The Top Travel Apps: Five Things to Love About Google Translate

The Top Travel Apps: Five Things to Love About Google Translate

This is the first part in a series about the best apps to manage travel. Find the rest of the series HERE.

If there was a way to make traveling abroad easier, would you use it? I definitely would. And I definitely do. As a frequent solo traveler, I’m looking for all the ways to simplify my life on the road.

On this journey, I've been moving from city to city or country to country once every 5-10 days. Living like this for a long-term means that there is a lot of info to keep up with, and I can’t keep it all straight in my brain, so I rely on the best apps available to simplify the life and reduce the number of things I need to worry about.

In this series I’m going to introduce you to my favorite travel apps, and how to get the most out of them, even if you are already using them.

The first app you should be using is Google Translate. Okay, this might seem really basic - but I know some of you aren’t using it, or aren’t using it to it’s full capacity. Google Translate is my go-to app when I’m abroad for figuring out what is going on around me. Taxi driver blathering at you in another language - Google Translate. Can’t read the menu - Google Translate. Want to have a conversation with the cutie at the bar - Google Translate.

Fast facts about the app:

  1. It Translates 103 Languages. Is the language you need help translating on that list? Most likely! I’ve never needed a language that it hasn’t provided, and if you can stump it, I’d love to tell me where you are, and what language it is missing.

  2. Offline Translation of 59 languages. Offline translation is the feature I use the most. Before I fly into any country where a high percentage of the population speaks a language other than English, I download the most frequently spoken languages in the app. With offline translations, if I’m ever in a situation where I can’t get wifi, or cellular coverage (this happens more likely than you might expect) I can still communicate fully.

  3. Using your phone’s camera to take pictures. Hold your phone over the menu, or the street sign, and Google will translate the entire thing for you, so you don’t have to waste your time typing it in, (or embarrass yourself trying to sound it out). This is particularly helpful in languages that do not use the Latin alphabet.

  4. Conversations in real time. Instead of just translating one language at a time, Google Translate will help you have a conversation with someone else, by translating their language to yours and yours to their. With this feature, you can have a two-way conversation that actually moves pretty smoothly.

  5. Save frequently used words and phrases. Another one of my favorites - I try to learn key phrases of language as I go, but where I don’t have this mastered, Google Translate will save any translations you ask it to, so you can use them repeatedly without re-entering them each time.

That’s a quick overview of why I love Google Translate and use it all the time when traveling (and you should too).

In the next installment in this series, I’ll be covering another app from Google, Google Trips.

Find the rest of the series here:

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