There was a time when Google Translate was the app for everyone when it comes to translating any language. Now the situation has changed and Google Translate has a major competitor Bing Microsoft Translator (aka Bing Translate). Thanks to the functionality of the app and the variety of languages it offers, it is very close to the top of the list of the best online translators.
Unless you spend some time using both Google Translate and Microsoft Translator, it can be difficult to pick the best one for you. We’ve tested both apps and put together a comparison guide that highlights the best and worst features of these translators so you can make the right choice.
Good choice for you if: you’re looking for an app that can do it all and offers the maximum number of languages.
Not so good for: someone looking for an app to translate languages that are not widely spoken, or someone looking for the best conversation translation app.
- 109 languages available.
- Clean and clear interface.
- web version available.
- 6 different translation modes.
- Ability to translate text from any other app on Android.
- Offline mode.
- Not every language supports all translation modes.
- No talk mode. One-way translation only.
- The accuracy of translations may vary from language to language. Especially when it comes to full sentence translation.
Google Translate is a free translator from Google that you can use on your computer as well as on your smartphone. The browser version has 109 languages available and allows you to: translate web pagestext and documents.
The mobile app comes with a wide range of features. The app’s translation modes include:
- Type. You can translate any text you type in the app.
- To write. You can use your touchscreen to handwrite any text and translate it in the app.
- To talk. Google Translate uses your smartphone’s microphone to translate the text you say.
- snap. When you take a photo of a text, you can use the app to recognize and translate it.
- To see. You can use the app to translate the text in real time while recording a video.
The latter is especially impressive. You can point your smartphone’s camera at any text in a different language and the app will translate it in real time. This feature can make navigating a new place and reading foreign signs practically effortless.
Another advantage is the possibility to use google translate offline. All you need to do is download the language packs once when you use the translator for the first time, and then you can use it without an internet connection. This is a feature that comes in handy if you are traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language.
Google Translate would be impossible to beat if all the aforementioned features were available in all 109 languages that the app offers. The main drawback of this online translator is the different levels of support the languages get.
You can only use all translation modes with the widely spoken languages. Once you get outside of that circle, you will find that some modes are not available. Some languages on the list can only be translated by typing.
Good choice for you if: you need an app that provides effortless conversation translation in real time, or if you want to learn a new language.
Not so good for: anyone who wants one app that can translate any language.
- Accuracy of the translation.
- Interactive and colorful interface.
- web version available.
- Apps available for wearables.
- Split screen conversation mode.
- Phrasebook for learning languages.
- Offline mode.
- Only 60 languages are available.
- Some languages do not support all translation modes.
- Language detection in camera mode lacks accuracy.
Bing Translate is a free translation tool from Microsoft that you can use on your computer, on your smartphone, on Apple Watch and Android Wear. The browser version is limited to text and web page translation.
However, Microsoft Translator apps allow you to work in a number of different translation modes:
- Text. You can translate any text you type in the app.
- vote. Bing Translate uses your phone’s microphone to translate the text you say out loud.
- Camera. When you take a photo of a text, you can use the app to recognize and translate it.
- Conversations. The app uses your smartphone’s microphone for real-time translation of a conversation you’re having with someone else.
The conversation mode that Bing Translate offers is really impressive. The app splits your screen into two parts, so you can choose a different language for each person.
For example, if you speak English and your friend speaks Russian, then you can use the app to have a real-time conversation without having to go back and forth for translations. Your friend will see everything you say on the screen already translated into Russian.
Another handy feature that Bing Translate comes with is a phrase book† It contains all the essential phrases that you may need to use when navigating in a foreign country. This can also be useful if you using the app to learn a new language and not just for translations.
Compared to Google Translate, Microsoft Translator does not have that many languages available. However, Microsoft goes for quality over quantity. Most languages get full support and can be used for all translation modes that the app offers.
Similar to Google Translate, Bing Translate allows you to download language packs that you can use to translate text and images when you go offline.
to download: in front of iOS† android†
What is the best translator app for you?
Both Google Translate and Bing Translate have their own advantages. Any app can be of great help to you depending on your circumstances. Bing might be a better option for a seamless conversation, while Google is a good choice for someone who wants to cover as many languages as possible.
Which of the two translation apps do you use? What is your favorite feature? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.