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Best Chinese Translation Apps

Best Chinese Translation Apps

One of the hardest languages to write and read is Chinese. But there are a lot of Chinese translation apps that can help when you are in need. Without a little help from technology, you may feel like you can give up trying to learn Chinese. Everybody needs to use the right tools when they start learning a new language if they want to learn it faster and more efficient.  The Chinese language has thousands of characters and, even if you can manage with just 3000, when you find unknown characters you will need to translate them. That is why many Chinese learners just give up. But even if learning Chinese is a new challenge, with the help of modern technology you can be a master of Chinese.  These magic tools are Translation apps. In this article, you will learn about the best translation apps out there.  

The four types of Chinese translation apps

You can find four main types of Chinese translation apps. We are going to explain and explore each one of them, and you can decide which is best for you and how to mix them to create your own custom Chinese translation system. 

Online translators

This is the first and most familiar type of translation app. Sites like Bing Translator and Google Translate are very reliable and work fast and efficient in translating whole passages from Chinese to English. This is an excellent way of translating significant passages, and it offers you the possibility of translating entire texts even if certain expressions and hidden meaning words are used.

This type of services is around for a long time. But more and more mobile apps have taken the service to a whole other level. Using the camera on your smartphone, you can try the service in real time. With the technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR) you can identify Chinese characters and translate them instantly into English. 

Word Dictionaries

There are a lot of translation software apps that function only through word translation. But if you want to go deeper, you have the possibility of using word dictionary translators. This type of application lets you search for individual characters and words and gives you all the ways they are read and used. 

Voice translation

Just like the instant character translations, the voice translation is a technology that is more and more used by people around the word. This type of translators is available on tablets, smartphones, computers and laptops and works with the help of voice input. All you have to do is to say the word into Chinese and the word is translated into English and read out loud. This is very useful for live communication even if you don’t even know any Chinese. 

The top translation app for each category

Online translator: Google Translate

Although it can produce a lot of funny errors, Google Translate is still the best translation service out there. It can convert entire chunks of texts, even directly through Chrome plugin.  Even though the translation may not be perfect, you can still understand the meaning of the text and the tool has a good understanding of the grammatical semantics of English and Chinese.

Instant Translator: Waygo

This niche is still under constant developing. But the best out there so far is Waygo. Available for iOS and Android smartphones, this is a marvelous software engineering example. The app can translate Chinese texts in real time, with the help of the smartphone’s camera. One of the best things about this app is that it does not need a constant internet connection to be operational. 

Word Dictionary: Pleco

As you learn the language more and more, you will not need to translate whole paragraphs. For this purpose, Pleco was developed, so that you can translate tricky words and characters. This app is also available for Android and iOS devices. What makes this app great is the large number of options it offers when looking for characters. 

Voice Translation: TBD 

Unlike other translators, the voice translation field is still new. That is why there are not many apps that can offer you this service. There are some promising projects under development, but they are announced to come on the market in a few years. So far, the most exciting project is Skype Translator, developed by Microsoft. In time, we will be able to speak in real time with people in Chinese and the translation will be done actively via cloud software.

These are the most useful and exciting translation apps for Chinese on the market. Now it is up to you to try them and decide which is the best for you. Good luck!

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