Google Chrome may pick up Microsoft Edge's best translation feature

Google Chrome on a PC
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new partial translation feature has been spotted on Google Chrome's Canary channel.
  • The tool lets you translate selected text on a web page into any supported language.
  • It is not fully operational at this time, but it gives us an idea of Chrome's upcoming translation update.

Google Translate has seen a number of functional improvements in recent months, but it still lacks one key feature: the ability to translate selected text. That could change soon, if a new feature spotted in Chrome Canary is any indication.

The search giant appears to be working on a partial translation option in Chrome's Canary channel, as discovered by Reddit user Leopeva64-2 (via 9to5Google). The feature will allow you to translate portions of a webpage into any language that the service supports.

As you can see in the screenshots below, a bubble interface containing the highlighted text appears after right-clicking a text selection on a page and choosing the translate option in the context menu. There's also an option to translate the entire page itself.

You can change the destination language as you like by clicking the three-dot menu in the translation bubble. This option makes it easier to switch between languages rather than jumping through hoops, as it currently stands.

However, this feature is not yet fully functional, which is not surprising for a capability discovered in Chrome Canary. When and if Google makes the partial translation tool available in the stable version of Chrome, it will be particularly handy when opening a multi-language web page.

If this feature sounds familiar, that's because Microsoft Edge has had this for quite some time. Google Lens for Chrome also picked up a similar experience in April as part of a major update, including the ability to copy texts on an image or translate them. That feature was rolled out on many of the best Chromebooks and PCs.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.