German may be in the same Germanic language family as English, but it's known to be difficult. Compared to some of the easier languages to learn, such as Spanish or Italian, German seems complicated with much different speech patterns.
Good news is, most Germans have been taught how to speak English from an early age. But you can't rely on this to survive when visiting Germany and especially if you plan to work at a German company. You may need to learn some basic German words and when you're stuck, you'll need one or two German translator apps handy.
Now we're not saying these translation apps are going to be perfect. You're still far better off learning how to speak German from a professional tutor. But let's assume that you're strapped for time in this situation.
Pros and Cons of Using Translation Apps
There are noticeable upsides and downsides when you depend on using translator apps. It does depend on what your goals are though.
- You're able to get immediate solutions to German words you're not familiar with
- Reliable german translation apps offer pronunication help via audio
- Provides reassurance that when you stumble into a miscommunication, you can resolve it in seconds
- Many are free to use and you can use it wherever you go, so not a lot of downside
- You can become reliant on using translators for everything, instead of speaking with others
- No matter how great the app is, translation will not be 100% accurate. This increases the risk of you learning German incorrectly
- Impossible to learn slang and other casual sounding words that are localized in German. Most translators will offer translations in isolation
Despite the minimal downsides, it's without question that using German translator apps will help you learn German faster. You'll also avoid some potentially embarassing moments when you're speaking with another person. We recommend that you use translation tools when it's required, but do your best not to rely on them for everything.
Today, we'll share with you 7 of the best apps to translate German to English, or any other language you speak. Best of all, these are reliable and you'll be able to use it wherever you go.
7 Best German Translator Apps That You Can Rely On
Let's start with...
Price: $19.99/m or $39.99 every 3 months
TripLingo is designed for business travellers or frequent travelers who want an all-in-one travel app. As the name itself states, it's a travel plus language learning app where you can get vital resources for both purpose. On the travel side, you'll get culture tips, currency calculators, and other travel guides. From the language end, you get a translator, basic vocabulary lists, and more to help you survive. It's not a comprehensive language learning app however, so you can't expect to reach fluency using TripLingo.
2. Google Translate
Chances are you've already heard of Google Translate, as it's a global dominant force given how naturally it translates from Google Search. More than that, it's free and one of the most reliable translation apps out there. Particularly if you're using an Android phone, most phones will now have a Google Search tab on the homescreen. As Google tries to get users in the habit of using their own tools, if you try to translate a German word into English, you'll encounter the Google Translate app.
For casual conversations that you want to translate, iTranslate is a viable option you can use. In addition to their translation tool, you can also take photos with your camera plus use your voice to translate. While we haven't tried on our own, some users claim that you could use this voice tool to get instant translation with people on the streets. No better way to see if it works than trying it out for yourself!
4. Microsoft Translator
When you think of Microsoft, you don't immediately think of search or translation tools. However, given the size of the company, they've expanded their footprint into just about anything you can imagine. While it's not as globally recognized as the translation app from Google, Microsoft Translate claims to be useful for group conversations.By using speech and text, you can instantly translate group conversations that you have on WhatsApp, SMS, or other communication tool. Pretty cool, right?
5. Proz Forums
Bit of an unconventional translation tool, but useful nonetheless. Proz Forums may not be a translation app, but you can scour through thousands of questions and answers for German that people have already asked. Since these are all answered by humans and mostly native German speakers, you can get insights into slang words and other localized sayings that you can't through an app.
Price: $15 for Android; $20 for iOS (per language)
Now we're going to share some paid options for you to choose from. While the basic app is free, you will need to pay to add-on the German translation tool. Their database offers over 250,000 terms for you to search from, plus it offers German conjugations which can come in handy.
7. iTranslate Voice 2
Price: $5 USD
Lastly, we have iTranslate Voice which is a standalone voice-only app from iTranslate. This translation app offers voice translations, phrasebooks, and transcripts that you can export or share. While the voice feature exists in the iTranslate app, it only offers the basic versions.This premium app does cost $5, but unlike TripLingo, it's a one-time fee that you only have to pay once.
We hope these translation apps will help you learn German faster. No matter what stage you're in your German learning journey, having a reliable translator is always useful. Keep it up!