Best Practices

How to translate better using ChatGPT?

ChatGPT can provide translations both stylish and coherent. Learn strategies to improve the results of this tool!
Rodrigo Demetrio
10 min
Table of Contents

At the time they were released, web translations tools were seen almost as adversaries by linguists, specialist translators, teachers and other language purists around the world. The criticisms were valid, after all the translations often came out quite strange. But could they have imagined that a language translation tool would advance so far, delivering results with such a level of accuracy as ChatGPT?

ChatGPT isn’t designed exclusively for language translation tasks. It’s a chatbot trained with a Large Language Model. What does this mean? It means a large volume of texts was used to train the artificial learning, enabling the tool to be able to understand contexts, distinguish textual genres, recognize regional varieties and create more natural and flexible texts, including translations.

Ok, so it may seem easier than ever, is just entering the text in the chatbot and clicking "translate", right? The process is simple, but before trusting all the translation jobs in the AI, it’s truly recommended to have a knowledge about the language and its culture! ChatGPT is a tool and, like any AI tool, cannot replace the discernment of a human. 

Let’s see some tips to help translate better using ChatGPT.

#1 Inform the text genre

As mentioned above, the differential of ChatGPT is its ability to identify text genres. Instead of just requesting a translation, it’s strategic to also inform what kind of genre you want it to translate. You can enter this information at the command: “It’s a poem, a lyric, a resume, a scientific article, a financial report, a speech”, etc.

#2 Provide context

Pretty much related to the first tip. When you explain the context to the tool, you demonstrate how the translation service offered is more accurate than other language tools, such as Google Translator, Microsoft Translator or DeepL.

For example, when you ask to ChatGPT translate idiomatic expressions as “l’espoir fait vivre”, from French language, if you inform chatGPT, “it is a popular saying”, it will offer a better understanding about what the sentence means in the context rather than a literal translation. This is very precious to a high-quality translation! Compare the examples belows. 

Using ChatGPT
Using Google Translator

#3 Adjust to the target audience

Again, it’s all about how you frame the command. Some words may have different connotations depending on the region or country of the speaker and ChatGPT is trained to recognize these variations. You can (and should) inform the tool about your target audience. If you want to translate a text to English, will it be read by an american or an australian? Consider this. 

Or even with a narrower focus… If you want to translate to brazilian portuguese, which has some vocabulary  variations, you can also specify this: “it will be read by someone from northeast of Brazil”. Simple, right? 

Besides regionalisms, you can go further by informing the age range, the economic and cultural backgrounds of your audience. It’s all about improving sensibility and style.

#4 Ask to adapt or summarize the content

Translations serve various purposes. Sometimes the goal isn’t to learn the language or learn deeply about a subject, but simply understand the main message of a text. In such cases, you can also customize the prompt by asking to adapt the content to a simpler style or summarize the key points. You can use examples like: “Provide a translation just with the key points in Spanish of the following text: [text to translate].”

What are the differences between ChatGPT 3.5 and ChatGPT 4 for translation?

ChatGPT 4.0 version currently requires a paid subscription, while the 3.5 is free.

Enhanced prompt capacity 

The processing power from ChatGPT 3.5 and ChatGPT 4 has increased. Now it can handle prompts until 25000 words instead of 3000 as the last version. Additionally, you can use images and graphics as prompts. 

More human-like

Another improvement is related to generating human-like responses with better contextual understanding, diverse perspectives and better detection of emotions in the content.

Information accuracy

The combined information is the key of chatbots. The last version improved in this synthesis and produces more accurate results. 


All the tips about how to translate better using ChatGPT lead to the same point: you have to use creativity to get the best of the chatbot as a language translation tool. It’s possible to customize the inputs to achieve the best results, and even more with the latest version. So, enjoy the interactive nature of this tool when it comes to fast text translation with artificial intelligence.

Especially for important or sensitive documents, it's always time to reinvent the way you translate and improve your productivity.

Rodrigo Demetrio
Steering the marketing ship at Bureau Works with 17+ years of MarTech under my belt, I transform mere ideas into tangible realities. Passionate about languages and their power to build bridges, let's build a new one?
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