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MULTILINGUAL machine-translation business DeepL has released an online writing tool that it says goes beyond the usual spelling and grammar checkers.

Currently free to use in "beta" test form, DeepL Write claims to help you "improve your text" with "syntactic reformulations" of set expressions and by optimising wordy phrases and jargon-stricken sentences. Of course it also corrects spelling and suggests alternative phrasing if it thinks your grammar is lacking.

Sub-editors tend to be suspicious of grammar checkers, with good reason: these digital tools are invariably single-minded about the use of language, and refuse to acknowledge the existence of house style. DeepL Write, however, gives the illusion that it understands the meaning of the text rather than just showing wiggly green underlines every time you omit an article before a noun.

Here at the Freelance we believe that nothing beats a good sub - yet. But let's say you are not a sub, nor even a native speaker of English, and you are worried about the way you phrased a tricky paragraph or concerned about your pitch emails being phrased just right. DeepL Write does a reasonable job of tidying up clumsy sentences.

The tool is hosted at www.deepl.com/write and runs in your web browser. Be mindful what you use it for, though: everything you type into it will almost certainly be recorded into a dataset - forever.