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Tools to Translate Taobao into English

The Best Translation Option

First off, we gotta mention the best translation option for most people is to work with a good Taobao Agent. These guys specialize in helping English-speakers buy from Taobao. Not only will they help you translate stuff for free — they’ll go the extra mile to make sure you get all the information you need.

If you just need some Chinese text translated quick, you can check out some of these tools.

Google Translate

Google Chinese to English translation is a webpage that lets you paste Chinese text into a box for translation. 

google translate

You can do the same thing but quicker with this bookmark: Chinese-to-English – drag this link (don’t click) up to your bookmarks bar. Then select any Chinese text and this link will grab it, take it to the Google translation page and show you what it means.  If no text is selected, it will translate the whole page. 

Google toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer has a translate-on-hover option, which works well too.

Popup Chinese

Popup Chinese is a site I really like. It does a hover-translate thing, but it tends to be slightly smarter. Paste some Chinese into their translation box and try ‘Annotate.’

Machine translation comes with a funny accent

Automatic online translation can give you some funny results sometimes. In particular, Taobao calls its products 宝 which can translate to treasure or baby. So machine translation will give come up with phrases like this:


Funny, but I think the meaning gets across well enough. 

How do you say ___ in Chinese?

If you want to search Taobao for something, but don’t know what its called in Chinese, checkout our homepage. There is a cute little translation bar there that will give you the Chinese word for searching, and there’s a Taobao search bar right there too, for your convenience.

Translation Strategy

Translating the whole page at once is not the preferred method for Taobao. It looks too weird.

The best way I have found to use these automatic translation is to browse in the normal Chinese website with the first link – Google Chinese to English translation – open in a seperate window. Then copy/paste product descriptions or other whatever needs translation.

If this doesn’t seem like fun, my hearty recommendation is to ask a Taobao Agent to help you out. You’ll be glad you did!

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