Top Translation Apps for Smart Phones


Type in a phrase, and this app will translate it into any of 52 languages. You can also download dozens of text-to-speech voices for 16 languages, including Dutch. Italian, and Turkish (iPhone version only). Good for business travelers on an expense account. You need to be online to work the app, so roaming data charges will apply. COST Free-$0.99. Runs on iPhone/iPod Touch.

Lonely Planet Phrasebooks

These interactive versions of Lonely Planet’s print books offer quick reference to more than 600 key travel phrases, which are delivered to you via text (with phonetic spellings) or audio recording. Good for First-time visitors. The app, which covers 10 major language groups, makes coming up with the right words easy. COST $9.99.  Runs on Android, iPhone.

Lingopal 44

Get text or voice versions of travel phrases in 44 languages (from Afrikaans and Icelandic to Korean and Mandarin). Phrases are divided into categories, including directions, business, emergencies, and banks. Good for travelers who will make use of the far-flung languages and tutorials on how to both flirt and insult in local parlance. COST $9.99. Runs on iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch.


Speak an English phrase into your iPhone’s mic and Jibbigo recites the translation in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, or even Iraqi Arabic. Unlike many other translation apps, it doesn’t require a (potentially costly) data connection. Good for foreign-language neophytes. If you’re too nervous to say the words, Jibbigo will do it for vou! COST starting at $24.99. Runs on iPhone.