The 10 Best Translator Apps for Android in 2023
Horrible meat lock.
Slippery shrimp doctor.
A termination and four weddings.
These were just a few phrases stuck in my head after I tested out various translation app features with different texts.
Sure, machine translation has a long way to go. But translation apps are very useful—if you don’t push them beyond their capabilities.
So, what is the best translator app for Android, then? In this post, we’re going to explore 10 great translation apps for Android that I found in my search.
- 1. Google Translate
- 2. Microsoft Translator
- 3. Yandex Translate
- 4. DeepL Translate
- 5. SayHi Translate
- 6. Reverso Translate and Learn
- 7. Dictionary Linguee
- 8. iTranslate Translator
- 9. Naver Papago – AI Translator
- 10. BK Translate
- Why You Need More Than One Translator App
- And One More Thing...
1. Google Translate
Google Translate offers over 100 languages. It translates text, voice, two-way conversations, photos and handwriting.
Though you may not get every feature for every language, all of the features work well, are intuitive and are accessible from the home screen of the app.
Google Translate is particularly notable for instant camera translations—simply aim your camera at text and watch the translation pop up. This works best on medium-sized printed text with good contrast, though it also requires a pretty steady hand.
Additional features include the ability to save translations to a phrasebook and download individual language packs for offline translation.
2. Microsoft Translator
Microsoft Translator offers regular text, voice, conversation and photo translations in over 60 languages.
All features work decently, but some features aren’t available for major languages. For example, you can’t get photo translation for Arabic.
Conversation features are extensive, however. A simple code allows multiple users to join a text group chat where everyone is using their own language to communicate remotely, all translated into your language of choice on your screen.
Additional features include pre-made phrasebooks, offline language packs and the option to “pin” favorite translations. Microsoft Translator is probably best suited for business and academic purposes.
3. Yandex Translate
Yandex has 90+ languages and includes text, voice, conversation and photo translations. You can also interact with social media accounts and texting apps for quick communication.
Other features include built-in dictionaries, website translations, phrase collections, offline language packs and the ability to save translations in Favorites.
Most impressive is the actual translation tech. As you type or talk, you can watch the translation shift according to new context. For instance, the translation of a page from Proust’s “À la recherche du temps perdu” (In Search of Lost Time) turned out very comprehensible and cohesive.
In my experience, Yandex was the best at using context out of any app on this list, though this means it often works best for longer texts and not as well for things like signs and book titles.
4. DeepL Translate
Price: Free; DeepL Pro begins at $8.74/month per user
DeepL Translate has 29 available languages, from German and Japanese to Czech and Ukrainian. Users can translate text, speech, photos and even files.
Additional features include alternative phrases for short translations, instant camera translations, a dark mode and the ability to bookmark words and phrases. The quality of translation is often compared to that of big contender Google Translate.
There are limits to the amount of characters and documents that can be translated daily with the free version of DeepL. In fact, the Pro service is ideal for company teams and developers in need of large translation quantities.
5. SayHi Translate
This super simple app offers 50+ languages. It uses Microsoft’s translation tech along with a different type of speech tech and has one main translation feature: basic two-way conversation.
SayHi was designed specifically for bilingual conversations. You can speak directly into the app and receive visual translations as well as audio, which you can speed up or slow down and choose between male or female voices.
This is the simplest, most intuitive app on this list, and could definitely come in handy in an emergency or other unexpected situation. Even better, there’s no ads and no premium subscription—all features are available for free.
6. Reverso Translate and Learn
Price: Free; premium features for $1.99-$29.99
While Reverso only offers 14 languages, they say they’re working on adding more and they pack some useful features into their app.
When you search a word (by text or voice), results include real-world examples of the term in use, allowing you to see various contexts, definitions, example sentences, conjugations and related phrases.
Reverso also includes a Favorites list and search history, plus games, quizzes and flashcards so you can study terms you’ve learned through the app.
Its best application is looking up idioms and phrases you’re unsure about in your target language. For example, “I need to get some air” in English brings up “J’ai besoin de prendre l’air” in French, along with related phrases and examples.
7. Dictionary Linguee
While Linguee doesn’t offer as many languages as other apps, you’ll definitely have access to common ones such as English, Spanish and German, for example.
You can search for a word or phrase by text or voice. Beyond a definition, you’ll get a host of translated webpages in your search results as well.
For example, if I search for “coffee” in Russian, it gives me the word кофе, example sentences, related words and phrases, then excerpts from real websites in English and Russian with the word “coffee.”
All of this context makes Linguee a wonderful tool for language learners, professional translators and anyone else studying a language.
8. iTranslate Translator
Price: Free; Pro for $5.99/month or $39.99/year
iTranslate offers text translations between 100 languages, and offline translation for 40+ languages. Other inputs include voice, conversation, photo and website.
Also available are dictionaries, verb conjugations and the ability to rate translations and adjust audio speed. This app is compatible with the Dash Pro in-ear translator, too.
Some features, including voice and photo translation, are only available with iTranslate Pro. It’s also worth noting that this app seems to do best with shorter, conversation-based translations.
iTranslate would likely be best for dedicated travelers and business professionals who want to get as much as possible out of one app only and are willing to spend some time learning to use it most effectively.
9. Naver Papago – AI Translator
Papago, made by popular Korean developer Naver, has text translations between 13 languages, and voice, photo and conversation inputs for some of those.
The photo translation isn’t as intuitive as other apps, but it does give more options, like selecting the text you want translated. Handwriting input is available for East Asian languages, and works noticeably better than Google Translate, in my experience.
Papago also offers website translation, as well as pre-made phrasebooks with sample conversations and on-off switches for honorifics.
Overall, Papago feels a bit like a work in progress, but an ambitious and exciting one. This app will appeal most strongly to learners of Korean, Chinese and Japanese.
10. BK Translate
This Android-only developer offers more than 30 apps, most designed for specific language pairs. That may help you free up space on your phone if you only need to translate between English and one other language.
Available languages include plenty of popular options like Spanish, Italian, Korean and Chinese, as well as some less common ones, such as Hungarian, Persian and Polish. Input options for all include text, voice and handwriting.
The developer also offers a “Speak and Translate” app for voice translations of more than 150 languages that pulls answers from top translators like Google and Yandex.
BK Translate apps work for words and sentences. They’re simple, designed to do just what you need and not much more. Additionally, there are ads, and there’s no ad-free versions available.
Why You Need More Than One Translator App
Whether you’re a language learner, traveler, someone living abroad, all of the above or none of the above, not having a translation app on your smartphone is just silly. Here are a few reasons why:
- You may need to have a conversation with someone who speaks another language. None of us know what language we’re going to need and when, especially abroad. Your translator apps may help you or someone else, especially in an emergency situation.
- Apps with voice recognition are invaluable for speaking practice. You don’t have to use translation apps for their intended purpose. Voice recognition tech isn’t perfect, but if an app can understand you, it’s likely a native speaker will, too.
- Translation apps can provide helpful context for understanding language. Real-world content, such as phrasebooks and website translations, often contain useful information about your target language and culture. To really get a sense of these, you may want to try an immersive language learning program.
FluentU, for instance, offers videos with bilingual interactive subtitles that provide contextual information for every word.
The robot revolution may not actually be here yet, but there’s no harm in making peace with the machines already among us.
Download any of these great translation apps for Android and see for yourself.
And One More Thing...
If you dig the idea of learning on your own time from the comfort of your smart device with real-life authentic language content, you'll love using FluentU.
With FluentU, you'll learn real languages—as they're spoken by native speakers. FluentU has a wide variety of videos as you can see here:
FluentU has interactive captions that let you tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and useful examples. Now native language content is within reach with interactive transcripts.
Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.
You can learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU's "learn mode." Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
And FluentU always keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You get a truly personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store.