How to Translate Languages ​​in Google Sheets


When not everyone you work with speaks the same language natively, you may need to hire a translator. In Google Sheets, you can translate languages ​​to make it easier to collaborate or review spreadsheets.

We’ll show you two ways to translate languages ​​in Google Sheets. The first method uses a function and a formula while the second uses a third-party add-on. Take a look at how to use each to see which works best for you.


Just as Google offers its own translation tool, it provides a function for Google Sheets. GOOGLETTRANSLATE allows you to translate specific text or that of a cell with a simple formula.

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The syntax of the formula is GOOGLETRANSLATE(text, source_language, target_language). The first argument is required. As mentioned, you can use a cell reference or enter the text in quotes.

If you don’t enter a source language, the formula automatically detects it, and if you don’t enter a target language, it uses the default system language. For both, you will enter the two-letter language code in inverted commas.

Let’s look at some examples.

With the following formula, we will translate “Please select an option” from English to Spanish:

=GOOGLETRANSLATE("Please select an option","en","es")

GOOGLETTRANSLATE formula for text

To translate this same text using its cell reference (A1) and the same languages, you would use this formula:


GOOGLETTRANSLATE formula for a cell

If you have the two-letter language codes in the cells, you can also reference them in the formula. Here we will translate cell A1 from the language of cell A2 to the language of cell A3:


GOOGLETTRANSLATE formula using all cell references

For more functions and formulas like this, take a look at some basic Google Sheets functions you should know.

Install a Google Sheets add-on

While the function above is a good option, you might not be a fan of using functions and formulas. Or maybe you just want a quick way to translate an entire sheet. This is when the free Google Sheets add-on Translate my sheet is very convenient.

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After installing the add-on from Google Workspace Marketplace, you can translate a selection of cells or your entire spreadsheet.

Go to the Extensions tab, select Translate my sheet and choose “Start a new translation” from the context menu.

Start a new translation in the menu

When the sidebar opens, you can configure the tool. You’ll see the source language set to Auto-detect, but you can choose another language from the drop-down list if you want. Then choose the target language.

Target language options

At the bottom, under Advanced Settings, enable the toggles to translate the entire sheet, duplicate the sheet to be translated, or apply a background color to edited cells according to your preferences.

Advanced settings for the add-on

If you only want to translate particular cells rather than the whole sheet, select the cells.

When you are ready, click “Translate”.

Translate button for cells

You will see a pop-up message informing you of the number of cells that will be translated. If it looks correct, select “Yes” to continue.

Confirmation of cells to be translated

You will see the changed cells or the new sheet depending on the above settings you have selected.

Translated cells with Translate My Sheet

For additional extensions, take a look at some of the best Google Sheets add-ons.

Whether you choose Function and Formula or Add-on, you have the ability to work more easily with others who speak a different dialect when using Google Sheets.


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