Dialect: an open source translation application for Linux

Short: Dialect is a simple app that lets you translate between languages ​​using web services. To find out more, let’s take a closer look.

Although you can launch the web browser and directly use any translation service to get the job done, sometimes a desktop application can be useful.

Dialect is a simple translation app that uses web services to translate while giving you additional capabilities.

Open source translation app with Google Translate and LibreTranslate

Dialect is primarily an application designed for GNOME desktops, but it should work well with other desktop environments.

It lets you quickly translate languages ​​with a few extra options.

At its core, it lets you choose between Google Translate or LibreTranslate as your translation service.

Even though LibreTranslate can’t come close to the accuracy of Google Translate, introducing it as a toggle option is a great addition. At least for basic use, if a user doesn’t want to use Google’s services, you have an alternative ready on your desktop.

Characteristics of the dialect

dialect app options

Along with the ability to switch translation services, you get a few more changes:

  • Pronunciation
  • Text-to-speech functionality (Google)
  • dark mode
  • Translation shortcut
  • Live translation
  • Clipboard buttons for quick copy/paste
  • Translation history (undo/redo)

As you can notice from the screenshot, the live translation feature may block your IP address from using the service due to API abuse.

libretranslate dialect

I tried using LibreTranslate (as shown in the image above) and Google Translate with the live translation feature enabled, and it worked fine.

Maybe if you rely on translations quite often, you might want to avoid this feature. But, for my quick use, the services were not banned by IP address during several tests.

It is important to note that you can specify a custom LibreTranslate instance if you wish. By default, it uses “translate.astian.org” as instance.

You may not find a separate translation history section, but the arrow buttons in the upper left corner of the window will allow you to see your previous translations as well as the translation settings.

So it also works as a redo/undo function.

Install Dialect on Linux

Dialect is available as a Flatpak. So you should be able to install it on any Linux distribution you want. If you’re new to this, you might want to check out our Flatpak guide for help.

First, add the Flathub repository:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

And then install the application:

flatpak install flathub com.github.gi_lom.dialect

Once installed, find it in the system menu and start it from there.

You can also explore its GitHub page for more information.