Firefox Plans for Long-Awaited Native Translation Feature


No more installing additional extensions. You can get the Firefox Translation feature – right at the browser window natively. You can easily translate to English and other available languages. Here’s how.

The project was introduced long back in 2019 and earlier named Project Bergamot. It came as an extension and eventually landed in Firefox Nightly – which is the development version of this popular web browser.

This feature is officially named Firefox Translation and a bit different than Google Chrome’s translation feature. The entire translation happens locally in your system in contrast to Google Chrome’s translation feature. Google Chrome uses, Google’s own Translate engine and it happens on the cloud. That means your data is safe. And you can safely translate foreign languages to English or any other available language.

As of writing this, this feature is available in Firefox Nightly version 90.0a1. Here’s how to download Firefox Nightly and enable this feature.

Translate to English (and others) in Firefox Nightly

  1. Download the Firefox Nightly package from this link.
  2. Extract the files.
  3. Open/Run the “firefox” executable.
  4. Go to “about:config” via the address bar.
  5. Search for boolean property “extensions.translations.disabled“. By default, it should be set to True.
  6. To enable translation in Firefox, change the value to False.
  7. Restart Firefox.
Option in config

Now, visit any foreign language page and you should see an automatic popup for translation.

For example, If you visit Estonian Wikipedia, you can see a popup from Firefox to translate the page to English.

Firefox Translation nightly giving option to translate to English

As of writing this, there are only two languages (Estonian and Spanish) is available in Firefox Nightly for translation.

We hope more language feature lands in the future and eventually available for all users. Being a nighly and in-development feature, we can’t fairly know when it would be available in the stable channel. But the framework is ready and being tested, all it requires is additional language supports to be added. I wish it would have landed in Firefox Proton which brings many fundamental changes to Firefox.