have several options to get a fast translation. We will discuss them below and line out the pros and cons for you.

Google Translate

The most famous Machine Translation service in the world is Google. Over the years Google Translate has improved tremendously because of the use of new technology like Google’s Neural Machine Translation models. With Google Translate it’s possible to translate large documents (almost) for free. Google is fast and it’s free, that’s just great. However, translating large documents with Google Translate can be a tedious process. The service lets a user translate texts of only 5000 characters in one go. The rest goes in multiple tries.

DeepL Translator

Deepl is a great service that started in 2017 and got the interest of the industry because of its high quality results. The service supports 26 European languages and the translations are more precise than some other services on the market. With the PRO subscription you can translate entire documents without a character limitation. If you want to use Deepl for free it uses a character limitation.

What happens with your data?

In the cases of Google and Deepl your text is sent to the servers of Google or Deepl using your internet connection. This means that without an internet connection, you cannot translate your text. But what if you don’t have a great internet connection? Also, “free” always comes at a price, meaning that you will never know what will happen when your text arrives at the server? Will it be stored on Google’s or DeepL’s servers? If so, for how long and how is that information kept? Will something be done with it? Although most free online translation services state in their privacy statements that they will not store your data, there is no way to verify.

There is no way to verify

It’s very hard to verify the information in the privacy statements of machine translation providers if what they say is true. The first obstacle is that many times it’s very hard to get a reply to questions in case you want clarifications. Next to that, the “trust but verify” principle is almost impossible to implement.

Offline translation as a solution

So if you have a document type that has a classified character, such as an NDA or legal or governmental documents, the only way to be sure that your data isn’t going anywhere you don’t want it to go, is when it can be generated without an internet conncetion on your own local PC or in a protected environment. You can do exactly that with Euroglot NMT Desktop Software. Offline translation on your local computer has multiple advantages. Firstly, you don’t need an internet connection, secondly you are absolutely sure that your data stays on your computer. The third advantage is that no matter how big your document is, there are no extra costs involved. You can translate an unlimited amount of characters.


If you translate regular documents and you have a stable internet connection, services such as Google and DeepL can do a great job for you. They can translate your documents fast and easy, but in the case you have a document with a classification of confidential, secret or top secret, using a translation service or machine translation API can be a risk that is hard to cover. In this case, using an offline machine translation software generating translations on your local computer is a better idea.

Does your company have a lot of employees using machine translation on daily basis and is it important for your company that personal data and internal documents are not leaked outside the company? Contact us for more information.