It happens all the time.
You see or hear something in Chinese and need to know what it means ASAP.
Or maybe you need to say or write something in Chinese but don’t quite know how to do it.
Whether you’re trying to write an email in Chinese or watch Chinese channels on YouTube, you’re bound to encounter something you don’t know.
Your Chinese vocabulary cards can do their best to prepare you. Your favorite Chinese translation apps can help you in a pinch. Even your apps for learning Mandarin can hook you up sometimes.
But you can never have enough Chinese translators in your life.
Whether you’re using them on your desktop, laptop, smartphone or favorite device, these Chinese translators can help any Chinese student get the information they need quickly and efficiently.
Why Use a Chinese Translator to Learn?
First, using a Chinese translator is a quick, easy way to look up unfamiliar words. If you don’t recognize a word or phrase, a Chinese translator can help you determine the meaning. Not only will this help you understand what you just saw or heard, but it could also expand your vocabulary.
Using a Chinese translator can also help you confirm that you’ve understood something correctly. Even if you think that you understood a Chinese phrase, using a translator can help you confirm that you actually did. This is an easy way to build your confidence and ensure that you understand as much Chinese as you think you do.
You can also use a Chinese translator as a crutch to give you the confidence you need to interact more. When you’re studying the language, interacting in Chinese can seem intimidating. What if you mess up? What if you don’t know a word? With a translator, you’ll have a helper by your side that can always help you in your moments of need. And knowing that you have this help will empower you to interact more with native speakers, which will help grow your Chinese skills exponentially!
Finally, translators are useful for learning new words. Don’t just identify these words and forget about them. Create flashcard sets of the words you’ve encountered with your translator! FluentU is a fantastic tool for creating digital, interactive flashcards. You may know FluentU as an authentic video resource.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
7 Chinese Translators That Translate Directly to Learning
Available: iOS | Android
Google Translate is the big name in the field of translation—with good reason. You can use it online or download the app, and all of these options offer some terrific features.
Regardless of which version you use, you can translate from Chinese (simplified or traditional) to English or from English to Chinese. You have the option to save your favorite words for future study. Plus, audio pronunciations are available to help you pronounce any word correctly.
Google Translate will even provide some suggestions of similar words you might need to know. You can translate spoken text by hitting the microphone button online or going to the “speech” section of the app.
Google Translate apps have some additional features that aren’t available online. These include the ability to translate images of text taken from your device’s camera, plus, you can draw Chinese characters with your finger for quick, easy input.
With MDBG, you can easily translate between English and simplified or traditional Chinese. You can also input Chinese text through the helpful drawing tool, making translation much easier.
When you translate from English to Chinese, you’ll receive the printed text and an audio pronunciation. The pinyin also appears below the text.
Want to translate from Chinese to English? This translator will give you an overall text translation, but below that translation, it will also break down the text word-by-word to give you a clearer and deeper understandings of the possible meanings of each word.
Translation Services USA
Translation Services USA is well-known for its professional translation services, but it also offers a free online translator for fast, casual translations. You’ll find its Chinese translation under “Mandarin Chinese.”
The free translation is simple and offers no frills. All you have to do is input text to translate it into the other language. If you just want a quick translation without any unnecessary distractions, Translation Services USA’s online translator is an easy option.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily cross reference a translation between multiple translators? With Lexicool, you can.
Lexicool allows you to input text in English or Chinese to translate to the other language. Then, you get to select between five different translators for instant translation. You can even click each of the translators to open multiple tabs and compare the translations offered. Because translations can vary, this is a helpful tool to see multiple possible options.
Available: iOS | Android
For a handy, multifunctional translation service you can use on your computer, phone or favorite device, iTranslate is a great option.
Its apps offer nearly all the features a Chinese student could hope for. It can instantly translate voice. It also uses your device’s camera to translate printed words you may find on signs, menus and ill-thought-out tattoos. Plus, audio pronunciations allow you to hear different dialects and different speakers. You can even “favorite” translations for easy lookup down the road.
Additionally, the iTranslate Safari Extension can hook you up with quick, easy website translation whenever you browse, making any website a treasure trove of Chinese learning material.
Available: iOS | Android
If your main goal in using a translator is to hold a real conversation, SayHi Translate has you covered.
SayHi Translate’s primary focus is enabling users to have a conversation in any language (including Chinese).
SayHi Translate will instantly translate voice, and you can speed up or slow down the rate of speed, as well as select the gender of the speaker. If you’re listening to Chinese translations, this can make it easier for you to understand the spoken words, replicate the sounds and/or hear how different speakers may sound saying the same words. If you’re using the Chinese translator to communicate with others, you can select the SayHi speaker’s voice to be the same gender as yours to make it seem more like an extension of your own voice.
With SayHi Translate’s text translations, you can also share via email, text, Facebook and/or Twitter for easy interaction.
Additionally, SayHi Translate is easy on the eyes. It’s designed to be simple and uncluttered so that it’s easier to use. And when you’re in a rush for a translation, you’ll be glad not to have tons of unnecessary visual clutter slowing you down.
Bravolol Dictionary & Translator
Available: iOS | Android
Travel a lot? Need access to a translator that doesn’t require internet access? Check out Bravolol Dictionary & Translator.
This app doesn’t require an internet connection to use. Plus, it offers some super helpful resources. You can translate text between English and Chinese. The app can also provide pronunciation of phrases.
But this app isn’t just a translator, so you’ll have access to plenty of other features. Think of that as a bonus! For instance, you can look up individual words (complete with audio pronunciation, example sentences and related words), bookmark words you want to study more or even use the “Chinese Analyzer” to break down Chinese phrases one word at a time. Learners can also use Bravolol Dictionary & Translator’s flashcards to reinforce the words they’re trying to learn.
If you’re looking for an easy, handy translator to help you out in any pinch, look no further than these seven amazing Chinese translators!