Unlike earlier days, when travel was restricted to the rich and elite, traveling has become an integral part of almost every human’s life. People travel for a myriad of reasons, like work assignments, leisure, exploring, etc. While traveling might seem like the best thing to do in your free time, many barriers might prevent you from traveling.
No, We’re not talking about the physical, worldly barriers such as money, visas, etc. We’re talking about cultural barriers like language, habits, customs, etc. These barriers, especially language barriers, might confuse travelers. And they can be a huge deterring factor for tourists in experiencing the actual offerings of the country. Well, fear not, for technology has come to your rescue.
Today, information channels such as news outlets, video channels, music services etc. have turned the world into a global village. The best and perhaps the most useful example of such an information channel is a translation service. All of us know what a translation service is, so we won’t bother going into the details of what it is. Life has become much more comfortable after apps have started to offer translation services. But all of us know that there are good translation services, and there are great ones. And today, we are going to list down the great ones.
Without further ado, here are the best translation apps available for Android in 2020.
Rating: 4.5 (6.8 million)
Google Translate, launched in April 2006, is a service that relies on neural machine translation to translate user input into various languages. This list couldn’t possibly start without mentioning one of the most popular, most used, and most reliable translation services that exist in the world today. It can translate words and sentences into a possible total of 103 languages.
It’s Android app gives you the option to download language packs for specific languages. This means that even if you are offline, or in a low network coverage area, the app will work perfectly fine in translating sentences or phrases into the language that you have downloaded the pack for.
Google Translate offers a myriad of functions such as handwriting translation, full webpage translation, speech translation. It also offers image recognition and translation(used for signboards, warning signs, etc.), full document translation and typed word translation. It has a rating of 4.5 (6.8 million ratings) on the Google Play Store. The size of the app varies from device to device, but on our test device (OnePlus 7 Pro), the app weighed around 60 MB in download size.
Rating: 4.6 (410,000)
Microsoft Translator is the second app on this list that has been developed by an established company, and the app shows its big-tech prowess from the get-go. It has a database of over 60 languages. It has one of the cleanest and most intuitive user interfaces we’ve ever seen in a translating app.
Like Google Translate, it offers typed text translation, voice translation, and image translation. However, unlike any other app on this list, it provides real-time cross-language translation, that allows you to have a conversation with a person in a different language. It uses the microphone to receive voice input from both conversers, and it translates the input in real-time to the pre-selected languages.
Microsoft translator also offers multi-person conversation translation for up to 100 people. It also offers phrasebooks, which allow you to use verified translations in your speech, yielding authenticity to your conversations. It also shows you transliterations to help you pronounce your translations correctly. Microsoft Translator also allows you to download language packs so as to enable you to translate sentences and phrases without internet access.
All in all, barring the language count, Microsoft Translator is one of our favorite apps on this list. This app weighs around 63 MB in size, making it the heaviest translator app on this list. But, the size is worth all the features it provides to users.
3. Naver Papago
Rating: 4.0 (34,000)
Papago is the name of the translator developed by Naver Corp., based in South Korea. It is an AI-based translator that supports 13 languages. Even though the number of languages available is less, the quality of translations derived from Papago is one of the best in the market, sometimes even better than the ones given by Google Translate.
The thirteen languages are namely Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Russian, German, and Italian. It supports and delivers translations based on text input, image, real-time speech, conversation, handwriting, and websites. It has a Papago Mini add-on that will hover over your apps and give you a real-time, instantaneous translation of the text you have selected.
Moreover, it has a global conversation section, which includes famous phrases from all thirteen languages that are used on a daily basis. This section is available offline. Also, the app allows you to download language packs which aid in offline translation. Its conversation translation engine is also very accurate, and it yields relevant results every time. And to top it all off, the app is available for free. This app weighs approximately 24 MB in size.
Rating: 4.5 (52,000)
The SayHi Translate app is perhaps the most unique app on this list. This is because this is the only app in this list to focus on speech-to-speech translation. It has a total of 90 languages and dialects. The translation engine automatically picks up your voice and translates it to the target language, and it picks up the target voice and translates it to your language.
The translation is also passed through a speech-to-text engine that types out your voice so that you can quickly rectify any error that may have crept in. It has a clean and elegant user interface that is extremely user-friendly and very intuitive to use. You can change the characteristics of the system’s voice as well, such as gender (male or female), pitch, and speed.
The voice has been localized for many languages, which means that the resulting voice will not be difficult to comprehend, even in extremely dialect-heavy areas. Unlike other apps on this list, it requires an active internet connection if you want to use it. This app weighs around 10 MB in size.
Rating: 4.4 (20,000)
Price: Free (Contains Ads)
The Translate All app is one of the simplest, most easy-to-use translation apps available in the market. It has a dictionary for all languages, which allows you to look up words that you already know. The conversation mode allows you to translate speech and enable conversation with another person instantly. Note that for the current version, it only supports a conversation between two people. The image-to-text translation engine, known as the camera mode within the app, allows you to translate text that is captured in photos and images. You may choose to click an image or choose an image that is already present in your gallery.
The speech mode allows you to speak directly into your microphone and translate your voice into the desired language. Unlike other apps that offer the phrasebook feature, the phrasebook in this app allows you to make your own dictionary organized into folders and stored offline. This allows you to refer to your favorite phrases as and when you please, even without an internet connection. The app offers translations in around 90+ languages currently. The app weighs around 11 MB in size.
Rating: 3.8 (330,000)
Price: Free (In-app Purchases for Pro features)
iTranslate Translator and Dictionary is perhaps the most popular and the most used translator app after Google Translate. It has a total language offering of more than one hundred. For its regular, free-to-download app, it offers free typed text translations, dictionary for all languages along with a thesaurus, transliteration, and two text-to-speech avatars, one male and one female. For other features like image recognition, voice-to-voice translation, offline translating, and verb conjugation, the user has to make a purchase and upgrade to the PRO version of iTranslate, which costs $2.99 per month.
The app can also switch between various dialects and vocabularies, which you can select based on your geographical location within the country. It also has an in-built history and trivia section, which allows you to gain snippets of knowledge while you are translating. iTranslate does not offer full document translation and native webpage translation yet, but it is still a strong contender owing to the dictionary and thesaurus offerings. The size of this app varies from device to device, but on our test device (OnePlus 7 Pro), it had a download size of 36 MB.