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Best translation apps for Android

Update: New translation app for messaging added

Getting the right translation app for your needs is important. Here at AndroidPIT, we've tried out tons translation apps for many different purposes and compiled the top picks into one comprehensive list. Here are the best translation apps for Android, updated to include the best translation app for messaging.

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Best all-round translation app: Google Translate

If you need a translation app that does everything you need – plus things you never thought you needed – then Google Translate is the ticket. It works with any Android app so you can quickly translate within WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Evernote, Google Chrome, Feedly, etc.

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The type-translate function currently supports 90 languages, which are also supported if you want to take a picture and have it translated or use your finger to write the words. Two-way automatic voice translation is limited to 40 languages.

The coolest feature of Google Translate is the instant camera text translation, which instantly translates public transportation schedules, warning signs, menus and many more. The size or font of the text does not matter, Google Translate will instantly translate it. This function is limited to 26 languages, but works incredibly well, and you will be amazed at the number of instances where it comes in handy. Plus, once you download the relevant language packs, you can translate while offline.

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Google Translate instantly translates texts of different sizes and colors. / © ANDROIDPIT
Google Translate Install on Google Play

Best translation app for offline use: Microsoft Translator

Microsoft jumped into the Android translation market with its simple and sophisticated app. It's designed for offline use and supports 42 languages. Getting them is easy. You just need to download each language individually. Each one is around 200 MB and once downloaded you will be able to translate offline.

The interface for Microsoft Translator is practical and well-designed. When you open the app you are given four buttons for quick access. You can choose speechb detection translation, keyboard translation or two-way translation.

While the interface is much nicer than most translation apps, Microsoft Translator is not a versatile translation app. It doesn't translate text as instantaneously as Google Translate. The app does support Android Wear and this can give you quick translation access that other apps cannot.

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Microsoft Translator has a clean interface with simple functions that work offline. / © ANDROIDPIT
Translator Install on Google Play

Best translation app for voice recognition: Translate voice

Translate voice has the best voice recognition of any of the translation apps we could find. You can say a word or read an entire paragraph and the app keeps up with you. It is dependent on your smartphone's voice recognition capabilities so results could vary. 

Translate voice has the best voice recognition of any translation app.

This app is especially helpful for when you are in social situations where typing is impractical. With Translate voice, you can say phrases and then play the translation aloud to the other person. 

Translate voice is limited by its number of usable functions. If you need something that is more thorough in its translation services, you should probably try one of the other translation apps.

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Translate voice is great for translating verbal communication. / © ANDROIDPIT
Translate voice - Translator Install on Google Play

Best translation app for simplicity: Easy Language Translator

If you want a translation fast on a simple interface then Easy Language Translator is your best bet. This app was developed with ease-of-use in mind and is ideal for beginners. It has just two translation functions – typing and speaking – and they both offer up translations quickly.  

Easy Language Translator's buttons are relatively large and have flags next to them so you can quickly distinguish between the languages. The large font size makes it easy to see your translations. The app only has a few functions but that's part of what makes it so easy.

The default settings are user-friendly but you can customize them to make the app even better. There are 10 font sizes and six themes. You can choose which functions you want, such as dictionary, phonetics and corrections.

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The best translation app for quick and easy use is Easy Language Translator. / © ANDROIDPIT
Easy Language Translator Install on Google Play

Best translation app for individual words: PONS

PONS Online Dictionary is a dictionary with translator functions, which means it can give you in-depth descriptions of words. Words often have several meanings, so PONS gives you a few options displayed in a simple interface.

The word 'current' could mean 'electrical current' or 'new' and could appear as a noun or an adjective. You need to find out which way this word is meant to be used in order to get the right translation and PONS is great at helping you figure this out.

PONS is also good for finding and translating phrases in which to use these words. A suggested phrase for 'current' is 'this version is current,' which is immediately translated on the other half of the screen. This gives you a better understanding of the word in both languages. 

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PONS is great for teaching you more about the words you translate. / © ANDROIDPIT
PONS Online Translator Install on Google Play

Best translation app for accuracy: iTranslate

If you need a sentence or two translated, iTranslate will give you the most accurate results. It is equipped to handle more than 90 languages. And though this is just a small fraction of the total languages in the world, it will be useful in the majority of situations.

iTranslate is also the best app to use for typing or copying text. The swipe feature quickly copies blocks of text and translates them effortlessly. If you find something in your translation that you may need later, you can save it in your favorites. 

While the voice recognition is not the best, it does have an amazing audio function that can read back translations in different dialects. For instance, you can choose between British, American and Australian English. You can also have the text read back to you more slowly. 

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The accuracy of iTranslate is unmatched. / © ANDROIDPIT
iTranslate - Free Translator Install on Google Play

Best translation app for messaging: GBoard

Whether you're travelling or sending SMS messages to friends from around the world, it can be a pain to jump from app to app just to send a message in another language and translate replies. With GBoard, the keyboard app from Google, this problem is finally solved. It's a multi-lingual keyboard with a translator built right in!

You can use its many keyboard configurations to type in multiple languages, and you can switch between your native language and any of your other secondary languages just by holding down the spacebar button. It will auto-correct and make suggestions for any of your enabled languages.

But, the real magic is that Google's keyboard has Google Translate built in. That means you can type in your native tongue, and it will translate into another language instantly as you type. Just select the language you want it to translate to, and it will translate simultaneously as you type, word by word, then you can edit the result as you see fit before sending the message. GBoard also has built-in search functions if you want to look up words, and you can copy and paste replies to translate them to a language you can read.

gboard google translate
GBoard is the obvious choice for translating messages. / © Google
Gboard - the Google Keyboard Install on Google Play

What do you use translation apps for? What do you think is the best translation app? Let us know in the comments. 

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  • The article said that Microsoft Translator is best for offline use. Why is this the case when Google translate has offline options? What does Microsoft Translator do better in this regard?

  • Google Translate is still the king. Not perfect but still much better than the Bing/Microsoft translator.

  • I want a PAID translator (English/Spanish) app so that I don't hve to endure the constant ads in most Android translation apps!

  • Hi I want an app that will translate words into English from Spanish as I read a book on my Samsung Galaxy tab A. I saw something where you just touched the screen and the English word appeared. Thank you

  • Recently, I have used this app during my Asia tour. I feel very good and very helpful. Share with the people play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.studio.hazard.translateworld

  • I am looking for an app that supposedly will translate immediately as you are speaking...anyone aware of such an app?
    Thank you!
    Randy

  • I am going to Romania this month. What I would like to find is a translator that would accept my voice in English and be able to translate it to text or audio. Likewise, a person from Romania could input their language and have it translate to English. Does Microsoft Translator do this?

  • Did you try Reverso Context ? it provides you accurate translations with relevant examples for millions of words and phrases, in context. You could rank it between best translation app for accuracy / best translation app for words and phrases / best translation app to help you improve your language skills. Thanks

  • Very nice, but what I am looking for is an in app translator. I hate having to move from one window with copy and moving to another window to paste and then back again. Has anyone accomplished this yet? I have Google translate - it does SMS (text) but not anything else. Thanks.

    • Yes, it is called App Translator, and I'm its developer! App Translator directly translates other apps by displaying an overlay with the translated text over the original, without need for selecting, copying, pasting, or switching apps. link: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.pjf.apptranslator .

  • I should have been clearer, I need an' instant 'translation app, that will work in games. I cannot go in & out of the ongoing games. I don't think one exists.lol. Someone could make a fortune. Thanks for your input. M

  • I'm looking for a translator that I can uses in game apps, & social media. Even if I have cut, copy, paste. Any suggestions? Need one ASAP. Ty

  • Alex P. May 17, 2016 Link to comment

    I would definitely go for google translate this time due to the new translate anything update go to messages or sentence anywhere in your phone and select the text to be translated and Google translate will translate it.

  • OHHHH GODD

    • €.@$H Apr 21, 2016 Link to comment

      Ohhhh Godd?? What do you mean? Which language would you like Google to translate that into? 😆

  • I'm planning a multi country European vacation soon. I'm going to have to play around with a few of these to see which one will be the best for quick translations. So far I like Google, and I've had the Microsoft one. iTranslate seems like a good one to download and tinker with.

    There is no link to download Microsoft Translator.

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