The 10 Best Translation Apps For Your Smartphone, Both Free And Paid Going overseas soon and scared of the language barrier? Don’t be afraid. Your smartphone is all you need to translate almost any language; with the use of an app, of course. The choices are extensive and can fit almost any need. But is there a single best translation app out there? The thing is, many apps are unreliable.
This can make it tough, especially during an emergency. For example, you’re in dire need of a bathroom break, but the locals can only reply by shaking or nodding their heads. Or you have an urgent medical or legal matter and no one can help you, because nobody understands each other. That’s bad news for anyone traveling overseas, at any time. You can opt for both paid and free translation apps for both iOS and Android. But there are hundreds out there. Worry no more because these are the 10 best and most reliable apps that you can use.
Best Translation App List – Free Apps
Google Translate (Android and iOS)
Yes, you read that right. We know it doesn’t have the best reputation, but hear us out. There are two great things about this: it’s free, and it keeps on getting updates. Currently, it supports 103 languages. And if you don’t have internet, 52 of these languages work offline. You can opt to type words or use your phone’s camera to take a photo of something you need to translate. Or you can also use it to translate voice in real-time, with an option to slow pronunciations down.
SayHi (Android and iOS)
Consider the SayHi app as a handheld interpreter that fits in your pocket. Voice translation allows the app to translate your speech out loud. It supports 57 languages as of late. Japanese, French, German, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and even Hebrew are among these. It also offers dialect support for Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Arabic to name a few. According to users, its greatest strengths include simplicity, accuracy, and ease-of-use. Choose between male and female voices, and speed up/slow down speech so you don’t. The only drawback is that it requires an internet connection to use, so be ready with that Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Microsoft Translator (Android and iOS)
This translator currently supports over 60 languages. And the good news is, you can use the app both online and offline. One nifty feature is its voice translator, which allows for multi-person conversations. Real-time translation is also an option, and if you’re always on the move, the phrasebook comes in handy. It teaches important phrases that can be life-savers in different situations. For instance, you might be asking where’s the bathroom, but end up saying some offensive word you didn’t know about. The translator keeps you from doing that, saving you from a lot of trouble in the process.
Papago Translate (Android and iOS)
Translating Asian languages tend to be a bit iffy. They seem to come out inaccurate. This can be troublesome because sentences and phrases will lose context. It’s because translators almost always come from the US. Naver’s Papago Translate solves that. For now, it only offers 13 languages and all the basic features every texting translation app has. This might be the best translation app for Western travelers looking to visit and enjoy Asia.
Waygo offers the fewest languages on this list. English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are the only languages on it. The translation accuracy is top-notch, nonetheless. This limited language list also allows for complete offline operation. No need to worry about data and finding a Wi-Fi hotspot. And if you want to eat but the menus and signs intimidate you, take a photo and the app translates the text for you. It’ll be one of your best and most streamlined dining experiences ever. Why? You can read the ingredients and understand what makes the dishes heavenly. Ordering is as simple as ever because there won’t be any guesswork.
Best Translation App List – Paid Apps
Talk & Translate (iOS)
For $39.99 a year, you get the usual premium subscription perks. No ads, extra language support, and all the basics. But Mobisystems’ app prides itself for being a great real-time speech translator. Speak in your native language and have it translated out loud in a jiffy. Easy. Talk & Translate offers 33 languages, with dialect support for over 1000 linguistic combinations. English to Chinese to Hebrew? Not a problem. It even allows multitasking if you need to work on other apps via a split-screen. No more mistranslations when moving from one language to another. For working with several languages at once, this is one of the best translation apps out there.
TripLingo (Android and iOS)
This is for the wanderers. For $9.99 a month, TripLingo advertises itself as the best “traveling companion.” Quite a big claim, but let’s take a look. The app focuses on phrases instead of basic sentences and words. It even translates slang which gives a different kind of nuance to conversations. So far, there are little to no mainstream apps that have this feature. Think of the opportunities with this option. No more boring “good morning/good day” greetings, but genuine conversations. Who knows what kinds of personal stories you can unveil?
iTranslate (Android & iOS)
For iOS and Android users, this app is among the most versatile. For $4.99 a month, there is support for over 100 languages and a website translation option. You’ll need this. Why? Local-language blogs and sites can guide you to tourist spots that not a lot of people know about. The app has iPhone-exclusive object recognition. It allows the app to identify items and places of interest, and give you their local names. This mobile translator can help you relate better with the locals. Nothing strokes their pride more than tourists speaking on their terms. If you want to socialize in a foreign country like never before, this might be the best translation app to use.
Lonely Planet Offline Translator (Android and iOS)
You likely know the site Lonely Planet, yes? Well, they have their translator app now. Following its namesake, the Lonely Planet app caters in particular to tourists. It is also 100% offline. It works great as a text and audio translator, giving results in seconds. No need for data or Wi-Fi. The app is available for both iOS and Android for $4.99, making it quite affordable. The only drawback is it supports a limited number of languages, and the translation is one-way.
Translate-Translator AI (iOS)
Not fond of typing words to translate? This app is the best at translating images. It uses artificial intelligence to scan the images for words needing translation. You can use it on posters, directions, menus, and signs in over 100 languages. It also offers speech recognition that links to Siri for better translation quality. The app costs as little as $9.99 weekly or ass much as $79.99 yearly. A bit expensive, but for those with iPhones, this app is a great fit.