“It is astonishing how much enjoyment one can get out of a language that one understands imperfectly.” — Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve
As a language learner, there will be moments along your journey when you won’t understand something.
When these moments happen to you, just remember the words of American scholar Gildersleeve: Even when we don’t completely get it, every moment of experiencing the Spanish language can be full of joy.
Then again, Gildersleeve didn’t have the benefit of a portable translator that can call up a definition for nearly every Spanish word within seconds and fits in your pocket.
But you do.
We’ve rounded up eight awesome Spanish translation apps so you can enjoy Spanish and understand every word of it.
Android device users, this one’s for you!
Why Every Spanish Learner with an Android Device Should Have a Translation App
A translation app can provide a concise meaning of a word or phrase and that’s crucial to language learners. But it can also be a source for vocabulary acquisition. Typically, translation apps contain thousands of words and phrases—and they’re all just waiting to be acquired. It’s a Spanish language lover’s dream!
Bigger vocabularies lead to greater language comprehension. And that affects every facet of language learning: Reading abilities, listening comprehension, speaking and writing skills are all impacted by the size of a learner’s vocabulary.
Sometimes size matters—especially when it comes to vocabulary!
A translation app fits into any Spanish language program. It’s actually one of the best tools a learner can have.
Apps can be used whenever there’s a bit of free time, turning downtime into productive time. Fill those minutes learning vocabulary or translating Spanish and watch your skills grow!
Translation apps are mobile, so they’re always readily available. And since most of us carry our phones everywhere, apps are a language learning feature that don’t require any extra effort to take along. They’re always at hand!
The bonus to a translation app? Its ability to help language learners build incredible vocabulary lists. With all those words in the palm of your hand it just makes sense to compile lists of words and phrases, including vivid slang!
But don’t forget that learning doesn’t happen in isolation. Reinforce new words you learn from these translation apps with authentic context on FluentU.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
And best of all… You can get FluentU on your Android device, too!
8 Spanish Translation Apps for Android That’ll Redefine Your Learning
Dict Box—Universal Offline Dictionary
This app is widely used and well reviewed! Many consider it their go-to Android translation app, and for good reasons.
It provides pronunciation and translation for any text, corrects spelling for words typed incorrectly, allows users to sync word lists between various devices and can translate using a device’s camera.
Use it offline when there’s no internet access.
Come back later to review words that have been translated with its flashcard feature. It’s a super way to add to your vocabulary skills!
This app translates words, phrases and sentences quickly and concisely. It has a no-nonsense, uncluttered appearance—it’s so simple to use that even children are able to navigate it with ease!
The app reads translations aloud which is perfect for learners who want to model pronunciation of unfamiliar words or phrases.
Users have the ability to compile a list of translation favorites for further study, which can be used for flashcards or vocabulary lists.
There are times when a tried-and-true favorite does a great job. Google Translate is a perfect example of this.
This app translates by typing or copying text as well as through speaking. It also provides immediate camera translation—just point your phone’s camera at a Spanish menu, sign or other written material and a translation shows up right away.
The phrasebook feature allows users to save frequently used translations. This is a super method for reviewing common phrases and pulling them into your vocabulary repertoire.
Google Translate also has a cool feature that integrates it with other apps on your phone. Browsing a Spanish website or chatting with a friend? Call on the app to translate if you need to.
The translator works offline so it’s ideal for anyone who tends to venture off the beaten path!
Speak to Voice Translator
This voice and text translator gets excellent user reviews! It translates for over 100 different languages so it’s great for Spanish language learning as well as communication with other global citizens, whatever language they speak.
The app translates both voice and text instantly, allows voice-to-voice conversations and provides more than one translation for words and phrases. Translations are compiled from four high-quality sources like Google and Microsoft, giving you the opportunity to find exactly what you need to know.
Use this app to listen to spoken Spanish, too. It’s a fun app to use, regardless of the language being studied!
If you’re only going to choose one translation app, consider Microsoft Translator. It does just about everything you ever thought a translator could do—and more.
You can translate from text, voice or camera. Listen to translated phrases out loud for some pronunciation practice. You can even save your most frequently translated phrases to put them right at your fingertips for review.
With the multiple-user translation, it’s possible to have an actual conversation in real time. Just connect devices and converse with others—it’s really that simple!
If you own an Android Wear smartwatch, you can sync this app between your phone and watch!
The phrasebook and pronunciation guide is perfect for anyone traveling to a Spanish-speaking country. And if you’ll be going to a place that doesn’t offer solid internet connectivity, you can download the Spanish dictionary for offline use.
Translate Shake is so much fun to use, that it basically turns translating between English and Spanish into a game.
You can translate the old-fashioned way, by typing text and pressing “Translate.” Or you can do it the fun way: just shake the phone, then speak! The translation will be spoken back to you.
This is a wonderful tool for anyone who has physical limitations that prohibit them from typing or if you need an urgent translation before you forget the word or the moment passes.
The speech feature of this app allows users to communicate even if they’re still at the beginner level.
It’s also possible to save all translations for later review.
Offline Translator: Spanish-English Free Translate
For the times when an internet connection is unavailable or not secure, this offline Spanish-English translator will do the job.
It defines words, phrases, sentences or full texts through typing or speaking the material to be translated. Like Google Translate, this one allows you to check the translation of any writing around you, from the bus stop to your cereal box, by snapping a photo with your device’s camera.
As a new user, you get a limited number of voice and camera translations (to get more, you’ll need to upgrade). However, text-based translations are free and unlimited
You can also use this app to build a personalized phrasebook by using the “Save” button when translating!
This Spanish translator makes actual conversations possible. The voice translator turns texts to audio, bringing words, phrases and text passages to life!
The app also offers dictionaries of Spanish and English synonyms—perfect for vocabulary building. It allows users two methods to grab translations: either speak or write—it’s entirely user friendly!
Please note that, as with many translators, the definitions given here aren’t always 100% accurate, especially when you’re dealing with phrases or full sentences Use this as a quick way to check a word or have a conversation, not as a grammar checker.
Gildersleeve was right—but only to a point. While there’s joy to be found in just experiencing a language, there are so many added benefits to understanding it well!
A first-rate Android translator will help understand Spanish better—and you’re sure to enjoy using any of these to level up your skills
Have fun and good luck!