A lot of business talk can sound like a foreign language. Then there’s business talk that actually is a foreign language. Mobile translation apps make it easy to understand something in a language you don’t speak. Whether you need to ask for directions in a foreign city or decipher an email from an international partner, a translation app can help you get by when you don’t know the language. And carrying a translator app in your pocket is a lot easier than carrying an actual translator.
With some translation apps, you (or the helpful stranger giving you directions) speak a phrase into your mobile device and then the app speaks it in translation. Other apps help you conjugate verbs, build sentences, or translate text.
The number of translation apps out there can be overwhelming to sort through. As noted in this article from Business Insider, here are some of the best apps for business travel and communication:
Google Translate: Speak or type a phrase and then listen to the translation. Google Translate requires an internet connection but lets you save phrases for offline access. Free from the App Store and Android Market.
Ultralingua: This app is expensive but has a great interface, doesn’t require an internet connection, and conjugates thousands of verbs. You have to buy separate apps for each language, but if you need to regularly translate the same language, the price is worth it. $19.99 at the App Store.
iSpeak: The iSpeak line offers straightforward translation apps with text-to-speech translations and readings with native-sounding accents. $1.99 at the App Store.
SayHi Translate: A popular, easy-to-use app that really comes in handy if you’re lost in a foreign city. Just speak a phrase into your iPhone or iPad and get a written translation. $.99 at the App Store.
Word Lens: Not sure what that red sign with the exclamation point is saying? Just take a picture and get a translation. Free at the App Store.
Odyssey Translator: The apps in this popular collection have a helpful phrase builder that makes it easy to have a conversation. $4.99 at the App Store.
Photo attribution: shaggyshoo