The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (2023)

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If you are in another country and don’t speak the language, you can turn to your iPhone for help. Download an app and your device can serve as your universal translator.

ByLance Whitney

UpdatedJanuary 5, 2021

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The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (2)

If you need to translate a sign, menu, or even a conversation, your iPhone can act as a translator with help from the right app. Apple’s Translate, Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, Translator with Speech, SayHi Translate, and even Siri can handle translations between English and a wide variety of other languages.

Apple’s Translate

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (3)

With iOS 14, Apple unveiled its own built-in translator app that you can use to translate text and speech and carry on a real-time conversation with someone speaking a different language. Fire up the app and choose your source and target languages.

Translate text by tapping the “Enter text” space and typing what you need translated, then tap Go. The translation appears below your text. Tap the Play button to hear the translation spoken aloud. You can also tap the microphone button to speak a phrase you want translated. The translation pops up on the screen and is read aloud. To hear the translation again, tap the Play icon.

Save or Define a Phrase

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (4)

Tap the Star icon next to the translated text to make it a Favorite and save the phrase for future use. Tapping the book icon will allow you to see the definition of a word. By default, the first word in the translation is highlighted and defined. You can then tap another word in the translation to see its dictionary definition.

Tap the Favorites icon in the bottom navigation to view any phrases that have been added to your Favorites list as well as any recently translated phrases. Swipe down to see the recent phrases. Swipe a recent phrase to the left to add it as a Favorite or delete it from the list.

(Video) Best Translation App: Apple Translate vs. Google Translate

Translate a Conversation

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (5)

You can easily translate text for a back-and-forth conversation with someone speaking a different language. From the Translate section, select the languages you want, then tap one of the languages to view the Language screen. Swipe to the bottom and confirm that the option for Automatic Detection is switched on.

Next, turn your phone to landscape mode. Tap the microphone icon and start speaking in either language. The app should translate it into the other language and speak the translation. Tap the microphone icon again and speak a phrase in the other language. The app should translate it into the first language and speak the translation. Continue this way to carry on the conversation.

Google Translate

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (6)

Google Translate(Opens in a new window) supports more than 100 languages. The app’s home screen displays the source and target languages at the top. Just tap the name of each language if you wish to change either of them. You can then type, draw, or speak the words you want translated. You can also use a special Conversation mode to translate a real-time conversation between you and the other person.

If you typed or drew your words, tap the arrow next to the translation. Then tap the speaker icon to hear it read aloud. If you spoke the words, the translation automatically is read aloud. Just speak into the device, and Google Translate will translate it into your target language.

Conversation Mode

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (7)

To translate a real-time conversation, select your languages and tap the Conversation icon. Speak a sentence or phrase in your language. Wait for the translation, then tap the icon for the other language so the other person can speak. Wait for the translation into your language. Continue this process for the rest of the conversation.

Camera Mode

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (8)

To translate a sign, menu, or other piece of text with Google Translate, aim your camera at the item, and the translation conveniently appears on the screen. You can give a star to a translation to save it, a handy option if you think you'll need to refer to it again. You can also download more than 50 different languages for offline translation. Just tap one of the languages at the top and then tap the Download icon for the language you wish to use offline.

Microsoft Translator

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (9)

Microsoft Translator(Opens in a new window) is an effective tool, especially if you’re trying to carry on a conversation with someone else. At the app’s home screen, tap the microphone icon to speak, set your source and target languages, and speak a word, phrase, or more. Your words appear on the screen along with the translation. The app automatically reads the translation out loud. Here, you can also change the source and target languages.

If you type a word or phrase, your text will appear on the screen along with your translation. Tap the speaker icon to hear the translation. You can also translate text written in a foreign language by aiming your camera at the object. Snap a picture, and the app displays the translation on the screen.

Conversations

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (10)

The Microsoft Translator app comes with a cool messaging feature for conversing with other people who use the app. By sharing a code with other users, you can initiate a messaging session in Microsoft Translator. The app will automatically translate both sides of the conversation, allowing those who don’t speak the same language to understand one another.

Translation Guide

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (11)

You can download an array of languages to translate text and images offline. A handy phrase book provides common phrases and their translations for categories like travel, lodging, dining, health, and emergency. You can easily view a recent history of all translations and pin certain translations to access them more easily.

(Video) TOP 5 Translation Apps 🗣🌏

Translator with Speech

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (12)

The free Translator with Speech(Opens in a new window) app can translate a variety of languages via text, camera, or voice. Choose your source and target languages. Speak your text or type it and then submit it to allow the app to translate it. The app then displays your text with the translation and reads the translation out loud. You can also translate text by taking a picture with your camera. The app may ask you to highlight the text on the item for which it then displays a translation.

You can carry on a conversation with someone simply by flipping the source and target languages back and forth. The free version requires you to make in-app purchases to get voice recognition for all languages and use the app ad-free. For $0.99, a Pro version(Opens in a new window) includes the voice recognition and dispenses with the ads.

SayHi Translate

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (13)

The free SayHi Translate(Opens in a new window) app handles text and voice translation, so it's an ideal choice for conducting a conversation. Fire up SayHi and choose your source and target languages. Type or speak, and the translation appears and is read aloud. Kudos to this app for the way it handles a back-and-forth conversation. You can first display a message to the other person in a specific language to explain that you’re going to use the app to carry on a conversation. Then tap the icon for your language and speak. The translation displays and is read by the app. Tap the icon for the other language. Your conversation companion then speaks in his or her language, and you hear the translation in your own language.

Translate With Siri

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (14)

If you're running iOS 11 or higher, you can use Apple's voice assistant Siri for translation help. Activate Siri by either pressing the Home button or the side button depending on your device or via voice by saying "Hey Siri." Say the word or phrase you want Siri to translate followed by the target language.

For example, say "How do you say 'restaurant' in Russian?" Siri displays your spoken word or phrase and the translation. The voice assistant also pronounces the translation so you know how to say it yourself. You can tap the Play button next to the translation to hear it again and again.

You can also ask Siri to translate phrases. Try "How do you say 'where is the nearest art museum' in Russian?" In response, Siri displays your phrase and the translation and pronounces the translated phrase.

Correct Errors

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (15)

If for some reason Siri misunderstood your question, you can correct the error without having to issue another command. Tap any area in the question, edit what Siri thinks you said, then resubmit your question.

Continue Translating

The Best Translation Apps for iPhone (16)

Normally you would need to specify translations with each new request, but if you say something like "Hey Siri, translate into Spanish," you won't have to repeat yourself. Now you can ask something like "When do you open for dinner?" and Siri provides the translation. Siri will then continue in that tongue, so you can ask "Hey Siri, how do you say please bring me some water?" and it continues to respond with translations in the same language.

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(Video) Top 5 Best Free Translation Apps For iPhone & Android

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About Lance Whitney

Contributor

I've been working for PCMag since early 2016 writing tutorials, how-to pieces, and other articles on consumer technology. Beyond PCMag, I've written news stories and tutorials for a variety of other websites and publications, including CNET, ZDNet, TechRepublic, Macworld,Popular Science, Time, Fortune, US News & World Report, and AARP Magazine. I spent seven years writing breaking news for CNET as one of the site’s East Coast reporters.I've also written two books for Wiley & Sons—Windows 8: Five Minutes at a Time and Teach Yourself Visually LinkedIn.

(Video) Best Translation Apps for iPhone & Android Smartphones

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FAQs

Which translation app is most accurate? ›

Google Translate is one of the best all-round translation apps on the market. The app can detect more than 100 languages and provide offline translations to 59 languages. With their Word Lens feature, you can translate text on signs from 37 languages.

Is there an app that will automatically translate iPhone? ›

In the Translate app , you can translate text, voice, and conversations between any of the supported languages. You can download languages to translate entirely on a device, even without an internet connection. Note: Translation is available for supported languages. See the iOS and iPadOS Feature Availability website.

What is the most accurate text translator? ›

DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator.

How accurate is iPhone translator? ›

In terms of Apple's accuracy, it works more or less as well as Google Translate does in providing translations for the eleven languages that are currently available, in both text and voice recording.

Which is more accurate Google Translate or Apple translate? ›

As of the moment, Apple's voice-based translation feature isn't as accurate as the other two. It also does not offer regional language support. Google Translator, on the other hand, is the best of the bunch. The voice recognition is impressively accurate and the translation speed is also fast.

What app translates in real-time? ›

Translate Me is a simple yet powerful tool to translate text, speech and even to have real-time translated conversations! Travel around the world and communicate easier than ever: at the airport, supermarket, hotel, during business trips or simply while traveling on vacation.

How do you translate instantly on iPhone? ›

See which languages can be translated.
  1. On your iPhone or iPad, install Gboard.
  2. Open any app that you can type with, like Gmail or Keep.
  3. Tap an area where you can enter text.
  4. At the top of the keyboard, tap Open features menu .
  5. Tap Translate .
  6. Pick the language to translate from.
  7. Pick the language to translate into.

Is there any apps that translate directly while speaking? ›

The Google Translate app can translate dozens of languages, either through text or voice. You just type, write, or speak into the app. The program even allows you to point your smartphone at a sign or menu written in a foreign language to view a live translation.

What is the number one translator app? ›

1. Google Translate. Let's kickstart the list with probably the most popular free translation app in the entire world – Google Translate. The application allows you to successfully translate 108 languages by typing a word, 95 when using handwriting, and 90 when you use your camera.

Is there a better translation than Google Translate? ›

DeepL is one of the best Google Translate alternatives for people who really value accuracy, especially when it comes to grasping context and local idioms. DeepL offers an API that you can use to automatically translate your website, as well as a web interface and apps to translate text content or text files (like .

Is there a real time translator? ›

What is real-time translation? Real-time translation is the technology that can help you translate one language to another instantly. With the latest neural machine translation (NMT) platforms, two people can have a conversation in different languages with minimal delays or issues with accuracy.

How do I translate a live conversation on iPhone? ›

Step 1: Start translation
  1. Open the Translate app .
  2. At the top left and top right: Tap the languages shown. Tap the languages each of you speak.
  3. Tap Conversation .
  4. Say something.

What is the most accurate free translator? ›

Google Translate is the best-known option when it comes to the best free website translation tools. Via the Google Translate website, you can easily translate: Specific portions of text by copy and pasting.

What is the best instant voice translator? ›

  • Timekettle WT2 Edge/W3 translator earbuds – Editor's choice. ...
  • Langogo – Genesis pocket AI language translator. ...
  • Buoth – Language translator with camera. ...
  • SSK- Portable foreign language translators. ...
  • Birgus – Smart voice translator with HD touchscreen. ...
  • Pocketalk – Two way voice translator.
23 Nov 2022

Which is better iPhone translate or Google Translate? ›

Google Translate supports more than 100 languages, while the version from Apple handles 11. Depending on the app and language, you may need an internet connection, unless the content is available to download for offline use. Audio pronunciation or other features may not be available for some languages.

How accurate is Siri translate? ›

Accuracy. According to an article by Digital Trends, Google and Siri's language skills have been put to the test and the results are surprising. Google scored an average of 4.72 out of 6 in French, while Siri scored 4.24. For Spanish, Google scored 5.15 whilst Siri scored 4.64.

How do I get my phone to automatically translate? ›

Turn translation on or off
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
  2. To the right of the address bar, tap More Settings.
  3. Tap Languages.
  4. Under "Translation settings," turn on or off Offer to send pages in other languages to Google translate.

Can I use my iPhone Camera to translate? ›

Translate text using the camera view

Open the Translate app on iPhone, then tap Camera. At the top of the screen, select the languages you want to translate between. Position iPhone so that the text you want to translate appears in the camera view.

How do iTranslate a live conversation? ›

Translate a bilingual conversation
  1. Step 1: Start translation. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Translate app . ...
  2. Step 2: Talk & translate. To translate anything said in either language into the other language: Tap Auto . ...
  3. Step 3: Finish translation. To stop translation, at the top left, tap Back .

How do I turn on live translate? ›

Turn on Live Translate
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap System. Live Translate.
  3. Turn on Use Live Translate. By default, Live Translate will be on.
  4. Optional: To set a new default target language: Tap Translate to. Select a language. Tap Select Language.
  5. Optional: Add more source languages: Tap Add a language. Select a language.

How can I make my translation accurate? ›

How to get an accurate translation?
  1. Make sure your translator has the in-depth, specialised subject knowledge you need. ...
  2. Look for a well-organized team or company of translators. ...
  3. Step 3: To err is human, to check divine. ...
  4. Find a translation vendor with a DTP team who can handle any file type.

Which is more accurate DeepL or Google Translate? ›

For the languages that it supports, DeepL is regarded to be a bit more accurate than Google Translate. However, DeepL Translate has a limited language selection as compared to Google Translate and also costs more money.

Is iTranslate more accurate than Google Translate? ›

iTranslate Voice for iPhone. In terms of accuracy both tend to do well with Romanic languages such as French and Italian, but switch to Japanese and Google Translate offers more reliable results.

Is there a better app than Google Translate? ›

We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Google Translate, including Microsoft Translator, Yandex. Translate, Amazon Translate, and IBM Watson Language Translator.

Why is DeepL so much better? ›

DeepL is generally rated as having higher-quality translations, along with options to choose between formal and informal tones. So if you want the most accurate and natural-sounding translations, DeepL is usually the best option. Google Translate (and other services) are cheaper than DeepL.

Why is DeepL so much better than Google Translate? ›

Both use neural networks, but Google Translate (like most other machine translation engines) uses what are known as recurrent neural networks. By contrast, DeepL uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs), which produce better all-round results for longer, continuous sequences of words.

Is there an app that translates in real-time? ›

Real-Time Conversations

The Google Translate app helps you carry on a back-and-forth conversation with someone who speaks a different language. Choose the two languages and tap the Conversation icon.

Is there a real-time translator? ›

What is real-time translation? Real-time translation is the technology that can help you translate one language to another instantly. With the latest neural machine translation (NMT) platforms, two people can have a conversation in different languages with minimal delays or issues with accuracy.

Which is better Iphone Translate or Google Translate? ›

Google Translate supports more than 100 languages, while the version from Apple handles 11. Depending on the app and language, you may need an internet connection, unless the content is available to download for offline use. Audio pronunciation or other features may not be available for some languages.

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