If you’re travelling this Autumn then you’ll need to consider the mother tongue(s) of the places you visit, especially if you’re going on a road trip through more than one country. Whilst many places do make the effort to speak English and provide translated copies of menus, leaflets etc, having a good translation app (or more than one) is a good idea for those times when language really is a barrier.
Google is right up there with their Translate app, with support for 103 languages in total. Available on a number of operating systems, it’s free and has recently been updated to include direct camera-to-translation functionality for 38 languages, which is fabulous as you can literally run your phone over an image and get an instant text translation.
The Conversation Mode allows you to use your phone or device to listen to real speech and read text translation instantly (available for 32 languages) and it’s also possible to use the app in areas with no mobile data or WiFi, although this is just limited to text typing. Offline mode supports 59 languages and is a lifesaver in remote areas.
Microsoft’s Translator app is also free for Apple, Windows and Android users and offers a powerful alternative to Google, with support for over 50 languages, speech-to-text functionality and real time camera-based translation. It does also offer offline translation, but only for Windows Phone users, which is one of the downsides to using this if you use a different device.
There is a business version of this app available which can be used for internal comms between workforces in different countries – it may not be relevant for all our readers, but if you’re combining business with pleasure then it’s worth a look.
TripLingo encompasses both direct translation and teaching you local phrases and terminology for the local area, so you feel more at home. This app is all about enabling you to blend in and find your way around and includes some nifty features such as a tip calculator, phrasebook, voice translator and safety tools for the country you’re in – so no more wondering how to call for the emergency services, this app will tell you how.
There are 4 slang levels available depending on how much you want to talk like a local, as well as information on local shopping, dining out and practical tips on getting around. We’re big fans and we think you should be too!
This is both a translator and dictionary app, with support for over 100 languages and the option to favourite frequently used phrases for easy access in the future. The free version will suit all of your basic needs, with a Smartwatch extension also available.
There are in-app options to upgrade to both Pro and Premium. Pro is available on a monthly basis for £4.99 (or £9.99 for 2 months) and offers offline translation for 32 languages, voice mode, website translation and conjugations. Premium is £6.99 and offers voice-to-voice translation and dialect support.
This free app focuses largely on spoken translation which is great in areas with different dialects, as all users need to do is speak into your device and it will translate their words into text instantly. SayHi Translate is available for Android and Apple users and renders almost as a conversation window like you’d see on a messaging app, providing an extra conversational element to the translation and also means you can remember what you’ve said previously.
This app offers support for over 90 languages and dialects, including all you’d want and some you wouldn’t even think about, such as Persian, Malagasy and Samoan.