The 10 Best Translation Apps for Learning and Understanding French

Translation apps are very helpful when you’re not quite fluent in French, but each one still has its limits. 

You might actually want an arsenal of translation apps, since each one brings a different element of translation and comprehension to the table.

To help you get started, here are six of the best French translation apps currently available.


WordReference: The Best Cultural Translation App

iOS | Android


WordReference is absolutely the place to go for cultural translations. Why? Because they don’t translate literally!

WordReference has been a key reference site in translation for years, and their app offers all of the same benefits as their site. These benefits are slightly niche, however, meaning that WordReference is not a great catch-all app.

WordReference not only offers translations of words and phrases, but it also has a large forum frequented by native speakers. When you’re looking for an exact translation of an idiomatic phrase and can’t put your finger on the proper translation, WordReference’s forum will be a helpful place to start. You can follow past conversations, which are helpfully arranged based on key words so that the appropriate thread will pop up during searches. There are a lot of previous threads, so be sure to take a look. If you really can’t find the exact expression or context you’re looking for, ask your own question and wait briefly for experts to respond!

If you are looking for a direct translation of a sentence, for example, this may not be the best place to go. Unlike other apps on this list, WordReference does not offer a great option to translate full sentences. However, if you want to understand some French slang or an idiomatic expression – or figure out the translation for an English idiomatic expression in French – WordReference is perfect.

Be aware that WordReference users appreciate when question-posers take a stab at solving their own translation queries before asking for help. This means that when you’re formulating your question, be sure to offer a suggested translation, even if you’re not sure it’s right. Native French speakers will correct and help you arrive at the right translation!

Google Translation: The Best General Translation App

iOS | Android


For basic translations, there’s really nothing better than good old Google Translation. What we like best about this application is that sentence structure is integrated into the app, meaning that you won’t get something incomprehensible in the target language if you input a whole sentence. Of course, it’s not infallible, but it’s a pretty good start if you’re really unsure of how to say something.

The other cool thing about the Google Translate app is the text-to-speak function. Again, it’s not infallible, but when you consider just how much these sorts of features have improved over the last few years, it’s quite impressive! And quite useful too, given the French penchant for critiquing a less-than-perfect accent. You can always play back the audio version of your translation, either for your interlocutor or to improve your own pronunciation, to make comprehension and communication a bit easier.

Audio isn’t the only thing supported by this app. If you need to translate text from an image or handwriting, Google Translation is great as well. Use it for everything from everyday French expressions to French menu items.

Translator PROMT.One: The Best Topical Translation App


For topical translations, we’re all over Translator PROMT.One. Why? Because the app’s topic feature allows you to pick your topic (business, travel, academia…) before translating.

This might not seem all that important, but consider the difference when translating a simple animal name, for example. When translating the French term “boeuf,” if you’re translating an agricultural text, you’d want the English word “steer”; if you’re translating a menu, you’d want “beef”. There are countless possible mistranslations that could occur similar to this one if your translation is not contextualized.

Thanks to the topical feature of Online-Translator, this app with give you the best or most appropriate version of the translation for the category you’ve chosen, which may not ensure a perfect translation, but you’ll definitely get much closer to the word or phrase you were looking for!

Online-Translator automatically detects the language you are trying to translate from, which is a cool bonus!

FluentU: The Best Contextual Translation App

iOS | Android

FluentU is, first and foremost, an immersion language learning app and website. It teaches French through authentic videos like movie trailers, music videos, vlogs, interviews, commercials and other native French content.

Its strengths when used as a translator come from its contextual video dictionary. When you search for a word or phrase, you’ll see all its possible definitions and forms, as well as common phrases where they appear. Each definition is presented as a flashcard which you can save to your vocabulary list and study using personalized quizzes.


Flashcards are video-enhanced and contextual, letting you see example sentences, grammar info, audio pronunciations and clips from other videos on FluentU where the word appears with that specific definition.

You can also work backwards, by starting with a video and finding new words to learn through that. Since videos have interactive subtitles, you only need to click on a word as the clip plays to see its in-context meaning and add it to a flashcard deck. Post-video quizzes, transcripts and key word lists further reinforce your learning.

iTranslate: The Best Dialectal Translation App

iOS | Android

french translation app androidiTranslate allows you to type out phrases if you want, but you can also speak a phrase and iTranslate will provide an audio translation.

The translations are straightforward, reliable and even come in different dialects.

Its phrasebook feature contains 250 predefined, common phrases for quick access.

If you choose to pay for the “Pro” subscription, you’ll get to use iTranslate’s voice-to-voice conversations. They translate whatever you and another person say into the other person’s respective language, and present everything in the same way as a regular text conversation.

Also in “Pro” mode, you can translate words offline, change websites from French to English and use the “Lens” tool to translate menus or signs with your camera.

TextGrabber: Best Camera Translation App

iOS | Android

french translation app androidUsing your camera, this app translates printed text in real-time, even without internet.

You don’t even need to take a photo because the app digitizes the text right on the screen, so you’ll have extra space on your phone for Pinterest recipes.

This is a great option for all French levels, because you can translate everything from a food label to the French version of “Great Expectations.”

You can even practice your listening, because the app features a text-to-speech component that reads your translations aloud.

Because TextGrabber has a “History” tab where you can save text you’ve looked up, you’ll have good study material for idle moments.

Dict Box: Best Multi-functional App

iOS | Android

french translation app android

With DictBox, you highlight a word in your browser or another app and DictBox will offer a translation and definition from multiple dictionaries, which you can manage and reorder to suit your preferences.

You won’t even need wifi. Not only will the app broaden your French vocabulary, but it may even improve your English if you’re translating a word you don’t know.

The app also has other useful tools such as its Word Reminder, which will remind you of a word you’ve translated for better retention. The Picture Dictionary associates an image with a saved word, perfect for visual learners. And you can even review words with the app’s flashcards.

The app also demonstrates pronunciations and even finds similar words and phrases to broaden your vocabulary even more.

Plus, let’s say you meet a fellow French learner somewhere in Lyon—you can synchronize your word list across multiple devices or save it to the Cloud.

Reverso Translation Dictionary: Best for Accurate Translations

iOS | Android

french translation app androidYou can say goodbye to unnatural translations that make no sense to native French speakers. Reverso contextualizes translations with examples from movies, books, news articles and other media, so you know the translations were used at some point in real life.

The app also provides natural pronunciations of complete sentences for those moments you get stage fright before a conversation.

And if pronunciation isn’t an issue but you always confuse the passé composé with the imparfait, clicking on verbs will provide a conjugation list.

The app might even become your new best friend thanks to its flashcards, which help you memorize words and phrases you’ve translated and also introduce new ones.

Universal Doctor Speaker: Best Medical Emergency App

iOS | Android

french translation app androidLiving in Paris can be the best, but getting sick in Paris is the worst. The last thing you want is for your doctor to demand an emergency hip replacement after misunderstanding your gripes about a sore throat.

This is why I insist you download the Universal Doctor Speaker. This app contains 500 common and professionally verified medical phrases with accompanying audio by native speakers.

These phrases cover everything from immediate medical needs and symptoms to medical history and treatment inquiries.

Medical professionals can likewise use it to explain your symptoms, physical examination procedures, diagnoses and treatments.

Once offline, all translations are still available and since it has continuously new and free updates, you can count on this app for all types of situations.

Microsoft Translator: Best Conversational Translations App

iOS | Android

french translation app android

With this amazing app, you can invite others to a group chat, type your message in English and it appears in French for others.

They likewise respond in French and it’ll appear in English for you, with the original text right underneath, providing the perfect opportunity to see the contrast between the two languages.

You can also speak instead. A split screen mode allows for bilingual conversations.

Reading doesn’t always do the trick, so the app will also play translations out loud to teach you how to say them. Transliterations, which are pronunciation guides, and phrasebooks containing verified translations are also great educational features.

Microsoft Translate also offers alternate translations and definitions to help you find the perfect words to express yourself. 

The app will even translate text in photos or screenshots if need be, and you can download languages for offline use when you don’t have internet.


These are just some of the fantastic translation apps that are already out there, but more are being developed every day! Whether you use just one, two or many, enjoy using these translation apps to get you through the nitty gritty of learning French.

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