Create a translator with Python and IBM Watson™.

By on January 26th, 2020 in Programming, Python


In this article I’ll explain how to create your automatic translator using Python and IBM Watson™ Language Translator.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for an online service for automatic translations, preferably with a free quota. As result, I created a small automatic translator using Python and IBM Watson™ Language Translator.

Free quota

With a Lite subscription you can get a free quota:

1,000,000 characters per month at no cost and includes the default translation models. When you upgrade to a paid plan, you can create custom models.

However, you can choose other plans, check the pricing plan page.

Create your IBM account

Firstly create your account and then login to the service.

As a result, you should be able to get your credentials. In the past IBM provided username and password while nowadays you get your apikey and your url.

IBM Watson™ Language Translator Dashboard

Create the translator with Python

Secondly, Python. We are going to use a client library to quickly get started with the various Watson APIs services. Simple installation with pip:

pip3 install --upgrade "ibm-watson>=4.2.1"

I used pip3, depending on the installed version on your machine, your command could be:

pip install --upgrade "ibm-watson>=4.2.1"

Now, create a new Python file inside your project folder, copy and paste the code below, check the comments.

import json
from ibm_watson import LanguageTranslatorV3
from ibm_cloud_sdk_core.authenticators import IAMAuthenticator

# Set some variables
api_key = '<your-apikey>'
api_url = '<your-url>'
model_id = 'en-it'
text_to_translate = 'Your content you want translate here'

# Prepare the Authenticator
authenticator = IAMAuthenticator(api_key)
language_translator = LanguageTranslatorV3(

language_translator.set_service_url(api_url )

# Translate
translation = language_translator.translate(

# Print results
print(json.dumps(translation, indent=2, ensure_ascii=False))

Change <your-apikey> and <your-url> with your personal credentials, run the software, and get your results.

Here the documentation:


In conclusion, this is how you can create a translator with Python and IBM Watson™. It’s very easy to get a new IBM account and start practicing with automatic translations. IBM provides Watson™ Language Translator or you can choose among different services, such as:

Tip: In addition, to play with IBM Watson™ Language Translator I dockerized my application using the official image, pull it from the Docker Hub.

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