Miscommunication is arguably the biggest problem for travelers in foreign countries, but these days it doesn’t have to be. The variety and sophistication of today’s mobile translation apps make language assistance in virtually any language a tap or swipe away.
From pictogram-based solutions to digital vocabulary flashcards, the following are the top 13 translation apps for communicating in a foreign language.
Tandem helps users find native speakers of almost any language interested in doing a language exchange. The app is simple: log in, find someone online who speaks your desired language, and invite them to chat for free.
GoldenDict is purportedly the fastest and most multi-formatted dictionary app on the market. The solution supports Lingvo, Babylon, Lingoes and Dictd dictionary files, and is capable of displaying articles with full formatting, colors, images and sounds.
Multi Language Translator is one of the best free multi-language translation apps available today. The ad-free solution supports over 50 languages and offers text-to-speech functionality for improving pronunciation.
This innovative app uses the oldest method of communication in the world to provide language assistance. Users can choose from over 450 pictograms and combine images to get the message across. 7 languages are currently supported: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic.
Chinese is the most widely used language in the world, but it’s also one of the most difficult to learn. To help out in this regard, Bravolol’s “Learn Chinese Free” providers users with a collection of common travel words and phrases and an easy-to-use vocabulary translator. Bravolol also offers similar apps in 13 other languages.
Redigo’s language app not only provides translation services, but also offers a basic phrase book (available in 7 languages), pictogram-based communication, as well as travel information such as places of interest, siteseeing tips, and upcoming local events.
Hello Talk provides language learners with a casual, low-stress digital environment for conversation-based learning. The solution’s Whatsapp-like interface supports chat with voice/text messages for practicing with native speakers in over 100 languages.
Travelers to multiple countries often find themselves installing multiple language apps on their mobile devices. With the Tourist language learn & speak app, users have a consolidated platform for learning/finding appropriate phrases in several languages. The app currently supports Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
Tap & Say is a travel phrasebook app with support for a myriad of languages—Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and more—all on one platform. Each supported language has over 600 essential phrases categorized/translated, augmented by spoken audio recorded by a native speaker for accurate pronunciation.
TripLingo’s voice translation app offers several translations for a given phrase (i.e., formal, casual, and slang) as well as phonetic guides for aiding proper pronunciation. The solution currently supports 23 languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese.
iTranslate’s award winning translation tool offers sophisticated capabilities such as the ability to speed up/slow down audio playback, translation between different dialects, and support for over 90 languages.
HiNative’s question and answer app enables language learners to get responses to their inquiries from native speakers of over a hundred languages and dialects. The solution supports audio and picture uploads when words aren’t enough to get the message across.
In short, if you’ve got a smartphone, you now also have a personal language translator and tutor in your pocket. Never let language barriers get in the way of business and/or personal communications again with the help of these 13 apps.