Amazing Translation App

You are looking forward to that overseas trip of a lifetime and will be traveling on a tour bus with people from all over the world. Maybe you are planning a meeting at work, and people from international plants will attend. You know classmates in your school who are still mastering the English language. When you face one of these situations, are you lost in language? Download a translation app to build bridges in these relationships.

Translation app technology has made great strides through the use of artificial intelligence known as neural machine translation.  You no longer have to fumble through a bulky translation book as you relate to international visitors. Simply download this powerful software to the phone you carry everywhere – very convenient!

traveling with people in a train

Translation software accesses data either locally on a device or via the web. They offer more features when connected to broadband Wi-Fi or a 3G connection and are limited when accessing data downloaded to your phone. Be aware of how and where you use this software before you purchase an app. You may need to look more closely at nonconnected features if most of your interactions are on the street and away from Wi-Fi or 3G connection coverage.

People testing these apps in their native language report the software may not be perfectly accurate. However, the software is more advanced than previous generations and does adequately support translation communication. Be careful and watch the expression on your listener’s face during the conversation!

We reviewed a range of solutions with different capabilities including offline use, premium services and basic no-frills apps. Here are eight phone translation applications for your consideration.

itranslate voice 3
Itranslate voice 3

iTranslate Voice 3 is a great app to load before your next international vacation if you plan to have one-on-one conversations with non-English speaking people. It supports 40 languages with two-way voice communication. You choose two languages, speak into the microphone and listen as your phone translates your voice. The person listening repeats the process speaking in their language for an interactive conversation – something unheard of not many years ago! You must download a language pack to your phone, typically around 100-megabytes, if you do not have a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The app only supports eight languages in offline mode – English, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Chinese, French, Italian and Russian. You must have an online connection with the other 32 languages, making it an important consideration.

Sometimes you need to ask a routine question, such as where is the subway? iTranslate Voice 3 contains over 250 standard phrases for conversation shortcuts. The translation app even has Apple Watch support. You can operate the two-way conversation features from your watch as you converse with the people you encounter. There is a free version with limited features. The premium version of iTranslate Voice 3 costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 annually.

google translate
google tranlate logo

Google Translate development began in 2006 and continued to improve. The neural machine translation engine evaluates entire sentences in context instead of word by word determination. However, you need to be careful when processing large blocks of words – shorter sentences translate more accurately. The current version supports two-way conversations in over 100 languages with a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. There are 52 offline languages supported by language pack downloads. The two-way conversation mode listens to each language and automatically translates it. There may be delays in the process, so patience is a virtue. Google Translate converts text into the desired language. You can also write text on your phone screen, and the app will translate it.

This translation app has a useful sign or verbal translation feature. Point the camera at the words you want to convert, and the software quickly translates it. You will appreciate this feature when you try to decipher product descriptions when shopping. Google Translate covers a large number of languages and supports global coverage. It is a good choice if you travel widely or must understand a wide range of languages. The software is free and available for Android or iOS devices.

Microsoft translate
Microsoft translate logo

Microsoft Translator supports features we previously discussed such as two-way conversations and image translation using the camera. It translates 60 languages online with 54 of them having offline capability. You can use the phrasebook for quick questions or convert voice translations to text. The Apple Watch is compatible with this translation app.

A transliteration feature pronounces words phonetically, a plus for Asian languages such as Chinese and Korean. The software has a unique capability allowing networking with many people in multiple languages using the live feature. Up to 100 users join the network and listen to the speaker. The software translates the conversation into each user’s language. They respond to the speaker in their local language as the translation occurs. Multiuser capability can be a useful feature for large business meetings and small groups on tour. Multiple people are not needed to communicate with the entire group! Microsoft Translator is free and may be best when used in large groups.

triplango
triplingo

Talk & Translate is a basic app and does not operate offline, but it may a good alternative if you have a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The software supports 26 languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can translate text-to-text, voice-to-voice and text-to-speech when communicating with your new international friends. You can email or text your translation results. Talk & Translate is free and only available for iPhone and iPad devices.

A translation app facilitates communication, yet it can be awkward due to data conversion delays and imprecise translations. TripLingo addresses the issue with over 2,000 standard phrases you can easily choose. Categorized situations include “eating and drinking.” You can even choose from selections in the “compliments and flirting” section but be careful!

The app goes beyond translation with travel and safety tools. You never expect to contact emergency services while on travel but knowing how provides peace of mind. Learning tools help you study the language beyond using the app, and culture notes help make you more welcome to your international hosts. TripLingo has a free version. Premium features cost $19.99 per month or $39.99 for a three-month subscription.

naver papago
naver papago

Asian languages can be more challenging for a translation app due to over 80,000 symbol based characters and tonal language patterns. Naver Papago Translate specializes in Asian languages but includes others such as Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, English, Japanese, Korean, French and Russian. It may be the best app for people traveling to Asia.

The app allows you to have a simultaneous conversation or translate the text. Text conversion occurs from camera images. A dictionary lists keywords, and the phrasebook reduces translation time for common requests. Some users report Naver Papago Translate works better than other applications, especially in a word for word translation. This software app is free.

waygo
waygo

Waygo also focuses on Asian languages but includes Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English. The smaller language subset allows you to access all translation data offline and use anywhere. Waygo offers limited capability compared to other software apps. Just point your camera at any printed text, and it automatically converts characters or symbols to the designated language. Users report it is accurate and useful for lists such as menus. Waygo charges $2.99 and $6.99 depending on the language and $11.99 for the full language bundle.

talk and translate
talk and translate logo

Talk & Translate is a basic app and does not operate offline, but it may a good alternative if you have a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The software supports 26 languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can translate text-to-text, voice-to-voice and text-to-speech when communicating with your new international friends. You can email or text your translation results. Talk & Translate is free and only available for iPhone and iPad devices.

sayhi translate
sayhi translate logo

SayHi Translate operates on iOS and Android platforms. It is a no-frills translation app requiring a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. You can translate languages from 43 countries between two people holding a conversation. Users report the interface is easy to use. The software is free.

Comparison Table

Application

Features

Link

iTranslate Voice 3
  • It supports 40 languages
  • two-way voice communication
  • interactive conversation
  • eight languages in offline mode
  • speak into the microphone and listen as your phone translates your voice
  • Costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 annually
Google Translate
  • supports 100 languages
  • two-way conversation
  • interactive conversation
  • 52 languages in offline mode
  • speak into the microphone and listen as your phone translates your voice
  • free software
Microsoft Translator
  • supports 60 languages online
  • 54 languages in offline mode
  • two-way conversation and image translation
  • transliteration and live features
  • multiuser capability
  • free software
Triplingo
  • supports 26 languages online
  •  Translates text-to-text, voice-to-voice and text-to-speech
  •  email or text your translation results
  • Free version available
  • Premium cost $19.99 per month or $39.99 for a three-month subscription
Naver Papago Translate
  • specializes in Asian languages
  • It may be the best app for people traveling to Asia.
  • simultaneous conversation or translate the text
  • Text conversion occurs from camera images
  • free software
Waygo
  • specializes in Asian languages
  •  The smaller language subset allows you to access all translation data offline and use anywhere. Waygo offers limited capability compared to other software apps. Just point your camera at any printed text, and it automatically converts characters or symbols to the designated language.
  • Waygo charges $2.99 and $6.99 depending on the language and $11.99 for the full language bundle.
Talk  & Translate
  • supports 26 languages online
  •  Translates text-to-text, voice-to-voice and text-to-speech
  •  email or text your translation results
  • Software Free. Available only for iPhone and iPad devices
SayHi Translate
  • It is a no-frills translation app requiring a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. You can translate languages from 43 countries between two people holding a conversation. Users report the interface is easy to use.
  • Free

Why Use A Translation App?

Language translation technology advances are impressive but remember they are not perfect. Some software apps perform better than others. People fluent in each language can best evaluate each translation. You can have confidence these amazing packages will facilitate communication when each person cannot understand the other. Who knows what adventures lie ahead for you?

You have many features, prices and languages to choose from when selecting translation app software. You may need to select a more robust package to translate a more localized language. Casual users with Wi-Fi connections can use the basic packages, especially for the major languages.

You may want the flexibility offline capability offers when shopping or touring in remote locations. Travelers to Asia might prefer specialized solutions while business users and tour groups use a multiuser app. Adventuresome people can use text-translation only apps when exploring new restaurants. There are one or more solutions available for your specific needs!