Language should not be a barrier to travelling | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:40 AM, February 25, 2020

Language should not be a barrier to travelling

Although English is spoken worldwide, it is not the definitive language everywhere. And while language barrier can be a problem, it should not stop you from experiencing different cultures. Here's a roundup of the best apps that will help you communicate across language barriers even if you don't know the native language.

Google Translate

The most common translator app, Google translate is surprisingly competent despite of the fact that it costs nothing. It can translate up to 103 different languages, half of them while offline. It also lets you take pictures of boards and plaques, which it can translate into languages of your choice with reasonable accuracy.

Microsoft Translate

Microsoft Translate offers all the features of the former, but can only do so in 60 languages.  However, it can translate to all of them without needing an internet connection. It also comes with a 'phrasebook' that will help you learn important phrases while you're travelling. It is available on all Operating Systems except on Windows phones, which is slightly ironic.


As the name implies, the iTranslate is geared for iOS users, so be ready to pay for every useful feature. The base app is ad supported and barebones, meaning it will cost you $3 to $5 to get the most out of it. With that said, it is competent at its job, being able to translate text in over 100 language, 16 of them online.  Overall, not the best translate app, but if you want something, it will work on all of your Apple devices without any issue, making it one of the better option.


TripLingo differs from other translation apps on the list by focusing on travellers instead of just general translation. It offers the usual text, speech and picture translation in 40 languages plus an option to get in touch with an actual human translator in case the machine fails. All these feature aren't cheap though; as this app will set you back $20 per month, making it the most expensive app on the list.

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