Whether you’re a traveler, writer, student, businesswoman, or just a casual learner of the German language, translation apps can be a life-saver! There’s a wide range of German translator apps out there to choose from, but some of them are more accurate than others…so how do you know which to use?
The advantages of translator apps
Many of the apps out today are very accurate and will even provide you with colloquialisms, which often aren’t a 1:1 translation. As our technology evolves, so have translation apps! Many offer a wide range of features, such as voice-to-text translations, photo translations, and even augmented reality (AR) translations.
The German translator apps I have listed below are ones that offer casual translations, real-time translations, and offline usage. All these features make them great at translating in real-world settings. Further, a lot of translation apps have also recently started including phrasebooks, which are helpful for new learners and travelers.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 11 of the best German translator apps!
Best free German translator apps
One of my personal favorite German translation apps is Dict.Leo. Its main function is as a German-English dictionary. Not only does the app allow you to search up a word, but it will also give you the plural form, case declensions, and, for verbs, conjugations. If the word isn’t commonly used in everyday speech or has an unusual secondary definition, Leo will also provide context for when it is used (medically, in technology, archaically, colloquially, etc.)!
Something I particularly like about the app is that you can save words to the Trainer and then use those saved words to generate study sessions. This is especially helpful if you’re like me and have some words you just can’t seem to remember! There are also word lists generated by the app that you can study based on subject, such as biology or politics, if you’re looking for more targeted practice.
Why I like Dict.Leo:
- It provides conjugations and plural forms of the words
- Leo offers idioms and common phrases if you search a keyword
- You can save words to revisit and study later
Google Translate might be the most famous of the translator apps. While not always the most accurate, it has a nice set of features and I still find it to be beneficial.
With the app, you can type, voice-to-text, or handwrite words and phrases for instant translation. You have the option to translate text in real-time, scan text, and even import a photo for German to English translation, or vice versa. A more recent update gives users the ability to translate conversations, either one speaker at a time or both at once! If you’re looking to translate something like a video or an event, the transcription option allows for longer and more accurate voice-to-text translations.
A feature that I particularly like about the app is that it also offers multiple translations. I often find, particularly with text, that the alternate options fit better than the translation that might be more common. Translations often rely on context, so the ability to select different words based on the situation is particularly important.
Why I like Google Translate:
- It can translate conversations
- There are multiple ways to translate text
- Offers alternate translations and definitions
Microsoft Translator is pretty similar to Google Translate, but it has the added benefit of translating text messages, webpages, and phrasebooks. The app lets you translate German to English from photos by scanning any text that’s in a picture.
On top of that, you can do voice translations or translate conversations in real-time! Something nice about Microsoft Translator is that you can speed up the pace of spoken translations. This is particularly helpful if you only missed part of what was being said or even if you just want to practice your listening skills at a faster pace.
The other main feature I like about Microsoft Translator is that the app can translate webpages. There are times when I’m reading a website in German and then come across a harder paragraph that I need help with. Copy-and-pasting can be a total pain, so it’s nice that the feature is built into the app.
Why I like Microsoft Translator:
- It can translate text messages and webpages
- You can speed up voice translations
- It’s downloadable for use offline
While Linguee is a multilingual translation app, its German to English translator is its most robust dictionary. When you search a word, either in German or English, it will offer suggestions and different forms of the word. It will also tell you if a word is less common and offer example sentences of how the word has been used.
While copying and pasting isn’t the most intuitive way to do translations, Linguee has a setting that will automatically search for what you’ve copied in your clipboard. This certainly makes life a tad easier!
Why I like Linguee:
- Extensive German to English translations
- Automatically searches from your clipboard
- Has accurate translations and alternative translations
Another German to English dictionary that I think is really great is WordReference Dictionary. It will give you translations and definitions in both languages, and it will also show entries of how your word has been used. The dictionary will provide you with colloquialisms that use the word, which is particularly helpful since they’re often not 1-to-1 translations!
The app also has a forum where you can post if you have translation questions. Posts are about English and German topics, so you’ll get a wide range of answers and might learn something new!
Why I like WordReference Dictionary:
- It’s an extensive, accurate German-English dictionary
- Searching for a word will provide you with colloquialisms the word is in
- There’s a forum to ask questions about German or English topics
Best paid German translator apps
Englisch Deutsch Übersetzer+ is a fantastic German to English dictionary app. You can search for phrases and get a translation, or you can search for individual words and get the breakdown of their part of speech, conjugations, plural form, example sentences, and even alternative words. There are even options to see common phrases that use the word.
I personally really enjoy how in-depth the dictionary is on the app. It’s nice to see the different options for a word depending on what context you’re using it in. I find it particularly helpful that you can add notes to the words you look up. The notes can be text or images, and I think it’s a great way to add reminders or associations.
Why I like Englisch Deutsch Übersetzer+:
- You can make notes on the words you look up
- There’s a common phrasebook for quick sentences
- It offers alternate definitions for words that rely on context
Pricing: You can use for free, but you can also sign up for a subscription at $0.49/week, $1.49/month, or a lifetime subscription of $19.99. I don’t really see the point in subscribing unless the ads are really bothering you, but they’re pretty inconspicuous.
If you’re looking for a more robust app for German translations, iTranslate Translator is a good one to check out. You can look up words or phrases the traditional way or you can scan documents, record speech, or translate German to English from a photo.
Perhaps the most intriguing and unique feature of the app is its AR mode, which scans your surroundings in real-time and tags items with their translations (drink à Getrank, boot à Stiefel, etc.). iTranslate Translator also has an extension for iMessage and Siri so you can get instant translations for conversations in German.
It’s optimized for use offline, so you don’t have to worry about losing service or WiFi. iTranslate also allows you to save words or phrases and return to them later. This is definitely the app for on-the-go German translations!
Why I like iTranslate Translator:
- AR mode lets you scan and translate your environment
- You can download languages to translate offline
- Can select from multiple translations
Pricing: You can use the regular translator for free, but the other features are only accessible via a $69.99 yearly subscription.
If you’re looking for an on-the-go translator for German, then German Translator Offline is the app for you. As the name implies, it’s optimized for offline uses, making it a great app for people who are traveling and don’t always have a connection to cell service or WiFi.
You can type or use voice-to-text for translations, and the app offers audio if you’re ever unsure about pronunciation. German Translator Offline will also automatically detect which language you’re using, so you no longer have to worry about manually switching languages.
Something I find cool about the app is that it offers you suggestions for similar phrases. Also, if you’re translating from English to German, the app will offer you the translation for both genders if applicable (ex. mein Freund ist der Best and meine Freundin ist die Beste).
Why I liked German Translator Offline:
- It’s good for on-the-go translations
- The app offers similar sentences
- The translations are accurate and will offer different gender options if applicable
Pricing: Free, though you can pay to get rid of ads. The Pro version is $23.82, or you can get a subscription for $11.31/year or $7.14/month. I don’t think there’s any need to pay; the ads aren’t particularly bothersome.
If you’re looking for a translator, dictionary, and study app, then TripLingo is for you. It has handy phrasebooks that can instruct you on how to ask for the bill or the direction to the customs. It also acts as a German to English translator by translating conversations, texts and photos. You can favorite translations and return to them later via the app’s flashcard feature.
I like how useful this app is for traveling. The phrases are useful for getting by in a different language and also for those things you probably learned how to say in German but simply forgot. I’m also a big fan of any app that lets you translate conversations taking place in different languages, that’s definitely a life-saver!
Last but not least, TripLingo has a “culture” section that gives you tips about the culture of the country(ies) that speak your language!
Why I like TripLingo:
- The phrasebook is useful for traveling
- It can translate conversations taking place in two different languages
- You can favorite translations to review it later
Pricing: Like iTranslate Translator, TripLingo is somewhat pricey, with a subscription of $19.99/month or $39.99/quarterly.
If you’re interested in an app that acts more like a foreign language dictionary, Schülworterbuch Box is one of the best German to English dictionaries.
Like any dictionary, you can search a word and Schülworterbuch Box will return the German translation for it. But unlike most dictionaries, you can search for whole phrases and also find detailed conjugation and plural tables! The app lets you change the search settings too if you’re looking for a similar word or only part of a phrase.
I think this is a great tool for when you’re reading or watching something in German and don’t know what some of the words mean. Schülworterbuch Box provides fast and accurate translations, and its offline mode makes it good for traveling as well!
Why I like Schülworterbuch Box:
- It has accurate translations
- There are detailed conjugation tables
- You can search for whole phrases as well as single words
Pricing: You can download it free, but then it asks you to buy the specific dictionary you want for $13.07.
Unlike a lot of the other German translator apps I’ve mentioned so far, Keebo Chat Translator Live is designed wholly for texting usage. You type in English/German and it will translate for you before you send the text. It acts as a secondary text messaging app for if you need to text with someone who speaks German (or English) and your own writing skills aren’t quite there yet. Much like the regular iMessage or Messages, Keebo Chat Translator Live also allows for voice-to-text texting and image uploads.
It’s a great way to bridge the gap between where your reading skills are to where your writing skills are, which tend to be harder to grasp. That being said, I think this app is definitely more suited for people who already have a decent grasp on reading the language, since it only translates one-way.
Why I like Keebo Chat Translator Live:
- It works like a regular texting app
- You can select the ‘From’ and ‘To’ language
- Helps you grasp sentence structure and grammar
Pricing: You can use it free, but it also has a subscription that ranges from $0.99-$4.99 depending on which option you choose.
Regardless of your level or reason for learning German, these 11 apps will certainly help you amp up your skills!
If you’re interested in further improving your German skills, check out these awesome apps and podcasts that can help you on your journey and make it 10x more fun! I also recommend checking out our comprehensive list of German learning resources for other ideas and tips.