If you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, you should make sure you have the best translation apps on hand. Learn more below.
Sprechen sie englisch? ¿Hablas inglés? Est-ce vous parlais anglais?
If you’ve ever been traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language and you find yourself lost for words you’ve probably asked someone if they speak English.
But with one of the best translation aps on your smartphone, you can do a lot better.
You no longer have to resort to hand gestures or speaking slowly and loudly! Take a picture, record your voice, or type what you want to say. You’ll be understood and get what you need or where you need to go.
To help you choose from the best translation apps in the app stores, we’ve put together this guide to your options. Read on to learn which one best suits your traveling and translating needs.
For widespread use, in the largest number of languages, Google Translate is a great option. It can handles voice, image, and handwriting translations. It works when translating between 100+ languages.
For travelers on the cheap, it’s also great because it’s free. And, it’s available for iPhone and Android. If you don’t have internet access, you can still translate 59 of the languages offered while offline.
The handwriting feature is cool because you can let the person you are talking to write on your screen. The image translation uses your smartphone’s camera to translate whatever you point it at. Although, you don’t always get a natural translation in that feature.
You can find some great Google Translate hints and tricks at https://setapp.com/lifestyle/google-translate-tricks-you-need-to-know-about
iTranslate Translator from Apple features more than 100 languages and works seamlessly with Apple Watch. Just like Google Translate, it’s free. To start with.
The free app is ad-supported. if you’re traveling for a longer period, you’ll almost certainly want to upgrade to the pro version. That costs between $3 and $6 a month.
The pro version allows you to translate websites. It provides image translation through your camera. And, it allows for voice-to-voice conversation translation, too.
One thing for sure is that users love it. Of the more than 350,000 ratings on iTunes and Google Play, most are for 4 or 5 stars.
Apple has 3 variations of its iTranslate app. The voice version is built specifically to translate audio. For travelers, this one is great for taxi rides or stopping a local on the street to ask for help or directions.
Record yourself and have the recording played back in the relevant language. Record someone else in their language and play it back in yours. You can even connect two smartphones and you and your new friend can speak into each one and have it translated back to you.
Just as with iTranslate Translator, to get rid of ads from the free version you’ll want to upgrade to the paid pro version.
Naver Papago Translate
This app is great for Asian languages. Created by Korea’s top search engine, Naver, it only features 10 languages, but it does them better than the US-created options.
Choose from Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Russian, Italian, German, and Spanish.
It offers the same features as many of the other best translation apps, including voice, text, and images. It isn’t the best at image and voice translation, but its power comes in its accurate translation of the Asian languages.
Microsoft’s entry in the best translation apps list uses the technology that powers Microsoft Office, Bing, and Twitter. It’s built on a sturdy, well-tested foundation.
Offering text, voice, and image translations in more than 60 languages, it doesn’t have as many options as some of its competitors. However, you can translate offline in each one of the 60 languages.
It’s compatible with most smartwatches and has a handy learning feature that stops you from having to make the same translation search multiple times.
Its best work is done in business settings. Up to 100 people can connect at once so that you can have multi-person conversations in real-time.
TripLingo’s biggest selling point is the slang option it offers. With the slang option enabled, you can get informal translations. These are great for more natural conversations with new friends in new places you’re visiting.
The app also features a culture function that helps you navigate local customs and etiquette.
It offers translations in more than 40 languages. It also has a live-person feature. If you can’t understand the translation or it doesn’t work properly you can ask a real person to help. This feature is only available with a $20-a-month subscription or it’s $3.50 per minute.
Like the other best translation apps, TripLingo can translate through voice, text, and images.
Another unique feature of TripLingo is that it translates receipts. When you’re traveling in countries that rely less on credit cards and handwrite receipts at restaurants, this feature comes in very handy.
SayHi doesn’t have as many features as some of the apps on this list. But it’s excellent at voice translations in 90-plus languages. Record your voice, translate it, and play it back.
You can choose a male or female playback voice. And you can adjust the speed of the playback to help in trickier situations.
You do need to be connected to Wi-Fi, though, as there’s no offline option on this app.
Waygo is always available, even when you’re offline. That’s the biggest selling point of this entry in the list of best translation apps.
Choices of language are limited to translations between English and Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. It handles voice, images, and text. Its strongest translations come through the image option.
If you’re a foodie traveling the globe, Waygo helps you know what you’re about to eat. It has a handy food picture function. When you choose this it recognizes the food on the menu and describes it in detail.
The free version only allows you 10 translations a day. That means it’s a good additional app rather than your go-to option. You can upgrade to unlimited translations for $6.99 a month for one language or $11.99 a month for all three.
Travel with One of the Best Translation Apps
If you add one or more of the best translation apps to your smartphone you’ll travel the world confident that you’ll be understood wherever you go.
Whether you need 100 languages because you’re a globe trotter or you need help with menus and food, there’s a translation app to help.
To learn more about how to travel the world cheaply and easily, check out our blog. We’ve got hints and tips that will make your adventures easy, fun, and won’t break the bank.