Does one translate a word or phrase into another language or to another language? For example:
- Translate the following phrase to Spanish.
- Translate the following phrase into Spanish.
As far as translation is concerned, you translate into another language. You don't translate to it.
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, the BBC English dictionary and the OED one translates into another language.
Translate to is used alongside translate into in a sentence like :
and translate to is used when translating something to something :
But google gives hundreds of instances of use of "translate to" another language.
In my experience/dialect, you use translate into when you are talking about the target language, but you can optionally use translate to when you are talking about the target text (the specific equivalent for the piece of original text you're talking about).
For example, all of these are acceptable:
Note that translate to is very commonly used intransitively, e.g.:
However, you can't use translate into intransitively, and you can't translate to a language as a whole. Thus, these are unacceptable: