How do you translate a conversation

The best translator apps for Android

Steffen Zellfelder

No language barrier: with the right Android app, you will never again have a question mark in your head when talking to people from other countries. Powerful software translates spoken words in real time, recognizes texts via smartphone cameras and can do a lot more - often for free.

Anyone who thinks the world is small has not yet tried to order a pair of white sausages in Kuala Lumpur. Admittedly, these translator apps for Android do not give you that easily either, but at least your conversation partners know what it is about. The apps also quickly become indispensable in taxis, when going to the authorities or simply talking to locals.

The now quite well developed language tools make leafing through thick dictionaries a relic of bygone days and in most cases they are completely free. This not only saves you money, it also saves you time: Using live mode, you can now translate calls in real time with several apps. To do this, simply place smartphones or tablets on the table in front of the person you are speaking to - participants then speak intuitively in their own mother tongue. The apps automatically deliver translations during the speaking break, without any further action.

With the "Microsoft Translator", the function can even be used with two coupled devices: When making a phone call, the app gives the person you are talking to whole sentences in the appropriate language. Android Wear is also supported by the app, so futuristic functions are available via smartwatch that Star Trek nerds have long wanted.

Even those who frequently work with foreign-language texts or want to translate short messages and WhatsApp conversations will find what they are looking for here: The "PROMT online translator" comes with a monitoring function for the cache of your Android devices and can automatically recognize what is stored there and transfer it to a translate desired target language. The tedious looking up of individual terms or entire sentences is finally no longer necessary.

Anyone who only understands the train station on the menu in a foreign restaurant will also receive help: many apps can recognize, read and translate texts. This also works if you simply point your camera at text on information boards, brochures or magazines. The apps also create more space on the bookshelf - you can dispose of old dictionaries in the waste paper after downloading them.

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