NOT A TRANSLATOR 2.8.0 : A Chrome/Firefox extension

Not a Translator

Get inline word definition in a tooltip !

'Not a Translator' has been built for those who want to improve their fluency in a new language. To avoid approximative translations and breaks during the reading of a webpage (and thinking !), the extension defines the word you have selected rather than translating it. Then, it displays the definition in a tooltip "on the flow" without loading a new tab. No break in your browsing. 'Not a translator' is configurable. English Spanish and French dictionaries are available so far.



'Not a translator' is free for use but a contributionwould be greatly appreciated.

Not a translator is easy to use but you may find additional support/info here :

General usage and behavior

Just right-click a word you want the meaning for during your reading. Select "get meaning for 'my word'" in the contextual menu. A tooltip displays the definition of the word from a well-known dictionary.


To select a word you double-click it (then right-click to open the contextual menu) or you can select by maintaining left button down while you move the cursor to the other end of your selection. Whatever fragment of text you have selected for definition, 'Not a translator' will always consider the first string that looks like a one and only word. It means that if you select 'look for' the definition of 'look' is going to be looked for. If you select 'ond the curtain' : 'ond' will be looked for : Don't expect a good result, instead select 'beyond' or 'curtain' ! Next updates may see improvments as a two words seeker may be useful. You can select and reselect the same word or overlap selections but do that only if you're a maniac who wants to play with the rotating tooltips because this is not very useful. However, sometimes it may help... You won't get anything if you select inside an Iframe : This is a security issue in some browsers and it's refused right now. Pressing F5 will refresh the page to its orginal state.


If you right-click the dictionary icon near the navigation field in your web-browser, you can change the dictionary/language the selected word will be defined into. English and Spanish are supported so far.

If you left-click the dictionary icon you'll get access to the main gui option : tooltip color change !

If you need full speed performance for your navigation you can put the extension in sleep mode : basically the extension listeners are disabled and no html/css will be inserted in the pages.

Because the layout of a page is not predictable, tooltips have been made rotative in case sections of the page unfortunately overlap the definition that is to be displayed. Just click the arrowed cross that appears near your selection once it has been treated (This as a first approach. Continue reading for advanced usage). Not A translator for Chrome & Firefox

Not A translator for Chrome & Firefox lang autodetect has been introduced since version 1.8 and adjusts automatically the dictionary to the language of the page you're visiting at load time. i18n.detectLanguage() API is used and is quite efficient. However, when several different languages are entangled in the same page (like community portals for example) the result may not be has expected. It's still possible to change the dictionary quickly through the popup menu. It's also possible to deactivate lang autodetect. A refresh (F5) will often be sufficient.

lang autodetect loads during page loading in a tab. If the language displayed in the Badge text seems unsynchronised just refresh the page (F5).

Not A translator for Chrome & Firefox repair/fix tooltip may need some more technical explanations as a functionality : Usually tooltips are injected inline in the html flow. In most of the cases it's sufficient to get a proper render even if some color changes may be required to balance styles inheritances and fusions. But most cases are not all the cases and sometimes it's really a mess when styles from the host page cypher tooltips own styles, when blocks of any kind overlap the definition, etc... Autodetecting overlaps is possible but overlapping is not always the problem as the tips are made rotative. Moreover, even with overlapping, preserving inline injection and some style inheritance is sometimes a better way to display a comfortable/readable result as offsets of selection are not always easy to guess. The best way to handle this issue, to me, was to let the choice to correct the tooltip position and display: this correction is a sort of trick according to the usual flow of html. We try to intercept the coordinates of the selection and replace it by an overlapping block that mimics inline injection, the tooltip is made overlapping everything. This seems acceptable although not perfect. Deleting the tooltip with “∅” is still possible. Refreshing (F5) will return you to the original page in the worst of any cases. Here below are samples of such fixes. And if you still feel some enhancement are required, contact us at the end of this page. N.B: Please don't ask for iframe support as this is a security related issue different from this, for the moment : browsers don't allow easily to jump from host to host to modify inline content.

Not A translator for Chrome & FireFox Quick Translate and Return is a new, totally against the spirit, freestyle functionality : It uses LibreTranslate API to provide a quick translation into browser current local. This has been done because it may occur that you are stuck inside the definition and still don't understand. Don't over-use : Intuition is highly encouraged as intuition errors will still be more useful than a correct translation one would forget as soon as readed ! But hey ! as you want...This is a very quick one-word translation provided raw. Another click on the 4 leaves clover and you're back to the defintion. Let me know for bugs... Ahh...Almost forgot : you have no excuse overusing 'quick-translate' because you can do that :

Not A translator for Chrome & FireFox

(As you may notice it may or may not erase selected word you ask definition for inside the tooltip)

Before fixing: After fixing:
La Montagne newspaper La Montagne newspaper
Steam Community Portal Steam Community Portal
Google Search Google Search

What it does in the background

there are no ads and no trackers in this extension. It just inserts some html/css code on the fly to generate the tooltip and requests data to online well-known dictionaries.

Why ?

Online translators can be unconfortable to deal with in many ways : Some of them launch another tab, displays an annoying icon all the way but this is not really decisive in the choice of an alternate solution. Some professional translators, such as DeepL, for example are excellent and sometimes translations seem unavoidable, for example when you begin to learn a new language. But to really improve ones skills in a foreign language it may be better to get one's mind converging with 'thinking in the language' rather than translating each word in one's own mothertongue. This is what Not a translator intends to do.


This has been released using Chrome extension API Manifest Version 3. If you're interested in extension developpment you can start here : Don't forget to study Polyfills from the beginning. It allows to quickly develop a portable code beetween Firefox and Chrome.


This extension adapts itself to your browser language environment : English and French are supported so far. Spanish is supported too but may need improvments. Feel free to use the contact info if you're available to redo the translation.


You can contact me if you want to submit some ideas for evolutions or functionalities. Fill in the form on this little website. You can expect this extension to be free from ads and trackers. This has been done to be useful and enjoyable ! Hope you'll contribute too, woud be neat ! You'll have to create a paypal account for that if you haven't got one already.


Current version : 2.8.0

recent News :

Improve Cambridge dictionary definition retrieval.

Firefox install bug still to be fixed.

2.9 nearly ready to be published.

Edge portage/publishing ongoing.

Maybe new dictionaries to be added.

Last updates

  • timers & backgrounds...better experience !
  • bug fixes and higher resolution for language detection.
  • High treason feature : quick translate in tooltip and back to def !!?!!
  • Surprise backgrounds !
  • version 2.8.0: Enhanced multi-language, multi-tabs support !
  • version 2.7.0: Italian & German dictionaries !
  • version 2.2.3: FireFox publication done !
  • version 2.2: Fix tooltip feature can enhance render in case of style mess or overlaps.
  • version 2.1: Ability to remove the tooltip.
  • version 1.8: Page language detection and dictionary auto-switch.
  • version 1.6: Iframe browsing detection.
  • French dictionary added.
  • Dictionary selector replicated in the popup GUI.
  • Security improvements.
  • Spanish i18n done (needs improvement I guess !)

Dictionaries :

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