Quickstart: Translate text with Python

In this quickstart, you translate text from one language to another using the Translator Text API.


You'll need Python 3.x to run this code.

To use the Translator Text API, you also need a subscription key; see How to sign up for the Translator Text API.

Translate request

The following code translates source text from one language to another using the Translate method.

  1. Create a new Python project in your favorite code editor.
  2. Add the code provided below.
  3. Replace the subscriptionKey value with an access key valid for your subscription.
  4. Run the program.
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

import http.client, urllib.parse, uuid, json

# **********************************************
# *** Update or verify the following values. ***
# **********************************************

# Replace the subscriptionKey string value with your valid subscription key.
subscriptionKey = 'ENTER KEY HERE'

host = 'api.cognitive.microsofttranslator.com'
path = '/translate?api-version=3.0'

# Translate to German and Italian.
params = "&to=de&to=it";

text = 'Hello, world!'

def translate (content):

    headers = {
        'Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key': subscriptionKey,
        'Content-type': 'application/json',
        'X-ClientTraceId': str(uuid.uuid4())

    conn = http.client.HTTPSConnection(host)
    conn.request ("POST", path + params, content, headers)
    response = conn.getresponse ()
    return response.read ()

requestBody = [{
    'Text' : text,
content = json.dumps(requestBody, ensure_ascii=False).encode('utf-8')
result = translate (content)

# Note: We convert result, which is JSON, to and from an object so we can pretty-print it.
# We want to avoid escaping any Unicode characters that result contains. See:
# https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18337407/saving-utf-8-texts-in-json-dumps-as-utf8-not-as-u-escape-sequence
output = json.dumps(json.loads(result), indent=4, ensure_ascii=False)

print (output)

Translate response

A successful response is returned in JSON as shown in the following example:

    "detectedLanguage": {
      "language": "en",
      "score": 1.0
    "translations": [
        "text": "Hallo Welt!",
        "to": "de"
        "text": "Salve, mondo!",
        "to": "it"

Next steps

Explore the sample code for this quickstart and others, including transliteration and language identification, as well as other sample Translator Text projects on GitHub.