Document Translation

FAQ Index


    What is the Illinois Document Translation Portal?

    The Illinois Document Translation Portal is a web-based service provided by DoIT that allows agencies to quickly convert documents written in English to one of 6 languages:

    • Polish
    • Arabic
    • Hindi
    • Spanish
    • Chinese
    • Tagalog

    You upload a computer file you want to be translated and then select which language you want. It can output to common document types such as Docx, ODT, and PDF files. The Portal uses Google Machine Learning technology for translations.

    How much does the Document Translation Portal Cost?

    The Document Translation Portal will be free to use until December 2021. Starting in January 2022, agencies will be billed for usage on a per page basis.

    How do I get access to the Document Translation Portal?

    Send your Agencies ATSR (Formerly IT Coordinator) an email requesting access to the Document Translation Portal.

    Be sure to include:

    • A brief explanation of your business reason for requesting it
    • Request that it be routed to EAS Content Management
    • Provide your contact information

    Once approved, DoIT will send you the pertinent information to access the Portal. 

    How accurate is the Translation produced by the Document Translation Portal?

    Google's Machine Learning technology scores a BLEU Score between 40 to 53:

    Due to the intrinsic variability of languages, minor errors can occur. Generally speaking, it's not that they are incorrect, but perhaps a better word could be used. Because of this, we recommend an actual human translator review all machine translations. In some circumstances, your documents may relate to Federally funded programs, and by law, it may need to be reviewed by a human. Please consult with your agency's legal counsel when determining if a human review is required.

    Who is the Document Translation Portal intended for?

    Any agency that needs to convert English written documents to one of the six supported languages (Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog). Generally, PIO (Public Information Office) employees will use this type of service, but there are many use cases for this application. For example, web programmers can use this to help convert documents stored on agency websites. Or agencies with translators on staff can use this for preliminary translation work.  The applications for this service are very diverse.

    What technical resources do I need to use the Document Translation Portal?

    All you need is access to the product (via the ATSR request) and a supported web browser. Currently, the product supports Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

    How secure is the Document Translation Portal?

    DoIT uses OKTA for security to the Portal, which utilizes multifactor authentication. Google Machine Learning Technology provides the translation. Any translation information is stored in the State's Google Cloud Platform environment.

    What specific technology is used for the translation?

    Google Machine Learning Technology, branded as Google Cloud Translate, is utilized by the Illinois Document Translation Portal. More information on the product can be found at:

     Is support provided for the Document Translation Portal?

    Yes. If you experience issues with the Document Translation Portal, a ticket should be opened with the DoIT helpdesk for troubleshooting. You may contact the DoIT helpdesk at:

    What if I need a language not supported by the Document Translation Portal?

    Currently, DoIT has followed the Office of the Governor's direction and supported the six most common languages in Illinois (Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog). There are hundreds of other languages, but at this time, we are only focusing on the most common to the region. Additional language services are offered by our Telecommunications division at:

    How fast is the Document Translation Portal?

    The translation speed depends on how large your document is, the language selected, and your connection speed. As a rough estimate, figure seconds per page. That means a 50-page document should be translated in about a minute.

    What is the web address for the Illinois Document Translation Portal?

    If you cannot log in, you need to submit a request for access.

    How do I know if my agency is eligible for the Illinois Document Translation Portal?

    A general review is completed by EAS Content Management to assure the Illinois Document Translation Portal suits the requesting agency's needs. A representative will contact you with some simple usage questions.  

    • COVID-19 Usage: When submitting an access request for the portal, a business justification from the agency Chief of Staff is required. The justification will also be reviewed by the submitting agencies Chief Information Officer, or GCIO. The justification statement should focus on how it improves service delivery during  COVID-19. Examples include:
      • Reduce paper or in person business processes
      • Improve Agency communications in relation to language Translations
      • Reduce usage of Third-Party Translation Vendors
      • Reduce time to complete a business process 
    The Illinois Document Translation Portal is currently paid for via CARES funding through December 2021. When CARES funding expires, agencies will be billed by usage, and the additional business justification will no longer be required.  

    Are there any stipulations to using the Illinois Document Translation Portal?

    The DTP is designed for translation of "Publicly Available" documents only. It is not recommend for any documents which contain sensitive information. Examples of sensitive information include:
    • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)  
    • Confidential Information  
    • Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)  
    • Payment Card Industry (PCI)  
    • Federal Tax Information (FTI)  
    • Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) 

    When in doubt, consult with your agencies legal and/or PIO office before utilizing this application.

    As with any other business, agencies are still responsible for following State of Illinois policies and procedures. Agency responsibilities include:
    • Develop and implement agency governance to ensure staff compliance with DoIT incident reporting and request requirements
    • Ensure that Document Translations services are not used for personal use or matters that do not pertain to official business needs
    • Do not share copyrighted and protected information without required approvals
    • Always assure documents are IITAA Compliant before publishing