Language translation apps can be extremely useful tools when travelling or even when dealing informally with overseas colleagues or associates. The technology behind these apps has improved drastically in recent years and communicating with people in their own language is now more accessible than ever.
Translation apps can be useful in helping people to get to know each other, helping holidaymakers to find what they are looking for or simply enabling people to read menus, signs and other foreign-language material when overseas. However, they can also help to break down barriers between people who don’t share a common language by allowing strangers to at least great each other and share pleasantries; a valuable tool when you’re looking to forge business relationships.
That’s not to say that apps aren’t fallible. They most certainly aren’t perfect and must be used in an appropriate way. When it comes to business translations, or translations of legal documents, marketing and branding material, machine translation isn’t there yet and as things stand there really is no alternative to a human translation services expert.
But they are useful. Here’s our list of the top five language translation apps on the market today:
This free app is one of the most popular on the market. It supports more than 100 languages and allows users to translate words and phrases. It also has a conversation tool that can help translate your speech directly to a foreign counterpart, which can be very useful when you really need to get your point across quickly and easily.
2. Google Translate
This is probably the most well-known language translation app and, although it has a reputation for errors, it’s actually getting better all the time and is a valuable and impressive tool for any traveller or international business person. Again, it’s free and it supports over 100 languages.
Perhaps its most impressive feature is the camera-based Word Lens tool, which allows the user to hold the phone up to text to see the translation appear in place of the foreign writing. Never again will you be left wondering which is the men’s and women’s toilet when on holiday.
This is a simple but effective translation app that allows users to capture any written text and have instant access to a translated version. For translating menus, instructions, guidebooks and so on, this is a great and simple option.
This app offers more of an experience than most translation apps. If TextGrabber is the most focused language tool, then TripLingo is perhaps the most holistic, offering users everything from translation services, to quizzes, culture and etiquette information and even a currency converter.
The app also allows you to personalise your ‘experience’ helping you to get a customised service with translation and travel information most relevant to your specific requirements.
5. Say Hi
This app is intended for use when travelling but also when communicating with foreign friends online, though platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. This ingenious little tool can translate your voice, but also your messages, quickly and accurately, making the world feel so much smaller in an instant.
Although there’s no replacing human expertise for complex business translations, language translation apps are bringing people together and helping us to travel with ease and confidence.
Sometimes a little effort goes a long way with new connections. So if you’re booking an international trip in the coming weeks, consider giving them a try to help with some simple phrases.
Need a full translation service to bring your marketing material up to standards for that new global campaign? There’s no app for that! Get in touch with the team at Bubbles today