Language Immersion add-on for Google Chrome

Update (1/4/16) – A number of readers have reported that they can no longer get this add-on to work. I tried it and it didn’t work for me, either. I’m afraid it might just be a case of an old extension, which hasn’t been updated in quite some time, not being compatible with the latest versions of Chrome. Pity!

If you use Google Chrome, there’s a nifty little add-on you might want to check out, called Language Immersion for Chrome. It’s built using Google’s automatic translation services, so you can select from 64 different languages. It also allows you to select a level of fluency (from beginner to fluent). The add-on takes whatever web site you’re looking at and randomly replaces words with your foreign language equivalent. Clicking on them changes them to English, and hovering over them will give you a pronunciation.

It’s certainly not something that is going to replace serious study and reading target language material, but every little bit helps, and it’s a neat way to sprinkle some language exposure into your daily web routine.

By |2016-01-04T08:17:21+00:00May 11th, 2012|Language Learning, Reading, Tools, Uncategorized|15 Comments


  1. BadatLanguage May 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    That certainly does look like a handy plugin – will have to take it out for a spin. I wrote an article on my blog a while ago about online language immersion but missed that one!

  2. Marta (@mstelmaszak) May 14, 2012 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Tried and tested, looks really nice. It does slow down browsing though, but one can live with that.

  3. Duke May 18, 2012 at 12:06 am - Reply

    question: how do you access “rollover” sounds?

    from the description “- Roll-over a translated word to hear it pronounced.” I hate reading L2 words before I know how they sound, since naturally I imagine my L1 sounds.

    So, I’d love to “roll over” the translations and hear the pronunciation; I try and try, but no sound. Yes I’ve googled “roll-over” in all permutations, but nothing.. any clues? thanks

  4. Josh May 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Duke: Click on the Language Immersion button on the top bar of Chrome (where you select what language, fluency level, etc. that you want). Then click the wrench (settings button), and checkmark “speak translations.” Then when you hover your mouse over one of the translated words, it will pronounce it automatically.

  5. zoraszaboica October 7, 2013 at 7:23 am - Reply


    • Geanina September 14, 2015 at 5:14 am - Reply

      Sound still not working with this settings; any idea why?

      • Josh September 17, 2015 at 8:38 am - Reply

        Hi Geanina,

        I’ve not used this extension for a long time, so I’m not sure why your sound isn’t working. I’m sorry!

  6. denis demonte December 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Doesn’t even translate the words for me whatsoever, i don’t get it.

    • Josh December 30, 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Hi Denis! I’ve not used this extension in a long while, but I just gave it a try, and it doesn’t seem to be working for me either. It was last updated in May of 2012, so I imagine it is no longer compatible with Chrome. Sorry!

      • Sami March 7, 2017 at 1:06 am - Reply

        You might want to try Gloss, which provides the same functionality. We’ve also added the ability to disable the extension on specific sites and made some optimizations to the word selection algorithms to help with learning. For example, it will preferentially pick pronouns and verbs together to help you memorize verb conjugations.

        More info:
        Download page:

        Free to use for Spanish. All other languages are free for the first two weeks and $2.99/month thereafter.

        • Josh March 7, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

          Hi Sami,

          Thank you for sharing! I will definitely take a look. The preferential selection of pronouncs / verbs to help with conjugations sounds like a pretty cool feature.

  7. Katherine January 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    This isn’t working at all. 🙁

    • Josh January 4, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply


      Yeah, it seems to be broken. It hasn’t been updated in ages, and I think it may just be completely incompatible with the latest versions of Chrome. 🙁

  8. gg February 16, 2016 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I just learned about this and i was super excited for it. Sad to report that on the latest version of Chrome for Mint Linux, it gives me the “translating” spinny icon, but doesn’t do anything! Maybe we should all write the developers and ask for an update?

    • Josh February 19, 2016 at 7:54 am - Reply

      Yeah, it’s quite unfortunate that it’s so outdated and doesn’t work any longer. I’m not sure trying to contact the devs would yield anything, but it’s worth a shot!

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