When you are in a foreign country or trying to communicate with someone who does not speak your language, a translator can be an invaluable service. While hiring a human translator is not the most practical solution there is now a good selection of free translator apps available for iOS and Android devices to assist you in reading and speaking other languages.
Interpret is a top free translator app with the ability to translate from and to over 50 languages basing its results from Google Translate and Bing. Once you have translated the text in the very simple-to-use interface, it is possible for you to share the translation with others via email, Facebook and Twitter. One limitation of the app is that you must be connected to the Internet to use it, although with a smartphone, this should not be too much of a hinderance.
Google Translate runs on a database of over 50 languages and uses a simple interface into which you can type, or paste text to be translated or even speak via your device microphone. You can flip the language being translated from with one tap and although you must be connected to the Internet to perform live translations, you can “star” useful translations for use offline when required, enabling you to build your own phrasebook.
Word Lens takes the translation tool to a new level, utilising your device’s camera. Simply point the camera at a sign and the app will translate the text into your designated language. At the time of writing the translations are not always the most accurate in the world, however the concept behind the app leaves us looking forward to updates, which could see this app rising to the top of the free translator app selection.
iTranslate boasts a similar layout to a majority of other translator apps, with two text boxes on the screen for “to” and “from” languages, into which you can type or paste text. You can translate single words or full phrases and paragraphs, and it is also possible to dictate text using your device’s microphone for speedy entry. Translations are not always completely spot-on but the simple interface and useful tools still make this an option that should not be ignored.
Translator with Speech
The first thing that you notice about the Free Translator with Speech app is how good it looks with its Rolling Stonesesque mouth icon. You tap this icon and speaking the words and phrases that you wish to translate into a selection of 54 languages. Like most translator apps you do need an Internet connection for live translations, however if you have an idea of what phrases you might need then you can prepare translations before, which can then be played back without a connection to the web.