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How to obtain a Google Translate API v2 key

In order to use Google Translate via its API in CAT tools such as memoQ or Wordfast (as opposed to using it via its web interface at translate.google.com), one needs to obtain an API v2 key  (the old Google Translate API v1 will stop working on December 1st, 2011). This video shows how to obtain the required API key and how to enter it in memoQ, the first CAT tool to support version 2 of the  Google Translate API.

Link to the Google APIs console: https://code.google.com/apis/console/

14 comments to How to obtain a Google Translate API v2 key

  • Maaritt Oksanen


    Where should I add the code in Word 2010?

    Tried to add it on WF section MT, but it says:
    “…daily limit exceeded…”

    • Dominique

      Which version of Wordfast Classic were you using? You need to use version 6.03t or later. The API key has to be entered in Wordfast (Translation Memory > MT), the underlying version of Word being used doesn’t matter.

  • Peter Waymel

    Hi Cat,
    I’m trying the demo mode of Wordfast Pro, to see if I should buy it. But I’m unable to hookup any MT services to it, the bar showing “Machine Translation” is grey in the dropdown menu, meaning it’s unavailable. Is there any way around this? Without seeing how it works with MT, which is a big part of the way I work, it’s impossible for me to know whether this purchase would make sense.

    Thanks a million,


    • Dominique

      Yes, machine translation is not available in Wordfast Pro when used in demo mode. If you want to test how machine translation works with your documents, you can use Wordfast Anywhere, which has no such restriction. There’s nothing special with machine translation in Wordfast Pro, it just works, ie. you get translations from up to three sources (Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, Worldlingo) if you have the required credentials (for Google and Microsoft, Worldlingo works out of the box) and a dependable connection to the internet. You can test the same three services with Wordfast Anywhere.

  • David

    I’m trying to configure the api but in the billing section I always get the same message:
    “Your billing account is pending authorization, or not fully configured. please ensure you have completed billing signup. If you have setup your account, it may take up to 1 hour for it to be activated. Please check back later.”

    I watched as billing to activate but I have this message every time. I guess it’s something I’m leaving but I am unable to find it. If you can help me I’d appreciate it. Thank you very much.

    • Dominique

      My video was made in October 2011. I think it’s still mostly valid for the technical part, but Google has changed the payment side at least a couple of times, with Google Wallet and all. Unfortunately, I can’t help with a newly created account. All I can suggest is to look for payment options in your Google console. You must see green lights (billing enabled) there in order for your account to be operational. As they say, it can take some time (definitely more than one hour) for your account to become operational (after you have entered a valid credit card). Good luck!

  • MariCarmen

    I was advised by my Technical Translation course tutors to download Wordfast to do the practical work for the course and I am finding the same problem with the Google note and not having the correct Key.
    How can one find the Wordfast Anywhere. Does it work directly on the net?
    I am writing in 2013, December. Does the same strategy work to obtain that key to use Wordfast? Thanks.

    • Dominique

      Hi MariCarmen,
      Wordfast Anywhere is a free online tool. You can create yourself an account at http://www.freetm.com. If you want to use Google Translate with Wordfast Anywhere, you need to have a valid API key. The same applies with every other CAT tool that supports Google Translate.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello,
    I have used Google Translate in Wordfast Pro and paid for it a couple of times. Now suddenly the API doesn’t work, it says “daily limit exceeded” even though I haven’t used it. Why is that? Should I start over and get another key?

    • Dominique

      Try to go to your Google Console and check all your parameters there. Also make sure billing is enabled.

  • Hello,

    Briliant information, petrified me in using Google Translate via the API in a CAT tool.

    • Dominique

      I’m surprised this video was useful for you, as it’s really old and the exact procedure to obtain the key has changed many times since, but glad to hear anyway! Using Google Translate in a CAT tool is very easy once you have managed to set up your account and obtain the key.

      • Alice

        Hi Dominique, how can I now get license and integrate Google translate to my Wordfast Pro 5? Thank you!

        • Dominique

          Hi Alice,
          If you wish to use Google Translate with Wordfast Pro (or any other CAT tool that supports Google Translate), you need to register with Google in order to obtain an API key. The procedure described in the video is no longer current (because the video was made almost six years ago). You can use these instructions from Google: https://cloud.google.com/translate/docs/getting-started (skip the part about installing the Google Cloud SDK, as it is not relevant for translators who merely want to use Google Translate within a CAT tool). Note that Google will want your credit card info, since they charge for the use of their service (typical charges are very modest, less than 3-4 euros per month for most people). Once you have obtain your Google Translate API key, just enter it in Wordfast Pro: this is done under Preferences > Machine Translation.
          PS: hope to see you at ATA 2017 in Washington DC in October!

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