Being able to communicate effectively is a crucial skill when traveling to a foreign country or speaking to international clients. Translation apps have become a huge help in recent years.
While you can access most apps online, an internet connection may not always be possible (like on a plane or in remote locations). This is where offline translator apps come in handy.
So what is the best offline translator? You might be most familiar with Google Translate, but there are actually plenty of applications that can suit your needs and preferences.
Here is our list of the best offline translator apps in 2023.
Best Offline Translator Apps for Android and iOS
|App||Fees||Operating System||Why Use It|
|Google Translate||Free||Android, iOS||Many language packs are downloadable offline|
|Microsoft Translator||Free||Android, iOS||Convenient phrasebook for common expressions|
|Translate||Free||iOS||Can provide definitions of translated words|
|iTranslate||$5.99 per month*||Android, iOS||Dialect switching|
|Speak & Translate||Starts at $2.99||iOS||Large language library plus iCloud syncing|
|Naver Papago||Free||Android iOS||Translation of words with context|
1. Google Translate
- Accessible without fees
- Translates texts from photos
- Supports more than 50 languages to translate offline
- Real-time translation of spoken words
- Lacks support for suggesting translation correction
- Makes literal translations without referencing the context
One of the top translation apps, Google Translate supports approximately 59 languages that can be downloaded offline. It’s a free application that can be downloaded and installed on both Android and iOS.
One of this app’s best features is its support of spoken words — even with offline language translation. You do have to explicitly choose which language you are speaking, as it doesn’t automatically recognize the language when you’re not connected to the internet.
When you want to translate sentences while they’re being spoken in bilingual conversations, Google Translate only supports 43 languages. Meanwhile, users can also use their handwriting (rather than typing on their phone’s keyboard) as an alternative input method.
Keep in mind that you’ll first have to download the desired language pack before you can use Google Translate offline.
2. Microsoft Translator
- Free to use
- Support translation for group conversations
- Supports Pinyin
- Voice translation is unavailable offline
Another translation app to consider is Microsoft Translator, which currently allows its users to access 44 downloadable translation packs offline. This app is downloadable on both iOS and Android devices.
What’s eye-catching about Microsoft Translator is its phrasebook, which contains common sentences and phrases used for casual conversations. For example, there are greetings like “Hola” and “Adios” in the phrasebook, which come in handy for quick talks.
It would have been nice to access the app’s support for group conversations, which translates words and sentences from a maximum of 100 people. However, this is only available when you’re connected to the internet.
The only features that Microsoft Translator offers for offline use are text translations and photo translations.
Available on iOS
- Minimalist user interface
- Full-screen display of translated text under attention mode
- Available only on iOS devices
- Only a handful of languages are supported offline
If you have an iPhone, one of the best free translation apps is Apple’s Translate. It’s designed for iOS and currently offers translation services for up to 11 languages, including English, Russian, German, and French.
While it definitely doesn’t hold a candle against the language libraries of other translators, one bonus is its ability to define words it has translated. Users can also use all 11 languages without the internet.
In addition to text, this app also supports voice translations and allows you to save conversations you’ve translated under the Favorites tab.
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- Translates non-standard Arabic
- Supports more than 40 languages offline
- Translation can be done in other apps
- Dialect support
- Built-in dictionary
- Requires subscription fees
- Only supports four languages for offline voice translation
iTranslate is one of the best apps that goes more than just translation — it even supports dialect switching for better communication. Currently, this app provides translation for more than 100 languages in total, with around 40 languages supported for offline use. It’s also the only app on the market that currently supports non-standard Arabic.
It has the standard features seen in other apps, like voice-to-voice conversations, as well as translations of photos and texts. For voice translations, users can select between male and female voices.
iTranslate allows its users to freely select any language pairs from its 40 offline languages (e.g., English to Spanish, Japanese to French). That’s more than a thousand language pairs!
This might have been the best, most feature-rich translation app that works offline. Unfortunately, users can only use iTranslate by paying subscription fees.
5. Speak & Translate
Available on iOS
- Can work in tandem with Apple Watch
- iCloud syncing of translation history
- Large language library
- Works on iOS devices only
- Offline version needs paid subscription
Another great option for iPhone users is Speak & Translate, which utilizes the brand’s iCloud and speech recognition technology. These features allow you to sync your translation history across Apple devices, adjust the voice speed, and switch between male and female voices for the translations.
At present, the app’s offline mode supports up to 10 languages (and more than 110 languages for text translations when using the online mode). You can only access offline usage through paid monthly or annual subscriptions.
For its premium version, Speak & Translate provides ad-free and unlimited translations. The free translation app version runs ads by default and limits translation services. The photo translations are also only accessible to paying users and are unavailable for offline use.
6. Naver Papago
- Clean user interface
- Able to translate websites and handwritten texts
- Study camera feature
- Only supports 13 languages
- Only 4 languages are supported offline
- Only text translation is available offline
Despite being relatively new to the translation industry, Naver Papago offers great features that are hard to pass up. One of the most notable is its Study Camera function, which is capable of scanning PDFs for translation.
Naver Papago supports standard features like voice-to-voice conversations, as well as text and audio translations. The app also recognizes handwritten input and can translate entire web pages through URLs.
Unfortunately, only the text translation works offline — and there are currently four language packs to download: English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. Naver Papago does redeem itself with its neural machine translation, which ensures that the sentences are translated with context (not just literally).
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Best Offline Translators for Computers
While it’s more likely for you to use your phone for language translations, having a backup offline translator on your desktop might come in handy too. Here are three of the best translation apps to download in 2023.
1. PROMT Master NMT
If you’re in need of high-quality translations, the PROMT Master NMT is a good option. While it requires payment to use its features, it delivers human-like translations using its neural network. It also translates various file formats like .DOCX, .XLSX, .PDF, and more.
Its built-in features (Dictionary and Contexts) are incredibly powerful. They contain all the possible translations of a certain word or phrase in the languages that the software supports. For example, PROMT can provide the basic meaning of “bonjour,” as well as how it can be used in different contexts.
This desktop software supports translations between English, French, Russian, Chinese, German, and Spanish.
Virtaal is a great downloadable option for offline document translations. With its straightforward interface, it’s one of the best translation apps for free.
This software works on both PC and Mac, and — while it isn’t the most feature-rich option out there — it does a great job with features like auto-completion of certain words, auto-correct functions, and quality checking.
If you require simple document translations or need to understand the meanings of certain foreign words, you might want to try Babylon’s free version. This desktop app combines a dictionary, text translator, and document translator.
While it’s primarily reserved for free private use, you can also apply for paid versions like Classic, Pro, and Premium (starting at $89 per year). You can also choose Business and Enterprise subscriptions by getting a quote from a Babylon representative. Paid versions support up to 77 languages and provide natural-sounding, text-reading voices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Offline Dictionary App?
While the answer might depend on your preferences, some of the best offline dictionary apps include the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary of English, and The Free Dictionary.
Is there a Translator That Doesn’t Need the Internet?
Yes, there are plenty of them! For mobile phones, the best options include Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, and iTranslate. Meanwhile, you might want to check out PROMT Master NMT and Babylon for desktop use.
What Is an Offline Translator App?
An offline translator app allows you to translate texts, photos, and audio into a language that you know (without requiring internet access). Typically, you would need to download certain language packs to enable offline usage for your preferred languages. Some of these apps include Google Translate, Naver Papago, and Microsoft Translator.
Start Translating Offline Today
So what’s the best offline translator? That really depends on your needs and budget. Regardless, if you find yourself in a foreign country – or having conversations with non-native speakers — these offline apps will certainly come in handy!
Thinking of traveling or moving to a new country? Start learning language basics with Udemy courses!
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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.