If you ever need to translate a spreadsheet to another language, MT Analytics (mostly) has you covered

I recently received a project that had been done in Russian.  As such, most of the files were in Cyrillic.  This caused some serious problems, particularly in Vulcan which does not yet support Cyrillic.  Another problem is that names, such as drillhole IDs, were turning into a series of question marks (???-1 for example) when converting from an Excel spreadsheet to a comma-delimited text file wherever the Cyrillic characters existed.  This caused obvious issues with overlaps etc. when two drillholes got the same ??? name.

After snooping around a bit for a solution, I stumbled upon the Automate Analytics website where they had just what I was looking for – a converter plugin for Excel that would translate text from one language to another.  It does this by uploading the contents of the cell to Google Translate, then pulling down the translated answer.  Perfect, that should work great, right?

Well, it wasn’t AS great as one would have hoped.  It did fairly well with header lines so at least I knew which fields I was dealing with in the spreadsheet.  However, for things like Drillhole IDs it kept freezing – probably because of a combination of special characters (this set had semi-colons, periods, and slashes in the IDs) and some english letters in there as well.  Nonetheless, it was possible to cancel the run but then there would be random blank cells.  The Undo option also did not work to fix the file – I’d have to close it without saving changes to get the original text back.

It’s also not a particularly cheap option – it costs US$99 for 1,000,000 characters which at first glance seems like a lot of text, but considering it’s really 100,000 rows of 10-character hole IDs before you run out, that’s not a lot of bang for the buck. One blasthole samples database could burn up a lot of cash.

On the plus side, it does seem to work when there aren’t a lot of odd names or special characters, and it’s significantly faster than hand-translating cells.  If you’re in need of a substantial amount of translations to be made, this might save you some serious time.  Certainly download the free demo and give it a shot.  (Note – when running the plugin Excel will pop up a message asking if you would like to run macros as they can be dangerous – I have not had a problem running this macro, and BitDefender antivirus hasn’t alerted me to issues so I wouldn’t be worried about using the plugin.  That being said, run it at your own risk.)

The plugin and more information can be found here.

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