10 Best Translation Apps for Travel Abroad to Bridge Language Barriers (2021)

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Not everyone has the luxury nor the time to learn new languages, even more so if it’s just a brief trip to a foreign destination! …BUT thanks to the best translation apps out there, it’s now absolutely easy to read and speak a local language.

In fact, you can’t imagine the number of times that a translation app has helped me in my travels — from reading street directions to ordering food, and from translating a ticket stub to holding an actual conversation with a local! They were, to say the very least, life-savers.

Most of these translation apps even have additional functionalities beyond just word-by-word translation: there are those that convert voice and images to English, some of them even work offline!

With that said, it is a MUST to have at least one translation app on your smartphone, but if you want to expand your choices then you should read through this article which lists out the best translation apps that will help you have a hassle-free vacation abroad!

Best Translation Apps for Travel

» Top 3 Best Translation Apps «

As the title suggests, below are the three (3) most popular apps that are proven to offer the best and most accurate translations! But don’t forget to continue scrolling after point #3 because the following best translation apps can still provide some extra functions that would suit you best (especially if you’re looking for an app that is specialized for a certain language).

1. Google Translate

Best Translation Apps: Google Translate

This has got the be the #1 translation app that I use most of the time, and I especially love its offline functionality, conversations feature, and instant camera translation.

  • Conversations: Speak to the app and an auto-generated voice will translate your speech for you so that a local can hear the words clearly in their language — and vice versa! It’s a great tool for holding an actual conversation with someone else.
  • Instant Camera Translation: As you can see in the photo above, you just point your camera at a foreign text and Google Translate will translate it automatically (isn’t technology amazing?!).

FEATURES:
~ 108 languages available for text translations
~ 90 languages for image translations
~ 59 languages available for offline use
~ 71 languages for live conversation translations
~ Detect language feature
.
PRICE: FREE
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

– – –

2. Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator came out a bit late in the game so it only holds 90 languages, to date; nevertheless, a lot of people claim that though the languages are few, the quality of the translations is high.

Meanwhile, they have the same features like Google Translate, but the one nifty function that Microsoft Translator has is on how its conversations functionality can be done together with a group of people! Users can create a room and after joining it by scanning a code, members can hold multi-lingual group conversations.

FEATURES:
~ 90 languages available for text translations
~ 39 languages for image translations
~ 47 languages available for offline use
~ 30 languages for live conversation translations
~ Detect language feature
.
PRICE: FREE
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

– – –

3. Speak & Translate

This is much like the previous two but its popularity can be attributed to its quick voice and text translator, as well as the fact that it has an Apple Watch app with iCloud integration.

FEATURES:
~ 117 languages available for text and image translations
~ 10 languages available for offline use
~ 54 languages for live conversation translations
~ Detect language feature
.
PRICE: FREE, with paid premium features (monthly/yearly plan)
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

» Lesser-Known Best Translation Apps «

Like I’ve previously discussed, the following seven (7) best translation apps that may be lesser known, but they pack some features that can be useful for your needs!

4. iTranslate Translator

One of the features that people love about iTranslate is its built-in dictionary and phrasebook that contain a lot of useful phrases in over a hundred languages! If you also want to improve the way you speak (e.g. minding verb conjugations etc.), it offers a pro version that will help you do that.

The coolest feature? It has AR mode technology where it can do real-time object translations!

FEATURES:
~ 100 languages for text, image, and voice translations
~ Dictionaries and phrasebooks with over 250 predefined phrases
~ Widgets and flashcards to learn a new phrase every day
~ Offline translation functionality
~ Detect language feature
.
PRICE: FREE, with paid premium features (monthly/yearly plan)
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

– – –

5. iTranslate Converse or Voice

These are two (2) separate apps that are additional to the iTranslate product line but are only available on Apple devices.

  • iTranslate Converse: A speech translation app for two-way conversations in 38 languages. It also automatically detects the language of the other party for fast and accurate translations even in noisy environments! (It even transcribes the conversations which you can easily export).
  • iTranslate Voice: For a more flawless voice translation, this is an amazing app to use. It is available in over 40 languages and much like the previous app, voice translations can be transcribed and exported.

PRICE: FREE, with paid premium features (monthly/yearly plan)

– – –

6. Naver Papago

Created by the famous Naver Corporation in South Korea, Papago is one of the best translation apps especially when it comes to Asian languages.

To date, they offer the following 13 languages: Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Russian, German, and Italian.

FEATURES:
~ 13 languages for text, image, and voice translations
~ Handwriting and website translations
~ Dictionary and phrasebook sections
~ Offline translation functionality
~ Detect language feature
.
PRICE: FREE
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

– – –

7. Photo Translator

If you want a stand-alone app that is focused on doing photo or image translations, you should download Photo Translator. It is especially helpful since it can function offline as well in order to help save you from spending phone data!

FEATURES:
~ 100+ languages supported
~ Auto language detection
~ Offline functionality
~ Most advanced OCR & AI Translation technology
.
PRICE: FREE, with paid premium features (monthly/yearly plan or one-time payment)
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android
ALTERNATIVE: TextGrabbr (iOS / Android)

– – –

8. TripLingo

As the name implies, this is a useful translation app if you want to also learn the local lingo. In fact, TripLingo offers you the ability to learn essential phrases in 4 slang levels, whilst getting a crash course on the local culture!

FEATURES:
~ 100+ languages supported
~ 2,000 phrases in 13 languages
~ 10,000 words offline dictionary
~ 42 languages for voice and image translations
~ “Culture Crash Course” feature
~ Tip calculator and currency converter
.
PRICE: FREE, with paid premium features (monthly/yearly plan)
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

– – –

9. SayHi

SayHi is one of the best translation apps for travel especially since it has dialect support for a select number of languages! But one downside about it is that it’s only available for use when you’re connected to the internet.

FEATURES:
~ 55 languages supported
~ 8 countries supported for dialects
~ Voice translation with speed controls
.
PRICE: FREE
DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

– – –

10. Waygo

If you’re traveling to China, Japan, or South Korea, Waygo is the top translation app that you need by your side! It concentrates on these 3 countries’ languages (Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Kanji, and Korean) and it’s also entirely available offline!

FEATURES:
~ Text and image translations
~ Hear the proper pronunciation of words
~ No data connection required
.
PRICE: FREE, with paid premium features
DOWNLOAD: iOS

• • •

10 Best Translation Apps for Travel Abroad to Bridge Language Barriers (2021)

Overall

I hope this list of the best translation apps will help you in your future travels — the same way that they have helped me.

Let me know in the comments section below about your experiences!

• • •

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Solo Female Travel Blogger: Aileen Adalid

Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (online entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.

My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel no matter the odds — and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel hacks, guides, resources, tips, and MORE!

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