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Top translation apps

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Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

Jenneth Orantia reviews the best apps for translations.

The Lonely Planet Offline Translator app.

The Lonely Planet Offline Translator app.

Google Translate
iPhone, iPad, Android
Free

Google Translate breaks down the language barrier with its easy-to-use interface. For 17 languages and dialects (including English, Arabic, French and Korean), you can just say what you want to translate instead of typing it. For 40 languages, it will also return those translations out loud. The Android version comes with extra features, such as a conversation mode and the ability to translate scanned or photographed words.

 

Word Lens
iPhone, iPad, Android
Free

Word Lens's main party trick is its ability to translate printed words that you capture with your smartphone's camera. The app itself is free, but you'll need to buy language packs separately - with prices starting from $4.99 each. Unlike Google Translate, Word Lens doesn't require an internet connection to work, which makes it a better option in avoiding roaming charges overseas.

 

iTranslate Voice
iPhone, iPad
99¢

Need to speak with someone who doesn't understand English? You could spend hundreds of dollars on a human translator, or you could pay one dollar for iTranslate Voice. There's nothing extra to pay once you buy the app, and you get more languages and dialects than Google Translate, including Cantonese, Greek and Hungarian.

 

SayHi Translate
iPhone, iPad
99¢

There isn't much to separate SayHi Translate from iTranslate Voice, as they both use the same voice-recognition technology. But there are few things that swing it in SayHi's favour: the user interface is nicer, translations appear a fraction of a second faster, and it's a universal application, so you only have to buy the app once to use it on both the iPhone and iPad.

 

Lonely Planet Offline Translator
iPhone, iPad, Android
From $8.49

If you're overseas and using your Australian SIM card, the last thing you want to do is rack up hundreds of dollars in roaming data charges. The Lonely Planet Offline Translators don't use an internet connection and each app is specific to one language. Supported languages include Chinese, Korean, Japanese and German.