Be a World Citizen With Translator for Windows Phone

The number of people from different countries that I know has significantly increased over the past few years. A lot of my classmates are from other continents and even though they can speak English, it is nice to woo them by sending texts in their own language once in a while, don’t you agree?

I found a nice app for translating text right from my Windows phone. Yeah, you can Google but it is useful to have an app solely dedicated for translation then and there. The app’s name is Translator and it is one of the best rated app on the Marketplace.

Getting Started

Translator is developed by Microsoft Studios. Since it has really good ratings, finding it on the site is pretty easy. The app weighs exactly 7 MB and is probably a bit too heavy considering the fact that the app requires internet connection to work.

I found a lot of other translating app which weighs less but I chose to go with Translator mainly for the fact that Microsoft has a reputation and I thought I could be loyal to it once in a while.

When you load it for the first time, you ought to accept a bunch of service agreements – seems legit for obvious reasons. Just hit accept to continue with the app. It has a nice, minimal and a very appropriate interface. The whole app has a black and white theme with a textured world map as the background. I really liked the design.

Translator breaks down in to four screens viz., the main screen languages, discover and history. The main screen portrays the core features of the app. Translator takes input via keyboard, camera and from voice. Well, isn’t that impressive?

Languages Supported

Translator supports a lot of major languages. That includes French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Chinese and Korean. It supports a total of 36 languages. Like I said, you need an internet connection to make a translation.

Of course you can’t be online all the time. If you try, your mobile battery will drain, wouldn’t it? This is why Translator lets you download a language and keep it in your database so that you can make offline translation at all times.

But not all languages are supported. Only a few main languages like German, Chinese, Italian, Spanish and French are available for download. Here, the base language always remains as English. In order to download a language, just go to the Discover page in the app and tap View All.

Each language is more or less 40 MB is size and so, I strongly recommend you to download the language via Wifi. All the downloaded languages are displayed in the Languages screen for a quick view of what you have in your pocket.

Taking a Look at the Keyboard

I started testing the app by starting with the keyboard. Basically, you type in the word. The then app translates and displays it in the screen. The interface is simple here. You have a text box to type in the letters and below that is the From language and the To language. The structure is English->French.

By tapping on the structure, you can select the from and to languages. All 36 language are supported – nothing more and nothing less. You cannot download any other languages from anywhere – I checked it personally.

The translated text is accurate as of I know. I cross checked with a lot of other translation engines and a professor of mine. The exact transformation is displayed on the screen with a little speaker button. But tapping on the button, you get to hear the pronunciation Different languages have different voices and they are very smooth and clear.

Every word has a synonym. If you are looking for synonyms of the translated word, just swipe through the screen for alternatives. If there are no alternatives, it tells up front that the word does not have anything else.

Using Your Camera to Translate Anything!

Using the camera to read the text works just fine. All you have to do is focus your camera on the text and voila! It starts translating instantly. But you have to point the camera on the text till it finishes translating. Else, you’ll end up with nothing.

Sometimes, it doesn’t translate all the text in a single go. It partially translates and you have to do the entire routine at pointing at the text again. To get a full translation with a single go, I recommend using small passages. It works just fine then. For a proper translation, it takes approximately five to six seconds to get the result.

Once the translation is done, tap on the screen to save it. There are two options here. You can either save a photo of the original text and the end product to your Photos or transport the text to the keyboard mode.

Not all the languages are supported here though. The native (From) languages are just Chinese, English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. But all the conversion (To) languages are supported. Yay!

Voice Recognition

Giving a voice input is a tricky one. It really doesn’t work for everyone and I got partial results. Translator was able to recognize what I said a bunch of times and the rest of the times, it couldn’t. But it is fun what it can interpret.

In order to give a voice input, just tap on the Speak button and then, the app starts to listen to your voice. It takes two to three seconds to make the translation and you get the translated text.

The languages it supports are same as camera supports. You can pin the voice, camera and the keyboard to the Home screen for quick access.

Wrapping Up

Translator is the whole package for translation. It offers you keyboard, camera and voice translation and hey, you get to translate in offline mode and what more do you need? Adding more languages would be nice, though and it is absolutely free. So I have no complaints here. I give it a 8/10.


Use your camera to translate printed text, voice recognition to translate spoken text, or the keyboard to enter text that you want to translate. Use your phone's camera to make translating signs, menus, newspapers, or any printed text a snap. Just aim the camera at the text and see the translation in secds.

  • Translator  | 
  • Free  | 
  • Microsoft Corporation