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7 Best Translation Apps for Travel of 2022

7 Best Translation Apps for Travel of 2022

Whether you're traveling abroad, learning a new language or have a regular need for translation services, translation apps are a must. Overall, we've found Google Translate to be the best translation app for most situations.

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Best translation apps of 2022

Whether you're conducting a meeting with international business partners or simply need to ask where the bathroom is while traveling, language barriers can be a real headache. Fortunately, there are translation apps that can help you navigate every foreign language interaction with ease.

Whether you'd like to translate live conversations, search for common phrases or slang terms, or decipher Asian characters, there's an app that will suit your needs. Of the apps on our list, we've found that Google Translate, SayHi and iTranslate are the three most versatile and useful for general foreign language interactions. These apps tend to have offline, text, speech and image translation capabilities, which make communicating a simpler, more pleasant experience.

To help you choose the best translation app for your needs, we've analyzed a number of highly rated translation apps to compile this list of our top choices. Our recommendations are based on factors including offline capabilities, available languages, translation methods (i.e., speech, text, image, conversation), app cost and more. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers.

Best translation apps compared

Translation app
Cost
Works offline?
Available languages
Available translation methods
Google TranslateFreeYes108
  • Speech
  • Text
  • Image
  • Conversation
  • Handwriting
Microsoft TranslatorFreeYes90+
  • Speech
  • Text
  • Image
  • Conversation
Speak and TranslateFreeYes - Premium only117
  • Speech
  • Text
Show All Rows

Best translation app for everyday use: Google Translate

Verdict: With the highest number of versatile translation options, Google Translate is the most comprehensive app for day-to-day language translations.

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  • Numerous translation options
  • Lots of available languages
  • Free to use and download
  • Available offline
  • Easy to use
  • No phrasebooks or educational resources

Google Translate is one of the top translation apps on the market, and for good reason. This free translation app offers users a basic, straightforward translation experience. You have the option to type out a word or phrase for a text translation, translate text in images instantly by simply pointing your camera, upload images for translation and translate full conversations.

What sets Google Translate apart from the other apps on this list is that it also has the capacity to translate handwriting, so you can receive translations for handwritten characters. Google Translate also provides the highest number of languages of any of the apps we've ranked here. Finally, it can be used offline, which can be exceedingly helpful when traveling abroad.

How to install Google Translate: Google Translate can be downloaded in the App Store for iPhone and iPad or via the Google Play store for Android.



Best translation app for basic phrases: Microsoft Translator

Verdict: A nice alternative to Google Translate, Microsoft Translator has similar features and offers an offline phrasebook to help users learn the basics while traveling abroad.

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  • Includes useful features like conversation, text, image and speech translate
  • Offline phrasebook
  • Free to use and download
  • Offers fewer languages than other apps

Microsoft Translator comes with many of the same features included with Google Translate, like speech, text, image and conversation translation capabilities, and it's free to use and download.

However, Microsoft Translate includes fewer languages — only around 90+ to Google Translate's 108. What sets this app apart from its competitors is its offline language packs and phrasebook. This tool helps users learn common words and phrases, and you have the ability to save your most frequently used translations to your favorites for easy access.

How to install Microsoft Translator: Microsoft Translator is available for iPhone via the Apple Store and Android via Google Play.



Best translation app for conversation: Speak and Translate

Verdict: Speak and Translate Premium can be a great choice for those looking for conversational translations. If you'd rather use the free version, other apps will likely offer you more value.

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  • Many languages to choose from
  • Simple to use
  • Offline phrasebook available with Premium
  • The free version is limited: There's a cap on daily translations, ads are included, there's no access to offline translations and all limitations are subject to change
  • Full access requires an upgrade to Speak and Translate Premium: A one-month subscription costs $5.99 and a one-year subscription costs $69.99
  • Not available on Android

With 117 languages to choose from, Speak and Translate is one of the top apps offering text and speech translations. This app focuses specifically on conversational translation and even lets users select a male or female voice and its speed.

Speak and Translate also offers a selection of less common languages, including Icelandic, Zulu, Afrikaans, Persian and more. Unfortunately, for unlimited translations and offline capacity you'll need to upgrade to Speak and Translate Premium, as the free version of the app is limited.

How to install Speak and Translate: This app is available for download through the App Store and is now available as an app on the Apple Watch. It is not available for Android.



Best translation app for regional dialects: SayHi

Verdict: SayHi is one of our favorite apps for simple to use, conversational translations.

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  • Free to use and download
  • Many languages to choose from
  • Great for foreign language conversations
  • Simple to use
  • Not available offline

Another top app for conversational translation, SayHi is a must for conducting foreign language conversations with ease. This app offers users over 100 languages and regional dialect variations to choose from.

Though SayHi primarily focuses on conversational translations through speech, it also has the option to translate through text and image. One of our favorite qualities about this app is its simplicity. Users need only to press and hold the microphone to instantly translate their conversation. Unfortunately, this app is not available offline.

How to install SayHi: The SayHi app is available for download via the App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore.



Best translation app for offline translation: iTranslate

Verdict: This highly rated offline app not only helps users with translation, but also offers the tools to learn their desired foreign language.

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  • Free option is available
  • Available offline
  • Offers 100+ languages
  • For full app features, users must upgrade to either iTranslate Pro or iTranslate Premium, ranging from $5.99 for one month to $69.99 for one year.

iTranslate is our top choice for offline translation apps. Boasting 100+ languages and text, image, and speech translation capacities, this app also offers users the ability to conjugate verbs into different tenses which can help them learn the basics of their desired language.

Among this app's best features is its offline phrasebook and language pack, which comes with preset useful words and common phrases that users can download and use on the go. Travelers can upgrade to iTranslate Pro for access to more features.

How to install iTranslate: This app is available for download through the App Store, Google Play, App Gallery and online via the Web App. This app is available for download through the App Store, Google Play, App Gallery and online via the Web App.



Best translation app for cultural immersion: TripLingo

Verdict: TripLingo is an excellent all-around travel app, offering users help with translations, cultural knowledge, safety and travel tools, and even a free international Wi-Fi dialer.

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  • Free option available
  • Includes a variety of cultural immersion tools
  • Free international Wi-Fi calls
  • Access to a live, human translator
  • Audio lessons available with subscription
  • Offers fewer languages than other apps
  • Only the dictionary feature is available offline
  • Only offers speech and image translation
  • Must upgrade to a subscription or pay out of pocket for some features, like access to a live, human translator

TripLingo is so much more than a simple translating app. In addition to its speech and image translation capabilities in 42 languages, this app includes culture and etiquette guides and safety and travel tools, which incorporate things like currency converters, emergency information, a tip calculator, medical phrases and more.

It also allows users to make free international calls when connected to Wi-Fi. If you're looking to fully immerse yourself into the culture you're visiting, this app can be a great choice for you. Another of TripLingo's unique features is that it offers access to a live, human translator and audio lessons when you upgrade to a subscription.

How to install TripLingo: This app is available via the App Store and Google Play.



Best translation app for Asia travel: Waygo

Verdict: The Waygo app is a game changer for Asia travel, allowing users to snap a picture and instantly translate Chinese, Korean or Japanese characters.

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  • Free option available
  • Available offline
  • Useful for Asia travel
  • Only three languages available
  • Can only translate images
  • Must capture images of clear Chinese, Japanese and Korean text, doesn't currently recognize handwriting or stylized fonts
  • Works best for printed text, can't always capture images from computer screens or text more complicated than clear menus, labels or street signs
  • Free trial is limited to 10 translations daily, unlimited translations requires an upgraded subscription.
  • Subscriptions range from $1.99 to $11.99

Whether it's a menu, street sign or written document, Waygo is a great tool for translating Chinese, Korean or Japanese characters into English. This language translator app is incredibly niche, only offering three languages and the singular capability of translating images.

However, for those traveling in Asia either for business or pleasure, an image translation is a constant need. This app works completely offline and recognizes varying dialects, including Cantonese and Kanji. Translations include visual and audio pronunciations and for Chinese translations only, you'll have the option to view pictures of the food dish you are translating. Unlimited translations are available when you upgrade your subscription.

How to install Waygo: This picture translate app is available for download through the App Store and Google Play.

How do I install a translation app?

Installing a translator app will depend on whether you're looking to download your app onto Apple or Android products.

  • If you're using an Apple product, like an iPhone, you'll want to check to see if the translation app is available for download through the App Store.
  • If you're using an Android, you'll need to check if it's available to download through Google Play.

Once you've downloaded your app onto your mobile device, you will be prompted to select your desired settings. Typically these include things like your primary language, your preferred translation language, whether you'd like to use the app offline or different themes or settings specific to each app. After you've finished setting it up, your translator app will be ready to use.

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Which translation app is best for me?

To choose the best translation app for you, you'll need to consider what you plan to use it for:

  • If you're traveling to Asia and don't speak Chinese, consider the Waygo app, which will translate images of menus, street signs and more.
  • If you're conducting a business meeting in France but are unfamiliar with French customs, TripLingo may be the best option for you, as it offers a variety of resources for cultural immersion to help you avoid an embarrassing faux pas.
  • If you'd prefer a free app with general translation features, the Google Translate app could be a great choice.
  • If you need to ask for directions in Spain but you don't speak Spanish, a conversation-based app like SayHi could be your best bet.

In sum, you'll want to think about what your preferences and primary needs will be before choosing a translation app. However, because each of the translation apps above offer a free option, you may even want to download more than one.

Translation App FAQs

The best translate app for you will depend on what you plan to use it for. However, we like Google Translate as a simple, straightforward, multifeature translation app for everyday use.

Some translation apps are completely free while others offer a free option with the ability to upgrade in order to access more features. Whether or not a translate app is free will depend on the specific app.

Nearly all of the translator apps listed above can be downloaded for Android via Google Play, with the exception of Speak and Translate, which is not available for Android.

Yes, many of the translator apps listed above will work partly or completely offline. Our favorite app for offline translation is iTranslate.

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