Both of these seem very similar to me. Is there any difference between "books translated to English" and "books translated in English"?

Google search returns many results for both (> 400,000), though "translated to English" gives more results than "translated in English". If only one of them is correct, then why the confusion?

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    From one language to another ... from Spanish to (or into) English. Nov 2, 2012 at 21:45
  • Not sure where you get the Google figures from. I get 20k for "books translated in English", 56k for "books translated to English", and 127k for "books translated into English". You might also be interested in supporting our proposed sister site specifically for English language learners. Thank you.
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 2, 2012 at 22:47
  • @RegDwighт Forgot to mention that I had googled only for "translated in English" and "translated to English". Thanks for pointing to ELL site.
    – user13107
    Nov 2, 2012 at 23:08
  • This is a "popular question" with zero upvotes! Amusing.
    – user13107
    Sep 29, 2013 at 6:22

2 Answers 2


Neither - it's books translated into English. Some relevant usage figures from Google Books...

"books translated into English" 83,200 hits

"books translated to English" 85 hits

"books translated in English" 198 hits

There's no principle of grammar, logic, or semantics involved here. It's just that nearly everyone falls into line and repeats what they hear nearly everyone else say - unlike this sentence, where people are actually about evenly split over whether they "fall into line" or "fall in line" (but they never "fall to line" in that sense).

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    Is it like, because there was confusion between in and to, people started using BOTH?
    – user13107
    Nov 2, 2012 at 21:51
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    @user13107: Don't forget both put together are barely 1/300th of the "standard" form, so they don't mean much anyway. Others may differ, but in my idiolect, to is non-standard but just about "okay", whereas in is effectively unknown/illiterate. So if those few Google Books results mean anything at all, they're probably telling me that non-native speakers disproportionately choose "in" instead of "into". There are even 19 hits for "in to", which is 100% illiterate. Nov 2, 2012 at 22:28
  • Google ignores stop words like "in" and "to" (but not "into"), so your usage figures may not be correct.
    – dbkk
    Nov 3, 2012 at 17:11
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    @dbkk: It's a bit more complicated than just "Google ignores 'stop' words" - and in any case, Google Books uses a different "guesstimate" algorithm to the standard "Google Internet". Your point is "sorta" valid, but my point isn't significantly affected by the possibility that the "headline" figures are skewed by an order of magnitude (in either direction). Nov 3, 2012 at 20:07

In the given context, it's always translated into not translated to or translated in to. You could very well say that "cats" translate to "tomcats", which is a totally different thing.

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