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Open up Google Translate or Apple’s Translate and your mobile device turns into your personal language interpreter.
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Need to have a conversation in a language you don’t know, make sense of a printed sign or quickly translate a message? With Google and Apple revving their machine-learning engines in their Google Translate and Apple’s Translate apps, there’s a whole new world of communication possibilities right in your pocket.
Keep in mind that computer interpretation is not perfect. You may get some awkward translations (and stares). Third-party apps may be more in depth. But these freebies can provide a general sense of things and become learning aids. Here’s a quick tour.
Pick Your Translator
Google Translate is in its 15th year and available on the web, as a Chrome browser extension and as an Android and an iOS app. Apple released its Translate app last year for the iPhone and added it to last month’s iOS 15 update for the iPad.
Google Translate and Apple’s Translate are fairly easy to use. Just tap open the app and choose the languages you want to translate between. Enter text or say it aloud to get the translation through screen and speaker.
Both apps support a Conversation mode, where you can carry out a bilingual chat (in a supported language) with someone as the app automatically translates. And you can save favorite phrases for later reference in both apps.
See It and Read It
Google Translate and the Google Lens visual search tool can use your phone’s camera to scan and translate the text on signs, in books, within photographs and in other printed matter. Just open the camera app, point it at the text you want to convert and tap the Translate button.
Apple’s Live Text feature, new with iOS 15, offers similar abilities. Point the camera at text and when a yellow frame appears around the words, tap the text icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Select the words to convert and tap Translate from the pop-up menu on the screen. You can translate text in photos the same way.
Translating in Other Apps
You’ll find that the baked-in powers of translation extend to other compatible apps, too. For example, in Google Translate on an Android phone, tap the Menu icon in the top-left corner, choose Settings and enable the Tap to Translate function. When you find text that you want to convert, highlight the words and tap the Translate option in the pop-up menu, then select the language you want.
Apple’s Translate converts text in compatible apps on iOS devices (like the Safari browser) and can replace text you’ve typed with a translated version. Select the text you want to convert, and from the menu above, tap Translate; you may need to tap the arrow at the end of the menu to get to that option. When the full Translate menu appears, you can see and hear the translation and then choose one of several options, including Replace with Translation.
Use the Digital Assistant
Don’t forget that your virtual assistant can also be of service. The Google Assistant for Android and iOS has an interpreter mode to translate conversations in dozens of languages on demand. Just say something like “Hey, Google, be my Mandarin interpreter” and follow along. Apple’s Siri works with the Translate app to provide quick language tips as well — just say something like “Hey, Siri, how do I say, ‘Where’s the nearest train station?’ in French?”
Typing in Translation
While the apps provide hands-free interpretations, there may be times when you want to type in a language you already know (or don’t). Android and iOS both include alternate keyboard layouts for dozens of languages.
To add an alternate-language keyboard in Google’s Gboard for Android or iOS, open an app that accepts text input (like your mail app), tap the Settings icon, then Languages and Add Keyboard to select a language. Tap the three-dot More icon on the Gboard menu to get to a Google Translate option for your typed text.
On an iPhone or iPad running iOS 15, open the Settings icon and choose General and then Keyboard. Select Add New Keyboard and choose a language from the menu. Once you have added the new keyboard(s), you can switch between them by pressing the globe icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
And what to do if a native speaker tells you the app’s translation is way off? Visit the Help & Feedback menu in the Google Translate settings or report it to Apple’s Translate Feedback page.
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Is there a free app that can translate someone talking? ›
In some languages, you can translate both sides of a spoken conversation with the Google Translate app. You can also use your Pixel Buds to get real-time translations.Is there an app that translates as you speak? ›
Just start speaking and iTranslate recognizes your voice and translates to your desired language. Now available offline in 4 languages!What's the most accurate translation app? ›
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.What is the most accurate free online translator? ›
Google Translate is one of the best free online translation software. It can translate between more than 100 languages. Google Translate can translate entire websites into other languages. You can also use it to convert text documents into different languages.What is the best talk and translate app? ›
- Offline Translator Speak and Translate Pro.
- Microsoft Translator.
- Dictionary Linguee.
- BK Translate.
- 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.Is Google Translate completely free? ›
Google Translate is a free service provided by Google that translates words, phrases, and even entire texts in over 100 languages.Is there a free translate app for iPhone? ›
Microsoft Translator allows you to translate text, speech, images, and group conversations in over 100 languages - for free.Do voice translators really work? ›
Electronic language translation devices do exactly that. They help you make sense of a new language. Depending on how they are made, the devices translate words in different manners. Most of the device lets you record a word or a message.Is there anything more accurate than Google Translate? ›
DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator.
Is DeepL better than Google Translate? ›
Is DeepL better than Google Translate? It depends on what you need. 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.What is the best free translator for iPhone? ›
Google Translate ranks first as the best translator app for iPhone because it is the most popular and widely used translation app worldwide. The Google Translation app for iPhone and iPad supports instant text translation between 108 languages by typing.What is the number one translated website in the world? ›
The most translated website in the world — jw.org, the official website of Jehovah's Witnesses — includes content in more than 1,030 languages, including many Indigenous languages considered at risk of dying out. Among them in Arizona is Navajo, spoken by an estimated 170,000.What is the number one translated website? ›
Currently, the most translated website in the world is jw.org, the official page of Jehovah's Witnesses, which includes more than 1,030 languages, including indigenous languages that are endangered, precisely because of the lack of translation for current generations.How can I translate large amounts of text for free? ›
You can translate single words or entire phrases and paragraphs. Google Translate is available for over 100 languages, and is completely free to use!
Today, the latest and greatest machine translation technology available is neural machine translation (NMT), which uses complex deep learning models to translate text.What is the biggest translation app? ›
The application allows you to successfully translate 108 languages by typing a word, 95 when using handwriting, and 90 when you use your camera. The app also offers you an instant two-way translation, currently available in 43 languages.
Some of the most accurate translations are the Spanish-English language pair. Other languages have a lower level of accuracy, including Chinese, German, and Portuguese. Cultural context: Google Translate can have a significant impact on multilingual websites.Is Yandex better than Google Translate? ›
Which is better, Yandex vs Google Translate? For most languages, Google Translate is more effective. However, Yandex is better for translations into Eastern European languages.Is DeepL still free? ›
With the DeepL API Free plan, you can translate up to 500,000 characters per month for free. For more advanced use cases, the DeepL API Pro plan allows unlimited translation with usage-based pricing, maximum data security, and prioritized execution of translation requests.
Which Google Translate app is free? ›
Google Translate is a free language translation app that can help you read or communicate in up to 100 languages. Google Translate is available to download for free on iOS and Android devices.How long can you use DeepL for free? ›
Cancel anytime. Free for 30 days.Who is the best human translator? ›
- St Jerome. One of the world's most famous translators – and certainly one of those whose work had the most influence in shaping the world – was St Jerome (347-420 AD). ...
- Jorge Luis Borges. ...
- Constance Garnett. ...
- Gregory Rabassa. ...
- Sir Richard Burton. ...
- Edward George Seidensticker. ...
- Final thoughts.
On average, interpreters make a roughly comparable wage to translators (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics actually lumps them together) with an average salary also around $50,000/year but with a slightly different floor and ceiling of $35k to $65k a year.Do translators make mistakes? ›
Yes, of course! We all make mistakes, including translators! Even though translators must complete thorough training and obtain many qualifications to become an accredited and certified translator, mistakes can happen and translators do sometimes make mistakes.Which country uses Google Translate the most? ›
Which country uses Google Translate the most? Correct. Brazilians are the heaviest users of Google Translate, relying on the tool to switch between their native Portuguese and Spanish, English, Italian, German, and other languages also spoken in the nation.Is DeepL the most accurate translator? ›
If you want the most accurate translations possible, DeepL is definitely one of the best options. When it comes to translation accuracy, DeepL is regularly rated as the best, even beating out Google Translate. You can use the web interface or desktop apps for personal translation.Is ChatGPT better than Google Translate? ›
This article from Makeuseof.com provides some interesting examples. Either way, ChatGPT does an impressive job of translating text, and a better job than Google Translate in many scenarios – especially when translating from widely spoken languages like Spanish and German into English.Is Reverso or DeepL better? ›
Ian Buck, who lives in Manche, said: “DeepL is by far the best. [It] gives a wide range of alternatives and grammar,” and another reader commented: “I discovered Deepl only recently and I find it very good. I've been here for 30 years, living in a rural commune, and didn't need much translating.Is Google Translate good enough? ›
Yes, Google Translate is very accurate for the most part. In some cases, it's 94%+ accurate! In fact, it's one of the top-rated translation tools when it comes to translation accuracy, though the exact accuracy will depend on the language pairs that you've chosen.
Is there an app that can listen to audio and translate? ›
Speak & Translate is an essential voice and text translator that allows you to communicate effectively anywhere in the world.How can I translate audio to English for free? ›
- Upload your audio file. ...
- Select the language of the audio. ...
- Choose "Transcription". ...
- Choose "Machine generated" or "Human made". ...
- Receive your transcript. ...
- Select "Translation" and choose your language. ...
- Click on "Export" and choose your preferred file format.
- The best voice translation devices on the market right ...
- Timekettle M2 Voice Translator Earphones.
- Vormor X5 Translator.
- Langogo Genesis 2in1 AI Translator Device.
- Birgus Language Translator Device.
- CheetahTALK CM Translator.
- ANFIER M6 Translator Earbuds.
- Pocketalk Classic Voice Translation Device.
Listen to translations spoken aloud
Go to Google Translate. Choose the languages to translate to and from. In the text box, enter content you want to translate. , the audio switches between normal and slow pace.
Click the DeepL icon next to your text or paragraph for an instant translation. Free users can translate selected texts while browsing the web. Highlight the desired section and instantly translate it into your desired language. Once you highlight the text, the DeepL icon will appear.How do I translate text to voice? ›
- Upload or record. Upload your video to VEED or start recording using our free webcam recorder. ...
- Add text and convert to voice. Click Audio from the left menu and select Text to Speech. ...
- Export. When you're happy with your text-to-speech video, click on Export.