What is in your travel tech bucket list? If you do not have a translator app in there, you might consider updating it. Why travel if you won’t mingle with other cultures and meet new people? At least that is my point of view. To breach the language barrier, I rely on some pretty slick free translator apps. Let me share my top 5 with you. After this read, you will be set to translate any local lingo during your travels.
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Voice input, spoken and text translations for over 60 dialects. Google does it all free of charge. This language translator app works offline, with the proper language packs and phrase books pre-installed.
This translator app has to be the most prized and robust free option out there. iTranslate comes with text-to-speech features, over 40 languages cross-platform, and speech speed control. For some extra bucks, you can even download more add-ons such as voice recognition.
I think it’s the oldest free translator app in this list. All that experience went into improving design and functionality. The developers put the focus on the users. User-friendly, MyLanguage’s translations are even subject to user ratings to ensure quality and accuracy. It supports 59 native tongues; and for an extra $5.99, go pro for more languages and features like text-to-speech.
An innovative free translator app that you will love to use. Speak your words into the microphone and turn the phone toward your interlocutor to have Vocre say the translation for you. Practical, right? Best part, it supports 66 languages; drawback is that it comes with only 20 free translations. Use them with care, because the app works on a pay-per-translation model. Smart for the business, expensive for us modest users.
Another innovative translator app that is so mind-blowing, its launch video went viral. Just point your smartphone camera at the words to translate and watch them make more sense before your eyes. Bluffing! For best results, use Word Lens for large, well-lit texts with simple fonts. This awesome translator app is free for a limited time following its acquisition by Google. That’s your chance to avoid the $5 per language package.
Photo credit: Omid Tavallai via flickr CC
Note that S Translator is another strong translator app, that works a lot like Word Lens, but only free for Samsung users. Also, Speak & Translate, and TranslatePro could have made this list if they were not iOS exclusives.
These free translator apps give you the gist of what you were trying to translate, but the grammar will not be perfect. For me, for the price you pay for them – that is nothing – they exceeded my expectations.