The 8 Best Translation Apps for 2017

The miracle of Google Translate's WordLens

Talk Tough

Thanks to the supercomputers in our pockets and on our wrists, the language barrier isn’t much of a barrier anymore.

Check out eight of the best translation apps for travel in 2017.

1. iTranslate Voice 3


Ever wished for a professional translator without the hefty price tag? iTranslate Voice 3 enables “magical” voice-to-voice communication across languages. Simply speak into your phone and the app will translate, and speak, that sentence into one of 42 languages.

2. TripLingo


The app from TripLingo takes a more holistic approach by digging deep into the nuances of local customs, etiquette, and slang. In addition to a voice translator, the app offers up a currency converter, flashcards and quizzes, a “culture crash course,” and four “slang levels” jam-packed with essential expressions and phrases.

3. SignAloud


This one isn’t available for consumers just yet, but it’s too cool to pass up. Developed by two University of Washington students, these sensor-enabled gloves are capable of converting sign language into spoken word and text.

4. Papago


If you’re travelling to Asia, you’ll definitely want to check out Papago, for iOS and Android. Developed by South Korea’s Naver Corporation, the app favors quality over quantity, and currently supports only Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English.

5. Microsoft Translator

Microsoft Translator

Offering both enterprise and consumer versions, Microsoft Translator is probably the most versatile option on the market. Users can type the text they want translated, speak aloud, or take a photo of an image containing the text. The translator is also available as a Smartwatch app, for both iOS and Android, making it easily accessible for on-the-go travelers.

6. Waygo

Waygo app

Never eat Ant Egg Soup by accident again. Focusing on image recognition, Waygo instantly translates signs and menus from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean into English.

7. MyLingo

Mylingo app

For native Spanish speakers who want to take in an English-language movie, your theater options are pretty scarce. MyLingo aims to fix that – they’ve partnered with Sony, Paramount, and Disney to bring real-time translation to movie theaters. In December, they launched the service with Disney’s Moana.

8. Google Translate

Google Translate

Probably the most popular of any language service, Google Translate’s web platform, iOS app and Android app are constantly innovating. Their typed translation feature supports 103 different languages, 52 of which continue to work offline (which is perfect for your off-the-grid travel plans).

The real zinger is its ever-expanding Word Lens feature, which prompts users to point their phone camera at a nearby sign or piece of text. Word Lens then transforms the original image with an AR text overlay in the user’s preferred language. Just last week, Google added Japanese to the Word Lens language roster.