Translator apps are great when you’re traveling to foreign countries, or just trying to learn a new language at home. The Apple App Store has a wide variety of translator apps available for the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad that allow you to translate from anywhere in the world.
Of course, the quality of these apps can vary widely and each will include its own set of translated languages. Features also vary widely and some apps even allow you to translate voice messages through the mobile device. The following is our pick of the top five translator apps in the App Store.
53Languages Translation and Pronunciation – Available free with ads or with a fee for the premium version, this app can be used on both the iPhone and iPad. The software uses the highly-rated Google and Bing translators, so an Internet connection is required for translation. Google’s translator includes 53 languages and Bing translates 30 languages. The app also includes phonetic pronunciation for 17 of the languages. The free version provides access to phonetic pronunciation for only Japanese translations.
Trippo Voice Translator Plus – Available for iPhone, this app is a speaking translator that translates words and messages that you speak into the microphone. After several seconds, this Nuance-developed app displays the text translation on the iPhone screen along with providing an audio translation. Although the Trippo app itself is free, you have to purchase a license the in-app speech recognition technology. Trippo also needs to access the Internet for its translations, so make sure that you will have connectivity if you plan on using it abroad.
Jibbigo – This app also uses speech recognition technology to translate on your iPhone, iPod or IPad. You simply speak into the device and Jibbigo translates the message into audible speech. Because of the more advanced nature of processing required for speech recognition, audible translation is considerably slower than text-based translation. There is also a higher error rate, so you have to be willing to speak slowly and clearly for more accurate translations. Another disadvantage is that this system is available only for translations between English and four other languages: Iraqi Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.
Ultralingua –The Ultralingua mobile dictionaries are well established and the App Store has a great selection to choose from. Each dictionary contains an extensive listing of word pairs and additional features include the ability conjugate verbs, translate numbers into text and search for additional information over the Internet. They also have specialized dictionaries, for example, the French-English Medical Dictionary. The main disadvantage is that you have to purchase each dictionary separately.
iLinguist – Developed as a series by the Apps Dev Team, iLinguist can translate languages offline. iLinguist West translates between English and five other West European languages: Dutch, French, Finnish, German and Italian. The West European dictionary includes 250,000 word pair entries. iLinguist East Allows translations between English and five East European languages: Czech, Croatian, Polish, Russian and Slovak. The East European dictionary includes 292,000 word pair entries. Translations are supported in both directions and one can also access Google and Wikipedia online.