Android users, unite!
We’ve been mocked all over the internet for not being hip and cool.
We’ve been ridiculed for our supposedly awful camera quality that makes everything look like a blurry potato.
We’ve been condescendingly asked if our phones are capable of even sending a text.
We’ve—okay, maybe I’m getting worked up here.
The point is: it’s time to concoct an out-of-this-world comeback that’ll leave those [insert major Android competitor] users wishing they had access to the Google Play Store.
Better yet, let’s do it in French.
These six incredibly handy French translation apps for Android are available on the Play Store and are perfectly suitable for a variety of settings and contexts. They’ll give you instant English-to-French translations in text or audio, along with tons of other cool features to make your French travels or studies way easier.
So the next time we’re teased for our Androids, we can spit out a witty French retort that’ll leave them jealous of our phones and our French skills.
Instant Polyglot: 6 Android Apps with Real-time French Translations
While these translation apps are incredibly useful, be sure to mix in other tools to get a well-rounded understanding of the language. FluentU is the perfect tool for understanding French as native speakers use it in real life, and it can live right alongside your translation apps on your Android device.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
The videos are organized by genre and level, and each one comes with clickable subtitles, flashcards and fun quizzes so you learn and retain new vocabulary by watching. FluentU will also suggest new videos based on what you’ve learned.
You can even search for words that come up in your translator apps, and FluentU will show you videos that use it. It’s a fun way to immerse yourself in real French, from your couch or anywhere on-the-go.
I have fat thumbs. I struggle with texting. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to type.
And I’m also allergic to raw carrots but that has nothing to do with this, so let’s continue.
Enter: iTranslate. You can 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.
There’s a free version with access to the audio translations among other features. With the paid “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.
Beyond allowing you to practice your listening skills by hearing a native French speaker, the app also enhances your reading because it shows you both the original expression and its translation.
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.
Every language enthusiast knows the pain of trying to deduce what a foreign sign says. You stare at it, gape for a solid eight seconds as your brain starts “buffering,” and you’re finally able to eek out some semblance of what it means.
But no longer!
Using 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.
Expanding your vocabulary is one of the biggest struggles of learning a new language, hence why I’d resort to describing my cat whenever my French professors would ask me to talk about my last vacation.
You just have to 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. No Wi-Fi necessary. 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.
You could say that DictBox is a “box of goodies,” because it boasts other useful tools. Its Word Reminder will—you guessed it—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 pronounces back to you 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
You 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.
But of course, we all know our attempts at pronouncing those real-life French translations sometimes sound like we’re speaking Arabic. That’s why the app 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.
You might be expecting me to say that Reverso will also cook dinner for you, but this thankfully isn’t an episode of “Black Mirror.”
Universal Doctor Speaker
Living 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.
Which 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.
The best part? Once offline, all translations are still available, so you don’t need to worry about asking a nurse for the Wi-Fi password (in French!) if you, say, stumbled down a hill on your way to the Eiffel Tower.
And since it has continuously new and free updates, you can count on this app for all types of situations.
This isn’t a cheap knockoff of Google Translate, I promise.
You’ve met your technological soulmate if you’re working with French-speaking colleagues or doing anything involving groups.
You simply 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. It’s a match made in French-speaking heaven.
Be proud of your Android and smash that language barrier with these incredible French translation apps!