When language affects cognition.

Discover the benefits of text and voice translations and select the one that is most suitable for you.

Text vs. Voice Translation Apps: Which to Use While Traveling?

Planning a trip to a new country?
Just imagine all the adventures that are waiting for you there.
Eating at restaurants, visiting local markets, intermingling with locals, making new friends, or finding new business partners.
But there is one thing that can stand between you and all the explorations the country has to offer – the language barrier. It can become a real roadblock and undermine all your efforts of preparation for the trip.
Luckily, you can always equip yourself with a translation app that will become your best friend abroad.

Key Types of Translation Applications

There are dozens of apps out there that you can use.
Still, not all of them might serve the purpose for you.
When you look at the market of translation apps, there are two main types of apps out there:

  • Text translation apps
  • Real-time voice translation apps

Let’s take a look at each type and identify which one will do the job for you.

What is Text Translation App?

Just as the name entails. text translation applications deal with texts. They use complex algorithms to interpret words and structure of sentences in the language the user is translating from (source language) and generate translation based on the rules of the language the user is translating to (target language).

Text translation apps can be of different formats and types. Some of them deal with translating texts that users type in. Some of them recognize the text on screenshots or photos and provide a translation. And some can even recognize text through a camera in real life without the need to take photos.

Key Features of Text Translation Apps

The set of features can vary based on the app type. Still, there is a list of some common functionality:

  • Offline storage of languages – this feature is useful for travelers as it allows them to use translation apps even without internet connectivity.
  • Type to translate – users can view a preview of the translation as they type text.
  • Write to translate – this is a useful feature that recognizes handwriting and translates it to the language of users’ choosing.
  • Translation from images – the feature allows users to take photos or upload screenshots and translate the text on them.
  • Instant camera translation – this is a more advanced feature that requires more complex algorithms that recognize real-world text using the camera of a device.
  • Tap to translate – sometimes when browsing websites, you can stumble upon a foreign language. The feature allows you to tap a word that you don’t know and instantly translate it to the target language.
  • Translation keyboard – a great example of this feature is Gboard, a keyboard by Google that allows translating text in various apps, including the most popular messengers, as you type.

In most cases, translation applications combine a number of these features. Choose apps that offer both types of translation and instant camera translation features, which are quite handy while traveling.

Voice Translation Apps & Their Types

Voice translation apps can interpret voice input and provide a text or voice translation of the source language into a target language. Such applications are great for travelers – whether we talk about tourism or business travels. The main goal of voice translation apps is to simplify the communication process between people who speak different languages.

Key Features of Voice Translation Applications

With the fast advancement in modern technology, voice translation apps are becoming more and more powerful each year. Let’s review some of the most popular and useful features of voice translation apps:

  • Voice to text translation – such apps translate voice input into text that is displayed on the screen of the user’s device.
  • Speech to speech translation – apps with such a feature recognize the human voice, translate it to the target language and reproduce translation as a speech. This is the best option for traveling and human-to-human communication.
  • Voice cloning – this is the latest addition to the features of voice translation apps. It allows reproducing translated speed in the voice of a user. A great example is iDict. The app took the feature even further and can reproduce the voice of a user, which makes translations even more human-like.

Examples of the Best Voice & Text Translation Apps

There are hundreds if not thousands of translation apps in the world. How can you choose the right one? The list below contains some of the most popular translation apps in the world that will be useful for travelers.

Google Translate

Google Translate is the giant among translation applications. In addition to advanced text translation, the app offers free voice translations for 32 languages. A great bonus is an offline work, which is especially useful for travelers.

iTranslate

This application packs in a hefty set of features: text translation, voice translation, camera translation, offline translation, and keyboard translation. The app provides translation services for 100 languages. As for voice translation, users can choose between a male or female voice that will reproduce translation for them. The only downside is that such voices often sound very robotic and not like humans.

Microsoft Translator

This is another solution from a tech giant. The app offers a lot of features, such as text and voice translation and text recognition on images. The app is offered in two versions – for enterprise clients and for consumers.

iDict

Despite being in the development stage, iDict is ready to take the market of voice translation apps by storm. The solution will offer a bunch of useful features, such as real-time voice translation, text translation, handwriting, photo translation, favorites and conversation lists. But the voice cloning feature is the real gem of the app. With its help, you’ll be able to hear how your voice will sound in all of over 100 supported languages.