As everyone knows "English is the most spoken language in the world". One in five people globally understands and speaks English. If you are a native English speaker, the world becomes a much friendlier space.
However, being able to communicate with one in five people is not enough in today's interconnected world. We constantly need to be able to communicate in languages we do not speak.
Whether it is for a trip abroad, where you just need to order that cough syrup in mandarin or to socialize on French message boards on Reddit, or even write that vital piece of research that goes to your overall grade in school, for which the only available piece of reference material is in German. What do you do in such a situation?
Google Translate is rescued! Google Translate was released in 2006, and improvements have constantly been done to it that today it is has become a really vital translation app for anyone seeking to delve into the world of a foreign language. It has become almost fluent in many languages thanks to its cutting-edge machine learning algorithms.
Google went a step further and made its Google Translate technology available to developers around the world. What this did was create an avenue for further innovation. It has led to the creation of more creative translation tools.
Today, there are successful apps that specialize in specific languages, apps that can listen to your voice and understand you, apps that can auto-detect languages, and apps that can read handwritten words and translate it for you.
Although none of these is perfect yet, they are definitely headed in the right direction. Here is an analysis of six of the best translation apps and the breakthroughs they have made so far.
1. Google Translate
Of course, every list of translation apps’ has to begin with Google Translate. It is the granddaddy of translation apps and the best app on the market for global coverage. It can automatically detect and translate over 100 languages from around the world.
Google Translate has gone a step further with image detection through Google Lens. Google Lens works with your phone camera to instantly translate anything you show it to. For example, hovering over a restaurant menu will instantly give you the translated version.
Triplingo is the go-to app for business trips. It has a database of over 42 languages. The best part of Triplingo is that it also includes an option for a live translator service, which will put you in touch with a real human translator.
The main con of this app is its steep price tag. At $20 per month for its premium features, it is beyond the reach of most people.
3. Microsoft Translator
It has a database of 60 languages. The best part of this app is that it can detect multiple languages simultaneously. This makes it perfect for boardroom meetings, where you need to communicate with multiple people speaking different languages.
Plus, it is completely free. The downside is that Microsoft Translator has a limited number of available languages.
4. Day Translations
Day Translations has taken free translation one step ahead due to the different features they are offering. They have an embedded translation tool in their website which translates words and sentences in many languages.
Furthermore, they have created the infrastructure of offering this free translation tool in various platforms, for instance, they have developed an app in both iOS and Android to make it easier for mobile users to have access to the tool. For desktop users, they have created a Chrome extension which can translate pages in an instant.
This app is built specifically for Asia. Built for visual character translation, it can read and translate any written sentence, especially in Chinese hanzi, Japanese kanji or Korean hanja.
Furthermore, it offers images of your translated words, for those moments where even the translation still makes no sense. The downside of this app is that it has been built specially for Asia.
An expansion to other languages like Arabic, Hebrew or Russian would be a welcomed addition to its capabilities.
iTranslate can translate anything you feed it into more than 100 languages. It is also capable to direct text-to-voice translations in 24 languages. You can get most of this app's premium features for free in Google Translate, Microsoft Translator or Day Translations.
These Apps paint a hopeful picture for the future of Translation Apps. It is amazing that today, you can plug in your earphones and experience instantaneous voice-to-voice translation while talking to a native using iTranslate. With more research and development, the Translation App space will be starkly different in fewer than ten years from now. And that is always a good thing.
Rilind Elezaj is a thought leader at creative27 in app development and digital marketing, with extensive experience in the industry. Rilind has a strong entrepreneurial mindset and has devoted his career to enhancing the sphere of app development and digital marketing.