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How to translate a PDF file

Traduire un fichier PDF
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Did you know that there are several strategies that can help your company take care of its translation needs? For example, if you want to know how to translate a PDF file, there are different ways to approach this task, all the way from using automatic tools up to hiring a translation agency. However, if you prefer handling it internally, we’re sure you’ll want to hear about some tricks or aspects related to this kind of work. Let us explain.

What are the different ways to translate a PDF file?

The main ones you’ll come across are these three.


Machine translation is highly popular in many areas. It’s true that it’s quick and that, over time, it’s been getting better and better. Not only this, today you can leverage automatic correction when using AI-powered tools to create higher quality texts. That being said, however, what are the drawbacks of these types of solutions?

Generally speaking, the most frequent mistake has to do with failing to recognize that they are still tools and that, therefore, they have no professional guarantees. If you do use them, you really should be an expert. Otherwise, it’s likely that you’ll end up sending texts filled with mistakes.


This method involves the work of a professional. In the next section, we give you some tips. If you’re the one who’ll be handling the task at hand, these suggestions are sure to be useful.

Working with an external agency

Without a doubt, this is the most convenient option, especially when you have a constant workflow. Now, the challenge lies in finding a professional agency that can offer you convenient and versatile conditions, as well as accompany your business throughout its different stages. At the end of the article, we expand on this idea.

How to translate a PDF file

Now that we’ve seen what options you have, let’s take a look at how they can be implemented and how you can apply strategies to help you approach this task.

The automatic option

The PDF program already includes machine translation. In this case, it uses Google Translate. This means that you’ll have access to practically all the languages in the world, which is a pretty significant advantage. The way to do it is really straightforward. All you need to do is go to Google Translate, select the “translate document” option, and from there import your PDF file. Then, Google will generate the translation.

The benefits speak for themselves – it’s a very convenient and practical option. However, the translation’s level of accuracy or quality might not be up to standard. In fact, it definitely won’t be. This is an option if you need an urgent translation, but that’s it.

Sentence-by-sentence translation

The following solution involves doing the task yourself; that is, typing out each sentence in a Word document. It will take longer, but if you’re lucky enough to speak the language natively, you’ll get higher quality results.

How do we suggest tackling the task?

  • Reading through the text. By doing this, you can understand the tone, the document’s different sections, and the general way to approach the translation.
  • Start by identifying patterns in the translation. Once you have assimilated the general feel of the text, you can start noting down words you don’t recognize, or repeated expressions. This will help you speed up the translation process later.
  • Start the process. Go sentence by sentence and section by section. It’s essential to first grasp the main idea in each paragraph to keep it in mind as you translate the whole section. This will also help you to capture the right tone and always find the perfect expression in terms of nuance and form.

What do we suggest you do?

These tips are good for occasional circumstances; for example, if at your company or job you only come across one document per month in a different language. However, when your workload is greater, the smartest option always involves working with a professional team that can take care of all those tasks. This way, you won’t waste time during your work day, nor will your company’s operations be disrupted. It’s the smartest and most functional way to approach all your international communications. Not only this, you’ll also be getting a seal of quality and professionalism that only an agency can guarantee. This is why, in the name of both convenience and quality, we recommend that you always externalize this service.

Wrapping up, with the methods described above, you now know how to translate a PDF file. We’ve looked at the possible challenges, as well as how to approach the task to prevent it from taking too much time from your daily work. If you’re interested in working with a professional agency that can help you translate your documents, look no further. Here at blarlo, we have the knowledge and tools to guarantee the quality and proximity you’re looking for. Get in touch with us!

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Français (French) Nederlands (Dutch) Deutsch (German)