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The Free Google Translator will no longer be totally free on Dec 1, 2011.

Their will be no charge for the Translator HUD. You will be able to use Google Translate for a small fee on a pay-as-you go basis, or switch to a small free account at Microsoft, or use your own Google account.

I will be posting more details as they become available. A new version, Version 8.0 of the Translator will be sent via an automatic update to you soon.

For more details, please see this post.

Q: What is the Free Translator?

The Free Translator is an easy-to-use HUD attachment that enables avatars in Second Life to communicate across multiple languages.

Q: How do I use it?

Right-click and wear it from your inventory. The Free Translator will attach to your HUD in the bottom of your screen. When you speak in public chat, your text will be translated to their language and and sent privately to all avatars that speak a different language that are near you, within 20 meters. Each avatar gets their own, private translation. When someone around you speaks in public channel, their text is translated in a private message only you can see.

Q: How do I set it?

Click the Globe for a menu:

  • Long Range: Sets scanner range to 20 meters (Say distance) or 96 meters (shout distance). The other avatar will have to Shout back for you to hear them at 96 meters
  • Show All/Show Other: The scanner will show all languages or just the different languages.
  • No Objects/Objects: You can translate any objects that 'speak', or toggle this setting to just translate Avatar typing.
  • Viewer/Auto : Viewer mode speaks to the avatar using their detected setting ( Ctrl-P at the bottom of the General Tab). Auto mode uses the detected language that they last typed in main chat. Some Avatars set their viewer to English, and type in another language. Auto is most useful.
  • Echo Off/Echo On: The translator will show you the text it is sending. This clutters your screen. Echo Off will disable this echo effect.
  • Scanner On/Off. The built-in scanner will show you the nearest avatars, the detected language, and distance. You can disable the scanner.
  • Help: give you this note card
  • Turn Off/On: Disables the translator
  • Google: Takes you to the official site. Useful for translating large amounts of text, note cards, and web pages.
  • Reset: Resets all scripts inside the translator.

Q: What do the pie wedges in Blue and Yellow mean?

All blue is 100% good translation. All yellow is totally unreliable. Any value in between is from 10% to 90% confidence in the translated results.

Q: What does "Auto detect" mean?

The "Detect language" feature automatically determines the language of the text you are translating. The accuracy of the automatic language detection increases with the amount of text entered.

This translator also detects the nearby avatars Second Life viewer language preference. It will also update that preference to whatever language the avatar is typing. To and From language is entirely automatic.

Anything said by avatars and objects in public chat (whatever language they use, the Free Translator will auto detect the source language) will be translated into your language and the results will be private and shown only for you.

When you're in a public place where many different languages are spoken, enabling Automatic might be best. But as any automatic language process, some mistakes can be made during the detection of languages, for single words, short phrases, or short sentences.

Q: How far can it speak?

It will detect and transmit 20 meters distance (Say range), or it can be set to transmit 96 meters distance (Shout range).. If you shout, the avatar has to shout back for you the hear them.

Q: How many avatars can hear me?

The system will translate in parallel to up to 16 nearby avatars. Each avatar gets their own language translation of anything you type. Results are Private and only visible by them, or you if you turn ECHO ON.

Q: Does it work in Instant messages?

No, but you can use it in IM's with the /1 and /2 commands. No script can read an IM. But you can copy and paste IM's and still keep your conversation 100% private. If you get an IM in another language, highlight it with the mouse and press Ctrl C. Then go to the main chat window, and type /1 and press Ctrl V to paste the message. Press Enter.

/1 Hola <Enter>

The system will recognize and remember the language, and type back the response and the language keys so that only you can see it:


Type a /2 and enter your response:

/2 Hello to you!

It will show the translation, again, only to you.

Hola a usted!

Copy this with Ctrl-C and paste it with Ctrl-V into the original IM window.

Q: What do the colors mean?

Each color repesnts a different source. White is your chat. Green abd Blue color represent objects and other people, and your translation output.

Q: It's not translating - what's wrong?

1) Click the HUD. If no menu appears, you are trying to translate on land that does not allow script access. Try to teleport in with your Translator already attached. You can fly up above 150 meters where scripts run, and land again. There is an altimeter at the top of your screen next the to the word (PG) or (Mature). The Free Translator will work in almost all zones, including no-script zones. The Translator uses a special anti-no-script script to do this.

2) Try the Reset button.

3) If the translator still isn't translating or if you are receiving errors, there may be a communication problem between Second Life and Google™ translation engines. We're sorry about that. Please try again later and thank you for your patience. A manual link to Google™ Translate is provided in the menu.

Q: The translator replaced my Huddle/AO/other HUD - how can I fix that?

Put the translator back in your inventory, and right-click and select "Attach to HUD" and select a different location. The Free Translator uses "Bottom Center" as the default attachment location.

If you tried another location and it disappeared, right click and edit any other HUD display. Scroll back with your mouse until you see the Free Translator. Hover on the colored arrows and drag it to where you want it.

Q: I get funny characters when they type?

You don't really have to do anything. It still will work both ways. However, if you want to see the real font, you need to install some additional fonts. The ArielUNI.tts method shown below is best, or you can install the Asian font set to cover most of the needed fonts.

XP and Vista Users:How to install additional fonts:

Download the AriaUni.ttf font. Zip file, (22 MB)

Extract and the font into your /Windows/fonts directory.

To add a new font to your computer:

1. From the 'Start' menu select 'Control Panel', then select the 'Appearance and Themes' category.

2. Select 'Fonts' from the 'See Also' panel at the left of this screen.

3. On the 'File' menu, select 'Install New Font...'

4. Click the drive and folder that contain the fonts you want to add.

5. To select more than one font to add, press and hold down the CTRL key, click the fonts you want, then click on 'OK'.

6. Change your Second Life Settings by changing the default value of the "FontSansSerifFallback" in your Second Life Viewer. You can change this using the "Advanced" menu of your Second Life Viewer.

Press Ctrl + Alt + D to show Advanced menu at the top of your screen

SelectDebug Settings:

Select the "FontSansSerifFallback" parameter

Replace the default value of : MSGOTHIC.TTC;gulim.ttc;simhei.ttf;ArialUni.ttf



Logout/Login for the changes to take effect. You should see all languages correctly now.

Q: What languages does it support?

When Google™ adds new languages, your translator will automatically support them.

Q: How does the translator work?

See this document.


"Google Translate translation service" used with written permission of Google Brand Permissions, and is a registered trademark of Google™.

Google Logo™ used with written permission of Google Brand Permissions.

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