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I'm looking for a translation software that I can use completely offline. I have searched the web but most things I found were focused on online translators (google, deepl, ...). The few things I could find always ended up not working (expired software, not for Windows, needing an online connection afterall, ...). So I thought I give it one last try and ask here. So, here is what I am looking for in detail:

  • a translation software that works completely without internet connection. (pre-downloading language packs is fine)
  • it should support Chinese, English, and German.
  • Should run under Windows 10.
  • I will mostly translate forms / tables / keywords etc. So I don't need the latest AI level translation, a simple tool that can translate short phrases (1-10 words each) would be completely fine.
  • I want to use it to automate processes, so it needs some way to be called from e.g., the command line.

Again, it only needs to be a very simple translation. So no need for any of the big Neural Network based translators. What I have tried so far:

  • I am using a DeepL account for whenever I have access to the internet. But thats no final solution for me.
  • I tried the Microsoft Translator App (the old version that still allowed downloading language packs. The standard windows translator now uses Bing I think and also requires to be online). The Microsoft Translator actualy works fine offline, but I could not find any way to access it via console for automatic translation.
  • Many other small programs that I found online. But most of them turned out to just call either google translate or any other service in the background. Some were just outdated and did not work anymore.

I would be totally fine with paying some amount for such software. However, I don't want any monthly fees / services.

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I have a very similiar requirement to yours (and also use DeepL with its 50K chrs free API allowance as my in-between solution - funny).

From everything I have seen, I decided to implement and test Argos Translate, which seems to fit your bill quite well, too. Also, their list of supported languages includes Chinese, English and German.

From their Github Readme:

Open-source offline translation library written in Python

Argos Translate uses OpenNMT for translations and can be used as either a Python library, command-line, or GUI application. Argos Translate supports installing language model packages which are zip archives with a ".argosmodel" extension containing the data needed for translation. LibreTranslate is an API and web-app built on top of Argos Translate.

I am just not sure how well it will handle your short phrases when they consist of only 1 - 3 words. My strings are longer on average, so it's hard to compare.

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  • I saw that one before, but the installation under Python 3.12 always crashes. There is an issue reported on Git that says it should work with Python 3.10... however, under Python 3.10 the installation also crashes for me. Can I ask what Python version you are using and how you installed it? (Are you using it under Windows?) Also, there was another issue report on Git from July this year saying that the Chinese translation is in its early experimental stage. Thats why I finally gave up tryint to install it. Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 3:53

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