You’d love to see the world, but fear holds you back. You’re afraid of being isolated in a foreign country, unable to speak the language. How are you going to communicate? Charades? Well, stop worrying, and book those tickets! Here are 15 futuristic translation apps and devices for travelers in 2018 to help you get your point across.
This post was originally published in 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and to include new apps and devices.
Best Translation Apps: Google Translate
When it comes to translation apps, Google Translate is obviously the elephant in the room — and for good reason. It supports more languages than the competition, and its comprehensive feature set makes it especially well-suited for travelers.
Languages: Google Translate offers varying degrees of support for 103 languages:
- Type to translate: 103 languages
- Offline support: 52 languages
- Real-Time Video translation: 30 languages
- Camera Mode: 37 Languages
- Speech-to-speech translation: 32 languages
- Handwriting translation: 93 languages
See which features work with which languages here.
Cool Tricks: Translate signs, menus and other written content using your phone’s camera. Offline support for some languages, plus excellent integration with the Android operating system for translating text messages and websites.
Recently, Google added neural machine translation (NMT) for improved accuracy in some languages. And you can launch it with your voice using Google Assistant.
All this, and it’s free. Free is good.