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5 Best Language Learning Apps for Travel

By Ana Torres |

Traveling is a great way to learn other languages. Discover the 5 best real-time translation apps while visiting new destinations.

Apart from the excitement of planning a new trip, one of the advantages of leaving home to travel the world is the possibility of broadening our knowledge by discovering traditions and beliefs that are different from ours. DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, knows that tourism trends have increased in recent years. Now more than ever there are thousands of reasons to travel! That’s why we’ve shared with you a wide variety of experiences that fit all kinds of interests.

For example, for foodie travelers we have recommended healthy food restaurants in Japan. For fashionista travelers, we’ve written Thailand is the perfect place to renew your wardrobe with custom tailored suites. Regarding ecotourism, we’ve introduced you to the wonders of the natural reserves in South Africa. However, today we tell you about another reason that inspires travelers to buy a plane ticket: learning another language.

Language Learning Travel

There are over 7,000 languages in the world, and thanks to technology and internet it’s easy to learn about them. However, there’s nothing better than visiting a country to really get to know it. For this reason, more and more people travel to immerse themselves in the culture and take courses in local universities to expand their knowledge of the native language.

Tips for Your Language Immersion Trip

If you want your vacation to become a chance to learn other languages, the most important step takes places before getting on a plane. Just like your itinerary, language learning trips require preparation. Here are 3 strategies to learn languages while traveling:

  • Do some research about the festivities and celebrations that will take place during your stay and try to be part of them. These are perfect occasions to learn about the country’s history, gastronomy, and language through direct contact with its people.
  • Find out the music that is popular at your destination. You can do this by tuning in to their most popular radio stations online. Then, create a playlist so you familiarize yourself with the language. This way you can also learn some basic words.
  • Download a real-time translation app. Not sure what apps are the best? DINKtravelers suggests you choose one with a user-friendly interface that doesn’t slow down your smartphone. Also consider choosing apps with a good number of common phrases and words.
  •  Choose the apps that allow you to do a real-time translation and that allows you to save your previous translations. You can also download those that let you share them through social media.

Best Language Translation Apps for Travel

If you’re not sure what translation app is best for your next trip, here are 5 options that are available for iOS and Android.

#1 WayGo

It’s ideal if your travel destination is located in Asia. This translation app doesn’t require internet connection. It  also works as an image translator because it uses optical recognition of Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters. It translates full phrases into English. All you need to do is point your smartphone’s camera at the text you want to translate. Moreover, it gives you the chance to save your translations and listen to word pronunciation. You can download the basic version of this app, but if you want the premium package you need to pay  2 USD per week. We especially recommend WayGo if you want to try Chinese gastronomy because its vocabulary database can help you translate any menu!

#2 Speak and Translate

It’s perfect to translate while having a conversation. It only requires your smartphone’s speakers and microphone to record and translate phrases in real time. It doesn’t need internet connection and it’s free. You can choose among 100 languages and enjoy its automatic recognition feature. The best thing is that it allows you to create filing categories and filter phrases that you’ve already saved on your smartphone. Download the app here.

#3 Word Lens

This app works without internet connection and uses your cell phone’s camera to translate text found in images. Unlike WayGo, its translations also include Romance and Anglophone languages. It’s free and it’s last version includes a conversation feature to translate dialogues between two people that speak different languages. This app translates words found in urban signage as well as advertisements. It also imitates their design, making your translation experience visually attractive. Download it here.

#4 SayHi Translate

It allows you to translate any phrase in over 100 different languages, both in oral and written form. It offers a good translation speed; it’s fast enough to have a fluid conversation with a native. It’s free but it requires internet connection. An interesting feature is that it also recognizes slang, enabling you to communicate with people in various contexts, from a local party or a hotel to a scientific or cultural environment. Download the app here.

#5 Triplingo

This app is free but requires internet connection. It works as a huge database that includes the most widely used phrases abroad. You can choose among different languages so you can use it wherever you are. It has over 1,200 predetermined phrases, but it also allows you to translate orally in case you need to say something that is not in the database. It’s also perfect for shopping because it includes an exchange rate calculator. And while you wait for a cab to take you back to your hotel, you can have fun reading the cultural and travel notes it offers as part of its archive. Download it here.

Now you can be sure languages are not an impediment to visit new places. Choose a destination, follow our advice, and learn other languages while traveling. Don’t forget to share your experience using a translation app with us.