3 Translation Apps to Use When You Travel in a Foreign Country

These handy translation apps transform your phone into a personal pocket translator.

turn your phone into a translation app

Immersing yourself in a foreign country can be difficult when there’s a language barrier. But thanks to 21st-century technology, your mobile device can now be your personal translator when you travel abroad. Many translation apps are free or are available for a one-time fee. Here are some of our favorites and why we love them.


Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android platforms
Requires Wi-Fi or international data?: Yes, although you can create a list of favorite words and phrases for use offline.
Why we love it: Google’s free translation app lives up to the company’s reputation for simple, user-friendly interfaces. Google Translate, which works best with Wi-Fi and/or an international data plan, offers voice and text translations as well as a new camera feature, which translates directly from printed text (which is especially handy for street signs and menus).


Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android platforms
Requires Wi-Fi or international data?: Yes.
Why we love it: This versatile translation app doesn’t just translate individual words; if a word has multiple meanings, the app also gives sample sentences showing how the word is used in each context. That comes in handy to help avoid those dreaded misunderstandings.


Cost: $2.99
Availability: iOS platform
Requires Wi-Fi or international data?: No. Once downloaded, the app is fully functional offline.
Why we love it: If you’re traveling through a few countries, this handy app can serve as your one-stop language library. Twelve languages, each in a separate dictionary, appear as “books” on a virtual shelf. Use the books to search for words and phrases alphabetically.

Inset photo: iStock
Unsure of what electronics to bring while traveling? Our experts share their advice on traveling with electronics.

AAA Travel offers a wide variety of vacation packages to destinations world-wide. Visit AAA.com to learn more or call 877-396-7159 to speak to a AAA Travel Counselor.

Learn More

Janice Yip-Hudson, AAA Travel Counselor, Daly City, Calif.

Today, people's lives are so busy. We're thinking three days ahead just to get through our to-do lists. I love helping my clients plan vacations where they have nothing to do but relax; where time stands still, and you're just on vacation.

© 1996–2018, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. All rights reserved  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy