English can be a pretty difficult language, but using a translation service can make it a little easier to grasp and understand. Trying to figure out a word or phrase? Use one of these top translation services to learn something new and get one step closer to being fluent in English as a second language.
1. Google Translate
Students all over the world use Google Translate for Spanish, French, German, and even English. This translation service gathers information from hundreds of millions of documents that have already been translated by people and then passes that knowledge to you. Google Translate also accepts corrections by actual speakers who are fluent in both languages to improve each interpretation. It works best when you need help with a particular word or a popular phrase. Complicated sentences may not come across in exactly the right structure, but it’s definitely one of the top ESP translation services available today.
2. Quest Visual
Quest Visual, formerly Word Lens, is the app you need to get around an unfamiliar town or translate an actual English phrase in front of you. Now incorporated into Google Translate for Apple and Android devices, all you need to do is hold your phone up to a sign with the foreign word, and it’ll translate into your native tongue. It’s that easy! Common signs like “Exit,” “Stop,” and others that you may see on a regular basis are quickly translated using the application. (You can see it at work here.)
You can download the Google Translate app through the Apple Store or Google Play.
Linguee is perfect for translating word by word rather than entire phrases. This site makes it easy to write the word in your language. It even has easy access to accented or unique characters that English doesn’t use. In addition to words, really common phrases are included, such as “for the purpose of,” “with regard to,” and more. Each word has audio pronunciation, part of speech, and synonyms.
iTranslate is another straightforward translation application that lets you plug in a word or phrase and change it to your native tongue or English. If you’re worried about pronunciation, the app says each word or phrase aloud for you. The best thing about iTranslate is that it’s very easy to use for anyone that is just beginning to learn English as a Second Language or someone who isn’t skilled with technology. The free version works great, but for $5 you can get the premium version that allows the ability to use voice commands, removes ads, and allows for longer texts. iTranslate is available on both Android and Apple devices.
You may have heard about FluentU through USAToday or EdTechReview. This service is ideal for anyone that’s trying to learn English as a Second Language. FluentU takes real-world music videos, commercials, news, cartoons, and inspiring talks, and turns them into English to help your learning experiences. It uses a natural approach to ease you into English as a Second language. Along with a translating service, it also has various quizzes that use real world context for rich and engaging experiences. The basic version is $15 per month or $120 per year, but you get a 15-day trial to determine whether FluentU is worth the money.