Top 5 Helpful Foreign Language Firefox Extensions

It may come as a surprise to most people that when it comes to languages used on the web, English only accounts for 30.5% of all Internet users. If you’re using the Firefox browser, here are some free extensions to bridge any language gap you come across on the web.

1. How to easily switch language dictionaries within Firefox

One of the key features of Firefox is it’s built in spell checker. This of course goes awry if you’re typing in another language. Fortunately, you can download dictionaries for other languages, and "Dictionary Switcher" is an extension you can use to toggle languages automatically so you’re always using the correct dictionary when you’re surfing the web.

2. How to translate major languages fast

gTranslate is an extension which hooks onto Google’s translation engine, so all you need to do is select some text, right-click and it will translate it for you on the spot. What I also like about it is that it can even automatically detect the language on the site so it saves you more time.

3. How to learn Chinese by surfing the web

"Perapera-kun" is a translation tool which goes beyond basic Chinese to English translation work. Working with both Simplified and Traditional characters, just hover your cursor over Chinese text and you’ll get definitions, and an option further explore a selected word, e.g. whether it is a noun, verb etc. Not only that, it also allows you to export words to a file to study later.

4. How to type in Indian languages in web pages

Indian languages are often overlooked when it comes to web translation tools. The IndicIME toolbar project addresses that by helping users who want to key in text in Indian Languages in Web pages (Web forms, Emails ) but don’t want to localize their entire Operating System or Browser Application.

It currently supports the following languages:

  • Devanagari (Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi)
  • Bengali
  • Gurumukhi (Punjabi)
  • Gujarathi
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Oriya
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • 5. How to quickly type in accented & international characters

    The Firefox extension "abcTajpu" allows you to type in accented letters, international characters, and various symbols into Firefox or Thunderbird, either simply by using a context menu or quickly by keyboard macro (you can even define your own). Fantastic especially if you’re a heavy European language web user.

    What other language tools do you use? Tell me in the comments!