Third-Party Tools for Better Brainsharks in 2014^* Part 2: Translation Tools

Third-Party Tools for Better Brainsharks in 2014^* Part 2: Translation Tools
January 17, 2014

This post is the second in a two-part series on third-party tools that will help take your presentations to the next level in 2014. Part one tackled tools for creating “hand-drawn” animations, and in this installment we’ll look at some tools to assist with language translations.

Back in November, I wrote about the work Microsoft Research is doing by translating live presentations in real time while using the voice of the original narrator. Translation is of interest to many Brainshark authors, as Brainshark presentations are viewed all over the globe. To that end we have researched various tools, and pulled out a couple of our favorites to introduce to you.

The tools that we selected – and Babylon – are easier than slide-by-slide translations and more accurate than the PowerPoint translate feature. While they do not replace live, human translation, they are definitely the next best thing (and at little to not cost!).

For a free web-based solution, is an excellent option. This program offers users the ability to seamlessly translate any Office document into more than 50 languages using the Google Translate API. Translations are quick and quite accurate.

To begin translating your PowerPoint presentations, simply start the document translator (see below). You will then be prompted to run the applet and select the type of file you want to translate. Click on the document icon to select a file and the language you would like to translate it to. Click the arrow icon to begin translation, selecting where you would like to save the translated version. 


For additional information about how to use this tool,  visit OnlineDocTranslator’s Tutorial page.


For the user in search of a desktop-based translator, Babylon is another great free solution.  The free version offers translation for more than 77 languages, but if you anticipate a need for additional language options, you can upgrade to their paid version for $9.99/month. In addition to offering unlimited text translation, this version also includes the added bonus of converting text to speech.

Once you’ve downloaded Bablyon, the program embeds itself as a button under the home tab of your Microsoft Office applications.  To translate directly from a PowerPoint presentation, click the “Translate Document” button and select the desired language. Once complete, the translated document will open in a new window and is ready to be saved.


For additional information about how to use this tool, visit Babylon’s Support page or select “Help” from the drop-down menu within the program.

Our take!

We found both and Babylon to be incredibly accurate,  and recommend both depending on preference  for desktop or cloud-based applications.

In order to ensure that what you are translating is as accurate as possible, we recommend saving a copy of the original document to use for further translation, as opposed to going back-and-forth between previously translated documents. It is also important to note that certain languages translate better than others, so when possible, double-check with an expert (you never know what resources you have at your company!).

Whichever way you go, once the translation is complete all you have to do is upload the translated PowerPoint decks into Brainshark, and you’ll be well on your way to  more effective communications with your target audiences… no matter where they are or what languages they speak.

Visit our Third-Party Tools page for more utilities to help enhance your Brainshark presentations.

Images courtesy of and

More Resources: Visit Our Third-Party Tools Page