Best Translation Apps for Overseas Adventures
In an ideal world we would all learn the language of a foreign country before moving there.
The ability to speak/understand the language of your host nation can enhance personal experience and improve job prospects, as well as positively changing the way locals perceive and interact with you.
But, unfortunately, time constraints/commitments often mean there simply isn’t time to learn the lingo before your arrival.
While you are likely to pick up key words and phrases over time, particularly of you are constantly exposed to the language, in the first few weeks of living abroad you might struggle to make yourself understood.
Luckily, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are hundreds.
When it comes to translation apps there’s certainly no issues of quantity, but there can be a real disparity when it comes to quality.
To help you on your way we’ve sourced 5 of the best translation apps out there!
Google Translate – Free
This fantastic app allows you to speak the phrase you’d like translated and hear the translation spoken back to you, ensuring you can get the pronunciation as accurate as possible. You can also type in a word or phrase and instantly receive a written translation. Currently Google Translate is available for over sixty languages, from Arabic and Chinese, to Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
Universal Translator – ($2.99, £1.99)
If you’re making foreign connections but are finding that your conversation’s getting a bit lost-in-translation, this is the app for you. As well as translating words and phrases at the touch of a button, with Universal Translator you can chatter away with someone even if you don’t speak a word of their language. By using Google Talk the app is able to automatically translate what you say into a foreign language for the benefit of your companion, before translating their response into your own language. The app supports over 50 languages, including Danish, Greek, Croatian, Malay, Thai, Icelandic and Turkish.
L-Lingo for iPhone – Free
Although L-Lingo gives the user access to thousands of foreign words and phrase, this isn’t just your run of the mill translation app but a really useful tool for learning a language. By taking a multimedia approach to presenting foreign languages (uniting words with pictures and recordings of native speech) L-Lingo ensures you can understand the basics and get your head round the not-so-basics at the same time. Currently available in Arabic, Burmese, Mandarin Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi and more.
iTranslate – Free
iTranslate optimises the most up-to-date text to speech technology, allowing you to hear translations of words and phrases in a huge range of dialects as well as letting you control the speaking rate and chose between a male and female voice. Premium features, like voice recognition and Romanisation (which translates non-Latin characters into Latin characters) can be purchased for about $2.99/£1.99 and are well worth the price. With iTranslate you can also share your translations with your friends through a host of social media options and save translations in your favourites and history, so you can access them offline. At the moment this app supports over 60 languages.
MyLanguage – ($4.99, £3.20)
By striving to be more than just your average translation app, MyLanguage encourages its users to be part of a learning community by offering them access to engaging, fun and practical applications. Main plus points include translations provided by native speakers and the option of submitting a translation request (if a word or phrase you come across isn’t yet translatable by the app). You can also copy and paste translations with the option of sending them on via email, text or through social network sites. This app currently supports 59 languages.