Translate on the Go With These Translation Apps

Translation apps are useful when traveling and indispensable in certain situations when you need to translate something quickly and accurately. Some of these apps have nice functionality but lack flair. I’ve tried a number of them out, and most translate any word or phrase I typed, but some were limited to a certain set of languages.

Let’s look at a roundup of the top free translation apps for Android to understand what is on the market and what these apps are capable of.

I’m currently learning Portuguese and used that as a basis for how I looked at the apps. Most of the apps used the Google API for translation and so have similar features to Google Translate, supporting most of the same languages with a rich dictionary and voice recognition. However, a few of them didn’t have Portuguese language but were still good apps. A few were specifically for Portuguese but also had other apps for other languages as well; these apps were more like dictionaries with a search feature but have value because you can use some of them offline, unlike Google API-based translator apps.

 

Google Translate

The gold standard for translation tools, Google Translate is one of the best options out there. Many of the other translation tools use Google’s API for translation services, so why not just go right to the source?

Features

  • History and Starred translations
  • SMS Translation
  • Rich dictionary
  • Autocomplete
  • Voice recognition

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.5+
Market Link: Google Translate
Developer: Google Inc.

AllTranslate

AllTranslate is a pretty straightforward translation app and supports TTS and voice recognition. It lets you double-check the translation by translating the result back to your original language. It also includes the rich dictionary features and uses the Google Translate API. It won’t win any beauty contests but it is fast and functional, just how I like my apps.

Features

  • Rich dictionary and definitions from the Google API
  • Voice recognition
  • TTS (Text To Speech) support
  • Full sentence translation

Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.1+
Market Link: AllTranslate
Developer: Michael Spoida

Better Translate

Better Translate handles all your translation needs and more, allowing you to use not only the Google Translate service but also Bing Translation as well. There is a pro version of Better Translate that includes SMS translation and removes the ads.

Features

  • History and Favorites (delete option available to keep your list nice and tidy)
  • Re-translation to double check
  • Audio
  • Save to clipboard
  • Share to Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, SMS
  • Bing translation available

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6+
Market Link: Better Translate
Developer: New Freedom Apps

Universal Translator

Universal Translator supports 48 languages, audio, and text-to-speech. It’s lightweight and based on the Google API so it runs fast, but needs an internet connection like most of the other apps in this category.

Features

  • SMS translation
  • History and delete
  • Voice recognition
  • Sharing via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6+
Market Link: Universal Translator
Developer: Jose M. Gomez

Trippo Mondo – Voice Translator

Trippo Mondo is a translator with nice audio, unlike the sometimes not very accurate Google Translate audio. It supports around 30 languages and has a really clean interface.

Features

  • 20 languages with text to speech (TTS)
  • Ability to change speech speed settings
  • Share to Facebook, Twitter, Email, SMS

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.5+
Market Link: Trippo Mondo – Voice Translator
Developer: Cellictica

TS Translator [Lite]

TS Translator [Lite] is the free version of the TS Translator app and is more than a translation program: it includes a phrasebook of expressions sorted into categories for easy help in different situations. TS Translator has 60,000 expressions in native speaker voices – the audio really sounds great and helps you to learn faster. There is only 10 languages however (and in the free version you can choose only two), which limits your choices to Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.

Features

  • Downloadable audio with native speakers’ voices
  • 10 languages and over 60,000 expressions with audio
  • Great, easy to use interface
  • Phrasebook sorted into 12 categories

Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.1+
Market Link: TS Translator [Lite]
Developer: Time Space System Co.,Ltd.

TransZilla

TransZilla is a fast, simple translation app based on the Google Translate API. It offers speech recognition and sharing options.

Features

  • Voice input
  • Text to speech
  • SMS/Email sharing

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6+
Market Link: TransZilla
Developer: Kodexo

Broadspeak Translator

Broadspeak translator has a fresh, unique interface that has big buttons for all those with big fingers. It uses the Google Translate API and has voice recognition. However, when I tried to translate one word it make the translation appear twice, for example I would translate “sound” to another language and it returned “sound sound” in the other language.

Features

  • Nice graphical interface
  • Voice recognition and TTS
  • Supports around 50 languages

Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.1+
Market Link: Broadspeak Translator
Developer: Broadspeak

StarTranslate

StarTranslate is one of the most popular free translation apps and is based on Google’s Translation API. It has all the usual features that you can have with Google’s translation service and is fast with an easy to use interface.

Features

  • SMS translation
  • History
  • Links to Google Dictionary
  • TTS
  • Share to Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Email
  • Copy/Paste

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6+
Market Link: StarTranslate
Developer: StarObject Mobile

eTranslate

eTranslate is a fast and simple translation app that allows you to translate SMS messages, through an icon in the status bar. It’s very similar to Translate Free, and both apps seem to use a lot of resources in the background to scan my media cards. However, you can remove the icon and stop the app by changing the settings inside the app itself.

Features

  • Voice recognition
  • Save feature
  • Language detection
  • Uses Google API for translation

Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.0+
Market Link: eTranslate
Developer: SmartWho

ProTranslate

ProTranslate is another translation app based on Google’s Translation API. It also does a few extra things that some other translation tools don’t like translating websites, docs, and text. It has a beautiful interface but is pretty big compared to other translation apps, taking up 5.4MB on your storage.

Features

  • Share via SMS, Email, Facebook, Twitter
  • Audio pronunciation
  • Website and document translation

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6+
Market Link: ProTranslate
Developer: Prolog Inc.

Collins English Portuguese Mini TR

MobiSystems makes several translator / dictionary apps for different languages and they make a nice product. This is a free trial of the full version with 10,000 words and audio for each one of them. Its not a universal translator like the others but if you only need one language to another, these apps are really good and worth paying the $9.99 for the full version.

Features

  • 10,000 words and phrases for each language
  • Downloadable dictionary
  • Pre-recorded audio pronunciation

Price: Free (trial)
Requires: Android 1.5+
Market Link: Collins English Portuguese Mini TR
Developer: MobiSystems

Portuguese Translator and Dict

GreenLife Apps makes apps for several different languages much like MobiSystems. It includes a dictionary and has a “Word of the Day” feature to help you learn the language better (50 use free trial). The paid version also removes ads based on your location.

Features

  • Voice recognition
  • SMS translation
  • Copy/Paste

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.5+
Market Link: Portuguese Translator and Dict
Developer: GreenLife Apps

ColorDict Dictionary Translator

ColorDict is a multi-functional dictionary and translator. This app gives you access to many different sources of information (Wordnet, StarDict, Google Translate, etc.) to ensure you are understanding and translating correctly. The multiple sources are a unique feature that is very helpful, and it is a great informational tool in this way.

Features

  • Voice recognition
  • Supports multiple dictionaries
  • Offline dictionary support
  • History

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6+
Market Link: ColorDict Dictionary Translator
Developer: Notes

Travel Interpreter

Travel Interpreter is the most expensive product on this list, but comes with a huge range of features for that price. It’s a phrasebook, so rather than automatically translating any sentence that’s entered, it contains a preselected list of over two thousand phrases for each language, and you can select any of them to translate.

Selection can be done through a full text search, and each phrase has an illustration to make what you’re trying to say even clearer. Each phrase has a spoken audio track, voiced by a native speaker, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out pronunciation. Best of all, all data can be downloaded to your SD card, so there’s no need to have an Internet connection — very useful if you’re in a foreign country with no data plan!

Look out for a full review of this app next week.

Features

  • 28 languages, with 2,000+ phrases/words per language
  • All data stored on SD card for offline support
  • Full text search for each phrase

Price: $11.04
Market Link: Travel Interpreter
Developer: Jourist

Did I Miss Any Great Translation Apps?

Personally I’ve had the Google Translate app for a while and find it really useful, it is, in my opinion, one of the best Android apps available period. However, if you really want to go in-depth with your studies one of the apps that supports native speaker audio is really helpful. Also, the offline dictionary apps can come in very handy when you’re in place without internet access. Of course you could translate some words and phrases before you head out to a place that might not have internet access, but you can’t always predict what vocabulary you’ll need to know. One feature I’d like to see is a flashcard-type of study tool included with these apps, but maybe I’m getting greedy with my free app features. Is there any features you like or find useful in any of these translation apps?