Predict your next investment

MOBILE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS | Mobile Software & Services / Information Providers & Portals
itranslate.com

See what CB Insights has to offer

Stage

Acquired | Acquired

About iTranslate

iTranslate enables travelers, students, business professionals, employers, and medical staff to read, write, and speak in over 100 languages, anywhere in the world. With iTranslate, the user can translate text or websites, start voice conversations or look up words, meanings, and even verb conjugations. The user just starts speaking and iTranslate recognizes their voice, converts their words to text, and translates them into another language.

iTranslate Headquarter Location

Gadollaplatz 1

Graz, 8010,

Austria

Latest iTranslate News

Which translation app should you use in 2021?

May 14, 2021

International holidays are set to return so we asked experts to test some of the top translation apps Spring has sprung, and the summer is fast closing in, and – more importantly – international travel is returning in the coming months. This means the opportunity to immerse yourself in different locations, languages and cultures, and we’re here to assist you with that endeavour. While learning some local lingo before you go, or picking some up along the way broadens the mind, a language translator app can be a great tool for helping you along the way – whether it’s assisting in a jam or lending a hand with learning the language. Language translation apps are ten a penny these days, with many being free alongside some premium options. In some cases, you may not even have to download a new app, with Google and Apple getting in on the game with their own versions. Microsoft has its free offering, and lesser-knowns like SayHi and iTranslate are also making their case. We’ve tested them all to find the best one to take with you as you satisfy your 2021 wanderlust. Translation apps – tested For testing, we delved into each app – with a focus on the user experience for a relative language novice as well as checking out any particular features the apps showcase as a key selling point. That’s not all, though – we’ve enlisted the help of language experts to gain an educated insight on the quality of the translations themselves, as well as a translator’s take on what each app is like to use. Our experts are from My Language Lab , an online language tutoring service that’s also worked with the likes of Amazon Prime, HBO and the BBC on translation projects. Let’s take a look at the first app. Google Translate Broad and simple to use, but not perfect While the apps from the big names on this list do keep it relatively simple, the user interface is easily more complex when compared to Apple and Microsoft’s offerings. Nevertheless, the slightly cluttered top of the home screen doesn’t infringe on the overall ease-of-use – with features and tabs clearly labelled. You won’t be fumbling to work out what to do if you open this app looking for a quick solution. The home screen kicks things off with the simple option to choose the languages you wish to translate to and from, followed by a text box to type in words. There’s an option for handwriting, too. You’ll then see “Camera”, “Conversation” and “Transcribe” options clearly presented. Camera lets you take a picture of text to translate it; Conversation is for live translation as you and someone else converse in different languages; and Transcribe is for translating ongoing audio from one source. Once you’ve completed any translating, you can share and save them. The more complex settings allow for specific tweaks, such as allowing offensive words, choosing specific regions for certain languages and turning on offline translation. Google Translate has lots of features, especially for a free app. But what good are these features if the translations aren’t necessarily up to snuff? My Language Lab found Google Translate’s translations to be broadly accurate but spotted some errors, especially relating to morphology (the structure and composition of the words in the sentence) and word gender. Throughout My Language Lab’s testing of these apps, the company utilised an extract from The Art and Architecture of Islam 650-1250 by Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar for analysis purposes, with a focus on Italian and Spanish translation capabilities. In the Italian translation, Google slipped up on the gender of some words while in Spanish it muddled the meaning of some sentences. Despite these qualms, My Language Lab rated Google Translate as very easy to use and at a quality high enough to be able to grasp the general meaning of the translation. This should make it a great travel companion, but less good for the translation of longer portions of text or audio. Platform: Android/iOS Cons: Some issues with vocabulary and structure; not for longer text translations Score: 7/10 Good syntax and an easy-to-use app Like Google Translate, the dedicated translation app available to iOS users – Translate – has a focus on a simplistic design, even if this doesn’t perfectly equate to being simple to use. If you’re just dipping in for the odd translation then it is easy to navigate. The overall design is even more stripped back than the already fairly basic Google Translate layout. You pick your languages at the top, there’s a large space for text entry and a blue button towards the bottom for voice translation. The only other visible element in the app is “Favourites” for saving translations after the fact. However, there is more to this app, and that’s where a degree of hassle creeps in. As with other Apple-made iOS apps, you have to venture out of the app and into Settings to tweak some more complex elements. Admittedly, there isn’t a whole lot of further functionality to be had here – simply letting you allow Translate to function using mobile data and the option for an on-device mode. On-device mode is perhaps the main point of frustration, as being able to download languages so you can use Translate without a connection is extremely useful. However, casual users may not know this exists without stumbling upon it. In terms of general accuracy, our experts found it to be pretty good for nailing sentence structure but it could often present some confusing results from having a vocabulary that is too general. For example, the text used for translation testing uses the word “court” to refer to a type of area within a building. However, Translate translates this to tribunales in Italian – a word used in the context of courts of law. It also struggled with the compound word “throne-rooms,” opting to only translate half of it. The Translate app does go some way to helping to resolve any contextual mistakes, like the one mentioned above – letting you click on any word to show its meaning. However, those with a basic knowledge of the language likely wouldn’t know what words such revision would be necessary for. This factor makes this a wonderfully simple-to-use option for the odd basic single-sentence translation when travelling, but, for more complex or academic tasks, you may hit some stumbling blocks. Platform: iOS Cons: A vocabulary that is too general; issues with compound words Score: 7/10 An outdated look doesn’t hinder this fully featured app As soon as you open the Microsoft Translator app you may feel like you’ve stepped back a decade – especially when compared to Google and Apple’s offerings. However, this ultimately helps the app from a usability standpoint, offering a good range of features with a user interface that is simple enough for everyone, including those who may not be all that smartphone savvy. The basic design offers up large buttons that clearly distinguish between its text, voice, conversation and camera modes. There’s even something to the placement of these well-sized buttons – at handy reaching distance for your thumb to easily activate – that makes this app feel like an active translation tool. Comparatively, rivals don’t provide this sensation and feel a more involved, attention-sapping experience. All modes work fully as intended, with photo and voice translations being particularly useful. The conversations mode is the most complex aspect of the app, requiring the person you are speaking with to “join” the conversation using a device of their own – so, this is reserved for specific situations rather than off-the-cuff use. Underneath, there are icons for history, phrasebook and settings. The key settings, available in-app unlike its Apple Translate rival, include having your phone speak the translations, increasingly slowing down the speed of audio translations to make them clearer, access to offline language translation and the ability to clear your translation history. While the phrasebook, again, adds to the feeling that this tool is a great travel companion – providing quick access to a wide range of basic phrases in a chosen language. In terms of translation quality, My Language Lab found the Microsoft Translator app had a strong vocabulary, accurate text translation – even if it does require some personal revision – and no standout issues. The Microsoft Translator app is simple to use and should be the go-to app for those who want digital translations – even if they aren’t an every day, or power, smartphone user. The app has a good range of features, too, making it scalable for those who may want to do more with their translations. Platform: Android/iOS Cons: Overly complex conversation mode Score: 8/10 Some awkward design choices but great for text translation Stepping away from the big players like Google, Apple and Microsoft, there are a couple of popular options from less well-known companies. SayHi is one of them – and it’s also free to use. The app brings a similar level of simplicity to competitors, with a large white background and two mic buttons at the bottom taking centre stage. The two mics make this an app focused on back and forth of voice translations, letting you quickly switch from translating a voice in one language to translating another voice in another. The menu in the top left corner offers up additional conversation and image modes (both in beta). While settings lets you tweak some basic things like playing translations aloud and auto-saving images taken with the app’s in-built camera. Unfortunately, the focus on recording voices back and forth does not play into the hands of the SayHi app’s capabilities. When it comes to general accuracy, My Language Lab found that translations regularly fell below an acceptable standard. While SayHi seems to do a solid job with written passages of text, when it comes to vocal input – especially when dealing with accents – errors around vocabulary and style were rife. Its written text skills do top the competition in some areas, though. The SayHi app is a hard one to recommend unless you are specifically looking for text translation – hindering its suitability as a well-rounded travel tool. The app design means even its text abilities take a knock, too, with the keyboard accessed by holding the mic button, an extremely strange UI choice. Platform: Android/iOS Cons: Voice translation not great; unclear buttons; tips shouldn’t disappear; screen often turns off Score: 5/10 Translation struggles and off-putting tiers In many ways, iTranslate looks like it could be the app to rival the options from the big tech players, with a range of apps, integration options and a simple interface. However, the translation results and cost make it the only app in this test that the My Language Lab experts would not recommend. While iTranslate sprawls across a range of apps, we focused on the main iTranslate app – which features a mix of its key features. The presentation of the app is simple – making clear when to change your desired languages, a prominent toggle for switching to offline mode and a simple menu at the bottom for voice translation, image translation and even an AR mode. Unfortunately, offline mode and image translation are locked behind iTranslate PRO – features that are readily available for free on most competitors. Some handy additional features include presenting a text translation in full screen, sharing your translation and flashcards for helping you learn a language. When it comes to translation, iTranslate has a struggling vocabulary – translating “court” to mean “field” – and issues of structure. There were problems with muddling gender during Spanish and Italian translation testing, too. Overall, the generality of its translations can lead to vague and misleading results, according to My Language Lab. The translation issues, along with the £4.99 per month or £39.99 per year cost of getting access to some features that many free apps offer, makes iTranslate the poorest overall offering in our test. Aside from translation, the app does offer solid usability and a couple of neat additional features – but not enough to top similar options from free rivals. Platform: Android/iOS Cons: Very basic free tier; pricey premium tier; poor general translation abilities Score: 4/10 Which translation app should I use? Ahead of this test, Google Translate was my go-to translation app of choice, for the ability to access it quickly via the web. However, for travel and other basic translation tasks, Microsoft Translator will now be my go-to holiday helper. Microsoft’s translation tool feels like just that – a tool – in the same way you may take a physical phrasebook with you on trips abroad, but with a whole lot more functionality. The range of features don’t overcomplicate the experience either, and I’d recommend it to anyone regardless of your capabilities with a smartphone. However, you shouldn’t write off Google Translate and Apple’s Translate app as their simplicity makes them pleasant translation tools to whip out and use whenever you need them. Some minor errors make them less capable for longer text translations, though. Unfortunately, translation apps outside of those from the usual tech giants have not fared all that well in this test. However, SayHi is particularly capable when it comes to text translation, making it a better option for that than rivals here. The app is let down by its voice translation capabilities, some clunky choices when it comes to how you interact with the app, and a glitch that keeps the screen flashing when attempting to record. iTranslate is the only app here we would not recommend using at all. It was prone to mistakes across the board, and, being the only app that you have to pay for many features, just isn’t worth the money. Even its free version lacks functionality rivals offer, like camera and offline modes. If you're going to charge, you need to do better. More great stories from WIRED

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

CB Insights uses Cookies

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.