General English

  • verb to put written or spoken words into another language


  • verb to put something which is said or written in one language into another language


  • verb to change something into another form


  • verb to convert data from one form into another


  • To convert one language, such as a computer language, into another.
  • In computers, to convert from one format, such as that of data or a file, into another.
  • To convert from one format, function, system, or level, to another.
  • In computer graphics, to change the position of an image or object on the screen without rotating said image or object.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to change information from one language or format to another
  • verb to convert ideas into action

Origin & History of “translate”

To translate something is etymologically to ‘carry it across’ from one language into another. The word was acquired from trānslātus, the past participle of Latin trānsferre ‘carry across, transfer, translate’ (source of English transfer).