Keyboard with a blue Translate key
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To translate an email in Gmail, select the three-dot menu at the top right of the email. Choose "Translate Message" to open the translation bar. Choose the language you want to translate from using the left drop-down box. Then, choose your language in the right drop-down box. Select "Translate Message" to see the translation.

In these times, many people work remotely and with others around the world. Language differences don’t have to stop you from communicating via email. You also don’t need to hunt down a translation tool if you use Gmail. The email service features a built-in translation feature.

You can translate emails you receive in just a few clicks. Gmail can even automatically detect the language and translate it into your own. Let’s dive in.

Translate Emails You Receive in Gmail

Visit the Gmail website, sign in with your Google account, and select the email you want to translate.

RELATED: How to Translate Languages in Google Sheets

Gmail may recognize that the message is in a language other than your own and provide the option upfront to translate it. If you see this and the languages are correct, click “Translate Message” in the translation bar.

Languages and Translate Message link in Gmail

Tip: If you don’t want the translation option for that particular language in the future, you can pick “Turn Off For: [Language]” on the right of the translation bar.

If you don’t see the translation option, select the three-dot menu on the top right of the email and choose “Translate Message.”

Translate Message in the email menu

You’ll then see the translation bar appear at the top of the email. In the drop-down box on the far left, choose the language to translate from or pick “Detect Language” and allow Gmail to identify it for you.

From language list for a translation in Gmail

In the drop-down box to the right, choose your language. You should already see the default language from your Gmail settings. But if not, or if you want to use a different language, select it from the list.

Then, click “Translate Message” to see the translation.

Translate Message link in Gmail

Tip: Check or change your default language by selecting the gear icon on the top right. Then, select See All Settings > General > Language.

You can revert to the untranslated email anytime by clicking “View Original Message” in the translation bar.

View Original Message link in Gmail

Optionally Always Translate the Language

You can also have Gmail always translate emails you receive in a specific language.

RELATED: How to Translate Audio With Google Translate

After translating the message, select “Always Translate: [Language]” on the right side of the translation bar.

Always Translate link in Gmail

You’ll see a brief message appear on the bottom left of the Gmail screen, giving you the option to undo this action if you like. But by saving the setting, you won’t have to go through the above process to translate emails.

If you decide later that the Always Translate option isn’t for you, you can turn it off. Open a translated email in that language, and you’ll see “Don’t Automatically Translate For: [Language]” in the translation bar. Select that option.

Don't Always Translate link in Gmail

The next message you see on the bottom confirms that you’ve turned off the automatic translation for the language. Again, you have the option to Undo the action if you wish.

With so many translation tools available, communicating has become increasingly easy. Keep this translation tip for Gmail in mind and take a look at these little-known Gmail features you might also find helpful.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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