Best Translation Apps for iOS
Published on February 20, 2020 / Updated on December 12, 2022
Choosing the right one from the many translation apps for iOS can feel quite overwhelming. When deciding on a translation app, consider if you need translations for speech, written text, images (like signs), as well as a dictionary versus long-form texts. If you are using a translation app to learn a language, we definitely recommend combining this with an online class to make sure you grasp the language fully.
How it works: Though Worldictionary comes at a small fee, it’s a rather ingenious solution for translation needs during travel. You can simply point your iPhone camera at a word (think road sign, map, or directions), and it will instantly translate it and give you the definition. No need to type anything or take pictures. It contains all the main international languages such as French, German, and English.
Price: Free, premium at $2.99 to remove ads
How it works: Speech Trans is useful for those who need help recognizing spoken languages. Using advanced voice recognition software, you can instantly identify a language and translate both speech and text. You can even share the results via SMS and email. It works with over 30 major world languages.
How it works: iHandy Translator is as handy as the name suggests. It comes with the option to translate whole sentences, phrases, or individual words in 52 languages. You can also save translations for later so you don’t need to retype them. What’s more, you can share your translation on social media and use the text-to-speech feature to hear native speaker accents.
How it works: Speak & Translate is an app for those who are dedicated to translating spoken languages. This app allows you to speak in 54 languages and write in over 100. You can even choose to have your written text read aloud in a male or female voice. Use it for real-time speech interpretation and to help you speak seamlessly with native speakers in a foreign country.
How it works: Everyone knows the classic app Google Translate. But you might not know its full range of capabilities. With a whopping 103 languages available for translation, you can translate words, sentences, and entire pages in an instant. Furthermore, you can directly translate speech, scanned images of entire printed pages, and even images like road signs. It’s a true all-arounder when it comes to translation capabilities.
How it works: Microsoft Translator is Microsoft’s answer to Google Translate. The translations are said to be quite accurate for a general translator. But the real unique feature is that you can have in-person conversations with as many as 100 people at once – even in multiple languages! Text can be translated into over 60 languages and the camera translates words on images in a snap. Furthermore, this app has the option to view phrase-books to ensure you get the right translation for the particular context.
Price: Free, pro features at $39.99 per year
How it works: One of the most common translation apps for iPhone, iTranslator is a translation dictionary that works with over 100 languages. You can save your favourite translations, and even integrate it with an Apple Watch. The free features include word or phrase pronunciation in male or female voices and different dialects, a phrasebook, and saving your favourites and translation history. You can upgrade to pro for $39.99 per year and use your camera for instant image translations, voice conversations, complete website translations, and complete verb conjugation lists.
Price: Free, pro at $9.99
How it works: MyLanguage is useful for when you would like to learn how to pronounce particular words. You can translate 90 different languages, in which the translations appear with latin script so that the characters from different languages are spelled out with the Latin alphabet, which is super convenient for English speakers in particular. This app is also supported by crowd-sourced translations, so it’s pretty reliable even for translating dialects.
How it works: Dictionary Linguee is a super helpful app for those working with written translations or need to learn contextually-based phrases. The dictionary itself functions offline and translates most major languages. Its unique feature is that you can view example sentences for translations, so you can determine whether an a translation is suitable for a particular context. Furthermore, all the dictionary entries can be played aloud and are spoken by professional native speakers.
Price: free, comes with your iPhone
How it works: While this one isn’t quite an app, iPhone users with version iOS 11 or more can use Siri similarly to a translation app. You can activate Siri by either holding down the “Home” button or by saying “Hey Siri.”
You then have a few options based on what you need: Siri can translate a word from English to another language by asking, for example, “How do you say picture in French?”. If Siri might have misunderstood, you can correct your sentence with the “Tap to Edit” function and resubmit your question. Siri also uses this same functionality for phrases or whole sentences. One tip is that you may also need to split your translated phrase from the command to translate to a particular language. After the first translation, Siri will automatically continue translating to your desired language without another command.