Whether taking a vacation or only going on a business trip, it’s important to know some phrases in the local language of the country you visit. By doing this, you will enrich your experience and the locals will appreciate your efforts in trying to make yourself understood.
A little dictionary or a book with the most common phrases may be in handy to ask where the bathroom is, read a menu or ask for directions on the street but unfortunately, they can be bulky and can take much time to search through. Luckily, most app stores contain several translating apps that range from simple dictionaries to voice recognition software that can even talk in your place.
8 Best Translation Apps for Android and iOS
A mobile translator is an application for smart devices that can instantly translate words or phrases in a great number of different languages. The simplicity and the ease recommend them as “a must-have” when one visits another country. So, stuff your phone with online and offline applications that can help you break down the language barrier that separates people from other countries.
1. Google Translate – The best translation app
Google Translate is one of the best apps for translations. It supports text translations in over 100 languages and allows you to translate between them effortlessly. What’s more, the app offers offline translations, which means you can translate between languages even when you don’t have an internet connection. As of now, the offline translations are limited to only 59 languages, and the number is expected to go soon. In addition, the app also provides the ability to translate bilingual conversations on the fly in around 43 languages.
Besides text and conversation translations, Google Translate offers features like handwriting recognition — that recognizes handwritten content in a foreign language, and instant camera translation — that allows you to point your device’s camera at things you want to translate in your native language.
2. Microsoft Translator – Heavily improved translation app
Microsoft Translator is another travel companion app for translating between languages on the go. It offers support for over 60 languages for translation between text, conversations, voice, and photos. The app even allows for offline mode translation, which can turn out to be helpful in situations where there is no network.
Furthermore, Microsoft Translator comes with a phrasebook that stores verified translations and pronunciation guides to help you learn different words and phrases in places you visit. Besides this, another helpful feature that the app offers is the multi-person conversation translation, which allows you to connect your devices and have in-person conversations with up to 100 people in different languages.
3. TripLingo – Translation app built for travelers
TripLingo is more than any regular translator app. As, besides the usual translation, which the app allows for with support for over 100 countries, 2,000 phrases in 13 languages, and instant voice translator in 42 languages, it offers a bunch of other features that make it an ideal travel companion. For starters, the app offers a collection of around 1000 phrases in four different local slang levels to help you converse like a local. In addition, it also provides a few essential tools like a tip calculator, currency converter, Wi-Fi dialler, etc to make your life easier in a foreign country.
When it comes to translation, TripLingo has features like a 10,000-word offline dictionary, instant translation with the added ability to connect with a live translator via phone, image translator to help you translate contents of the image to your native language, audio lessons, and more.
4. iTranslate Translator
iTranslate Translator is another good option when it comes to translation app. It features some of the best and useful set of features like text translation, voice-to-voice conversations, offline translation, etc, to name a few. One of the interesting features of the lot is the ability to switch between different dialects to help you converse in an effective manner. Not to mention, the built-in dictionary and history, which helps you get back to words or sentences that you recently translated or used.
The iTranslate Translator app offers support for over 100 languages with the ability to listen to translations in male or female voices. Besides these, some of the other features that you can get via an in-app purchase include Lens, which allows you to point your camera at things and get live translations, offline translation support in over 40 languages, voice-to-voice conversations, and more.
5. Translate Now – Translator
Translate Now – Translator is an iOS-exclusive app that, besides the usual translation features, also comes with a variety of useful add ons such as dark mode, Siri shortcuts, translation widget, phrasebook, offline mode, and a few more. With the ability to add a translation widget, you can access the translation feature and get translations for things with ease, without having to open the app again-and-again. Similarly, to make things simpler, you can also use Siri shortcuts to perform translations quickly.
Coming back to core translation features, the Translate Now – Translator app allows voice translations via speak to translate, camera translation to easily translate text across signboards, menus, etc, AR translation to get translations in real-time, conversation mode that translates conversation in real-time, and translator keyboard that allows you to write in over 60 languages.
Free, Paid (in-app purchase)
6. Speak & Translate – Translator
Speak & Translate – Translator is another iOS-exclusive translator app. And, this one also boasts a bunch of useful features (much like the previous app), besides the usual translation ones like iCloud integration that syncs your history across different Apple devices, voice settings to allow you to change voice speed and stench between male and female voice, etc.
In terms of translation, Speak & Translate – Translator offers real-time voice recognition, support for over 117 languages for text translations, around 54 languages for voice translations, along with text-to-text mode that helps you identify a language and converse better, and an offline mode for performing translations with no internet access.
Free, Paid (in-app purchase)
7. Naver Papago – AI Translator
Naver Papago – AI Translator markets itself by referencing the lingual prowess of a parrot. The app supports over 13 languages and offers a limited, but useful set of features that help you to translate and understand the content in your native language, and in-turn, converse better in a foreign country. Additionally, there is a built-in dictionary in the app that, besides offering a history of all your previous translations, also allows you to look up meanings for different words.
Some of the features that Naver Papago – AI Translator comes with include real-time text translation for words and phrases, image-translation that automatically recognizes the content of an image, real-time voice translations in text and audio, conversation translation, and offline translation. Besides this, there is also support for handwriting translation that determines the correct translation for the word you write and website translation that provides a translated version of a website using its URL.
8. SayHi Translate
SayHi Translate is a completely free translation app, except for one downside, which is the lack of an offline mode. Unlike some of the other apps in this article that offer an offline mode to perform translations even when there is no internet connection, SayHi, unfortunately, does not offer such functionality. However, despite that, it is still a great solution for your translation queries, thanks to its rich feature set.
In a nutshell, SayHi offers a bunch of features such as easy copy and are functionality to share conversations via SMS, or social channels like Facebook or Twitter, support for various languages, along with different dialects, the ability to change voice preference, speech rate, and speed, and more.
Those are some of our suggestions for the best translation apps for both Android and iOS. Which apps do you find the most useful? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Originally written by Alex Serban and updated by Yash Wate in January 2020.