Learn a new language while you work using Word Mini Translator

Many of us work in global companies with multi-lingual staff. It is a good idea to know the other language – helps you communicate better. Or it may just be your hobby…

Of course there are formal ways of learning a language. But how about a simple method which works right within Office and helps you learn the language?


Of course, all Office products have a Translate option in the Review toolbar – which opens a separate pane on the right side and shows the translation of currently selected text in a chosen language…

But Word has another elegant feature which is very handy for learning a new language.

Review tab – Translate – Mini Toolbar


Choose the Mini- Translator language. Click Ok.


The setting below is for the Translation window which opens. These two languages can be different…

Now just hover the mouse over any word, the translation pops up.. initially it is just barely visible – because you may not be wanting to translate the word every time…


but if you are interested in it, just move the mouse cursor over it… then it is fully visible.


This is what I got in Chinese.. it even shows the acronym NEW!


Please note that you DO NOT have to click inside the word to translate it. Just move the mouse cursor over it and then stay there for a second.

Of course, you can always select a phrase and then see the tooltip to view the translation. This is very powerful and useful.

Here is the same thing in Hindi


Learn Pronunciation as well

Another great feature of this is the play button… it speaks the highlighted word in the base language (NOT the translated language). A great way to learn proper pronunciation on the go… very useful for everyone who wants to improve their diction and public speaking skills.

Especially useful if your pronunciation is heavily influenced by your native language and foreigners find it difficult to understand you.

Try this out now.

Technical notes

Usually mouse hover event is used to show tooltips on UI elements. Here is a rare but brilliant usage of the same concept in the main document context. It is a perfect implementation because translation can be potentially required at any item. Base granularity is a WORD under current mouse context. If there is a selection below the cursor context, the entire selection is translated.

Names and tech words shown as spelling mistakes! Here is the solution.


The problem: False Positive Spelling Mistakes

This is a funny problem which everyone suffers from.

You send a proposal to a customer. The customer name is shown as a spelling mistake. Now you correct it on your PC by adding the name to your dictionary… now you think you have solved the problem… but it has not been solved.

Your dictionary will not be traveling with the document. So on the customer’s PC it will show that name as a spelling mistake (unless customer has added the name to the local dictionary). Usually customer would add their own company name to dictionary – so it is not a problem.

But on their PC, your name will be shown as a spelling mistake… that is a problem! In addition, many technical terms may be shown as spelling errors – which they are not.

How do you solve this problem while knowing that you have no control over the custom dictionaries at the destination?

Amazing solution

The solution is intelligent and elegant.

First of all, you must do a regular spelling and grammar check. No shortcuts available here.

Having done that, you still have some spelling errors which are words not included in the dictionary – but in the context of your business domain, those are correct words.


Now go to Tools – Options – Proofing and choose two smart options …



That’s it.

Notice that this setting is specific to the file. That means, it travels with the document.

The mistakes will not be shown on ANY PC. Problem solved!

Warning: this setting is dangerous

If you keep this setting ON all the time, you will not be able to notice genuine spelling mistakes as well. Therefore here is what you should do.

  1. Create document
  2. Regular spelling and grammar check
  3. Enable hide spelling and grammar errors setting
  4. Send document to the intended recipients
  5. Immediately disable the hide spelling and grammar settings
  6. Save the file

This way you don’t have to worry about missing genuine spelling mistakes.

The best way

Of course, what I showed above is a workaround. Word is NOT a workaround. It is a comprehensive solution to all our problems.

This problem has also been thought of and an elegant solution given.

The solution? Create a new style derived from Normal style. Name it as “No spell check”

Modify the style – Format – Language and choose this setting


Now whenever there is a word which is shown as a spelling mistake but it is a domain specific word or a name, select it and apply this style.

This is the right way.