5 Of The Best Translation Apps For Business Travelers

Nǐ hǎo, Kon’nichiwa, Hola, Salut, Jambo, Namaste, Cześć! You may not understand what you just read but that is how the Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Swahili, Indians and Polish say hello. As a frequent business traveler, you’re likely to have experienced numerous situations where couldn’t understand something as simple as a greeting from a local when you travel to different countries. 

Language barriers can be a big problem when it comes to business because if two people cannot understand each since they speak different languages, transacting or having a meaningful conversation is next to impossible.

In the past to get around this problem you needed to hire a human translator or spend months learning a new language before your business trip. Luckily it is now possible for you to communicate in many different languages in a matter of minutes using translation apps. Awesome news right?

In this article, I will show you some of the best translation apps of 2019. You can download these apps on your android device or iPhone, and use them to easily communicate with locals wherever you go in the world.

1. iTranslate

This is one of the most popular translation apps, and if the over 50,000 four to five-star reviews it has so far received on iTunes is anything to go by the app delivers when it comes to translations. 

With iTranslate you can type what you want to say into your phone and it will translate it into more than 100 languages. It gets better, what you text can also be voiced by a male or female voice on the app in some languages. With this feature, you can learn how to say what you type or play it to the person you’re communicating with.

A quicker option though would be to voice something in your native language then wait for the app to voice it back to you in another language. If you have an Apple Watch you’ll be happy to know that you can use this app with your watch. That means you don’t have to take out your iPhone every time you have a conversation with someone that speaks a different language from you.

There is a free version of this app but if you want premium features such as offline translation in 33 languages, and website translation you should consider paying the $4.99 monthly subscription.

2. Google Translate

This is another popular translation app that has been around since 2006. With it, you can translate voice, image, and handwritten notes into 103 languages. I used the app on a trip to China to translate road signs and restaurant menus. 

To do this all you have to do is point your phone’s cameras to the words you don’t understand and voila Google Translate will scan what you focus on and translate them into your preferred language.

Since the app was created Google has continuously made improvements to ensure translations are highly accurate. Recently Google started offering live translations using its latest pair of earbuds.

The app is free and is definitely one of the best translation apps out there so give it a try on your next international trip.

3. Microsoft Translate

This app translates fewer languages than iTranslate or Google Translate. Last time I checked it could only translate text and voice into about 60 languages. The fewer number of languages translated is however compensated for by how accurate the app translations are. I actually believe its accuracy is second to none.

One of the best features Microsoft Translate has is the multi-person conversation translation. With this feature you can, for example, use the app to quickly and simultaneously translate what everybody is saying in a boardroom meeting of several executives from around the world speaking different languages.

The free app also comes with a phrase-book which gives you verified translations and how to pronounce them.

4. TripLingo

Countries have different ways of how they conduct business. In Japan, for example, when someone you’re doing business with gives you their business card you shouldn’t immediately put it away in your cardholder or pocket as this will be seen as disrespectful, and might cost you a deal. Therefore, for you to succeed in a foreign market you must learn the business etiquette or you risk failing. 

You can learn more about local customs, etiquette, bureaucracy, etc from TripLingo which is more than just a translator app that helps you translate voice and text into about 42 languages. With the app, you’ll learn what to do and what not to do during your foreign trip, so that you avoid miscommunication or embarrassing moments during your business meetings.

Like the other apps, the basic features are free but the premium package costs $20 per month, $39.99 for 3 months or $99.99 annually. When you pay for the app you’ll be able to access language lessons, one live translation per month among other things.

TripLingo also has a service that allows you to get human translators on the line for about $3.50 per minute if you absolutely need one.

5. Waygo

If you regularly travel to Asian countries like China, Japan, and South Korea then you must download Waygo. This app does a good job of instantly and accurately translating Chinese, Korean and Japanese characters so you won’t have a problem understanding signage, menus and so on when you visit the Asian countries.

The best way to use this app is through your camera, simply point it towards the text you want to translate and it will translate the words for you. One thing though, translations are only done in English, so you need to know basic English.

Waygo also has a feature which can help you know the right pronunciation for words in Japanese, Chinese, Cantonese, Kanji, and Korean. With Waygo you don’t need an internet connection it works offline. It is available for free on iTunes and Google Play but premium subscription prices for this translation app start at $7.99.

Conclusion

You now know the best translation apps on the market. The apps may not be perfect but they go a long way in easing communication during your travels. With any of the apps, you can make taking a taxi, chatting with locals, ordering food, etc enjoyable and stress-free. 

Which one will you choose to help you avoid language barriers the next time you take a trip to a foreign country? Let me know in the comment section!