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Making a translation of a text is a meticulous and time-consuming process. The task of a translator is to understand the main idea of that text, indicate its tone and style and find the appropriate word equivalents in a target language. We all agree that it’s a true art and requires some considerate amount of time to create a masterpiece. But sometimes you just need to translate a word or an expression really fast. When you’re traveling or learning a foreign language, having a quick helper is definitely plus. So, what should you do if hiring a personal translator is not an option? Use a translation app on your smartphone, of course. It’s time for us to start enjoying the fruits of the digital era and choose the best from the best. And here’s the top translation apps you can download and use to your advantage.
Choose Your Favorite Translation App!
1. Voice Translation Apps
Voice Translator (Android)
Remember those phrase books we used to buy that were supposed to make the communication process with foreigners easier in the pre-digital era? Those are really useless. Even if you can learn how to pronounce a certain phrase and will start a conversation, your dialogue partner will answer you and you won’t understand a word from his speech. The Voice Translator has solved this inconvenience. You can record your speech on the phone using this app and it will translate it into whichever language you choose.
Enjoy speech-to-speech translation that supports 90 languages and dialects. The app’s algorithm is aimed at recognizing your voice and translating your speech into a foreign language. The great feature of this tool is that it supports multiple dialects. You can hear the differences between the pronunciation of Spanish words in Spain and Argentina, for example. The app is perfect for those who start learning a foreign language or those who are about to travel abroad.
If you travel a lot and would like to have short and meaningful conversations with locals, this app is for you. Not only does it have an instant voice translator, there is also emergency information, a currency converter, and a tip calculator. You have everything that a tourist needs in one place. One of the cool features is four slang levels. You can choose the appropriate phrases and impress your conversation partners.
Speak and Translate (Apple)
It’s a voice and text translator but speech-to-speech translations are unavailable for some languages. Thanks to the app’s integration to iCloud, you can use it on all of your devices (even on Apple Watch) and view your translation history. It has an offline mode so that you can easily use it in countries where there difficulties with the internet connection.
2. Camera Translation Apps
It’s very easy to type in a word or phrase you need to translate into your smartphone in one of the languages with Latin or Cyrillic letters. But how about dealing with Japanese, Chinese or Korean characters? Waygo translation app allows you to take a picture of the symbols you don’t understand and translate it into your language. It’s fast and convenient. The downside of the app is its limit of 10 translations you can get per month for free. But there’s an option of saving your translations so you won’t have to translate the same words again if you forget them.
Word Lens (Apple)
You’ve probably heard about this app. It works like this: you take a picture of a sign, menu in a restaurant or any other text and the app will translate it into your native language. Google has integrated it into Google Translate and now we can all enjoy using it.
This great app supports over 100 languages. Its unique feature is recognizing printed text on images. You can then work with it in whichever way you like. It is easy to cope, paste, edit and translate the text. You can also search on the Internet or on maps and share it with friends. The app also reads QR codes.
3. Dictionary-Based Apps
If you’re looking for a straightforward and easy-to-use translation app, this one is a perfect choice. It has only one menu where you can select the necessary language pair of over 90 languages available. Then you simply enter your text and receive its translation. A free version has a limitation of the text’s length you can translate and, naturally, a lot of ads. If you want to overcome these drawbacks, you can pay $5. You can also listen to the right way of pronunciation the phrase or word you’re interested in. Although, you’ll need an internet connection for that option.
It’s more of a dictionary that gives you all the possible definitions of a word and their translations. You can also see how this word can be used in a sentence and then see its translation as well.
A very easy-to-use translation app. You just point your iPhone at a word or phrase you want to translate and it does all the job for you. You don’t even need to take pictures or enter the words. It can be a real savior while traveling abroad.
If you’re tired of apps with fancy and confusing design and simply need to get the job done, you’ll definitely like this translation app. There’s nothing complicated here – just two little screens and language choice. You type in a word and see its translation below. Browse through your search history and log in using one of your social media accounts. You can use a free version or buy the application to have no ads and an unlimited text to translate.
Papago supports 10 languages: Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian. The cool trick this app does is asking you for a context when there are several options for translating the same phrase. It improves accuracy dramatically. While traveling, you can use an offline mode which is very convenient. There is also a phrase book with common expressions.