The 8 Best Offline Translators of 2020

Have conversations in any language without access to the internet

Traveling to other countries has become less intimidating thanks to translator apps with internet-backed AI, but the universal translator of Star Trek fame is still far away. The good news is you can even have real-world conversations without the internet when you are on the road.

These are the best offline translator apps right now.

01
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Google Translate: Best Free App for Translations

Google Translate app for iOS
What We Like
  • Translates spoken words in real time.

  • Each update to the app adds new languages.

  • The app is free and there are no in-app purchases.

What We Don't Like
  • No method to correct translations.

  • Many translations don’t take context into consideration.

  • Doesn’t work in China without a VPN.

Google Translate needs no introduction. It became our first pocket translator. The app works offline and can help you understand 59 spoken languages. Offline translation also gets better with transliteration that not only translates but also converts the script of one language into another. Make sure you update the app and download the language packs needed to go offline.

Connect to the web and you can work with more languages and modes. The app covers 108 languages for text translations. You can scribble instead of type and the app can pick it up with its handwriting recognition features for 96 languages. Image recognition and translating bilingual conversations on the fly make Google Translate one of the necessary apps to install on the phone. 

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02
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Apple’s Translate: Best App for Apple Users

Apple Translate on iOS
What We Like
  • The easy and minimal design.

  • Large split-screen conversation mode with the transcribed and translated conversation. 

  • The attention mode with the full-screen landscape translated text. 

What We Don't Like
  • Only for iOS.

  • Limited to a few offline languages.

Translate is Apple’s in-built translation app for all devices on iOS 14. It allows you to use both voice and text for quick translations between languages. You can translate complete conversations, replay them, and save common phrases in the Favorites.

The Apple-only app supports offline translations after you download the specific language packs. It works offline in 11 languages.

03
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Microsoft Translator: Best App for Group Translations

Microsoft Translator on iOS
What We Like
  • Free on Windows, Android, and iOS.

  • Live conversation feature that can translate conversations with more than two people and up to 100 people.

  • Chinese pronunciation guide includes support for Pinyin.

What We Don't Like
  • Voice translation is not supported in the offline mode.

You can run Microsoft Translator on the Windows desktop too along with Android and iOS. You can extend it with tools like the Translator for Outlook add-in and read messages in your language of choice across devices. The translator supports more than 70 languages for text translation.

Download language packs and you can then run your translations offline. The neural network can give you translations in the native accent too. Also, China hasn’t blocked other apps from using the Microsoft Translator automatic translation service.

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04
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iTranslate: Best Paid Translator App for Frequent Travelers

iTranslate translation app for iOS
What We Like
  • Verb conjugations in different tenses. 

  • Share extensions help translate from any app.

  • Translations in male or female voices.

What We Don't Like
  • The nag screen for full access.

  • Offline voice translation limited to four languages.

iTranslate is a well-rounded translator app with support for 100+ languages and dialects. The only downside is that the app isn’t free. But some of its unique features make it a worthy buy for frequent travelers. You can translate text, websites, or start voice-to-voice conversations in the supported languages. Image recognition and an AR Mode for Real-time Object Translation make the paid subscription worth considering.

The offline mode is also a paid feature, but you can translate between 38 languages without any language-pair restrictions which are 1,300 language-pair combinations.

Another app called iTranslate Converse can help you carry out two-way real-time conversations in 38 languages. Though, it supports only English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese (Mandarin) in the offline mode for voice translations. 

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05
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Speak & Translate: Best Freemium App With a Simple Interface

Speak & Translate for iOS
What We Like
  • Apple Watch support.

  • Sync translation history via iCloud.

  • Male and female voice choice is available.

What We Don't Like
  • Only available for iOS.

  • Free version does not have offline mode.

  • Restricted voice translations in the free version.

Speak & Translate has an intuitive interface that uses Apple’s speech recognition technology. It’s only across all iOS devices. You can sync translations across all Apple devices too with iCloud.

The offline mode can translate ten languages that include Mandarin. You will have to subscribe to the Premium version to access the offline mode. Shift to the online mode and Speak & Translate supports 54 languages for voice translation and 117 languages for text translation.

Speak & Translate is a freemium app. The free version runs ads and limits the number of translations per day. 

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06
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TripLingo: Best App for International Travelers

Triplingo iOS app
What We Like
  • A 10000-word offline dictionary.

  • More than 2000 idiomatic phrases in local languages.

  • Crash course in local culture with the guides.

What We Don't Like
  • Subscription is costly. 

  • Pay for Live translator access separately. 

  • Offline translation is limited to text.

TripLingo is a translator, a language learning app, and a travel aid for international travelers. The translation features are just one part of the features. You get culture guides, language learning practice with quizzes and flashcards, and local slang support with the translations.

A unique tip calculator and currency converter help you leave the right amount and not less. If you need to file your receipts, take an image of a receipt, and the app will translate it into your preferred language and save it as a PDF file.

The app supports 42 languages. If you think that the translation isn’t right, you can get in touch with a live translator from the app. 

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07
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Naver Papago: Best App for Sensing Context in Asian Languages

Papago iOS app for Asian Languages
What We Like
  • Simple interface.

  • Focus on Asian languages.

  • Handwriting and website translation.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited languages for now.

  • Not all languages use the smarter context sensitive translations.

Papago offers text, voice, and image translation in only 13 languages for now. As a South Korean company, the app leans towards Asian languages like Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indonesian. Other languages like English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, and German complete their range.

Papago’s neural machine translation tries to sense context when it comes up with the translated phrases. This differs from the more common word for word translations that can miss the meaning of a conversation. Papago has a robust offline mode to support real-time translations. 

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08
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Waygo: Best Dictionary App for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Translations

Waygo Food Translation app on iOS
What We Like
  • The unique focus on food translations.

  • No data required for instant translations. 

What We Don't Like
  • Limited to East Asian cuisine. 

  • Translations are limited to 10 per day.

Waygo is a dictionary app that uses OCR to read Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text. Point your phone’s camera at Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Kanji, and Korean characters to get instant translations.

The developers have made the app to help you decipher food menus. So, it doesn’t misunderstand Beggar’s Chicken for anything other than the tender chicken dish. For now, the app only shows you images of Chinese dishes.

Most of the app’s features are offline by default, so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges. The Android version can be downloaded from the Amazon App Store.

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