• 6 Best Japanese Translator Apps in 2022 (Google, Microsoft, and More) 1
  • 6 Best Japanese Translator Apps in 2022 (Google, Microsoft, and More) 2
  • 6 Best Japanese Translator Apps in 2022 (Google, Microsoft, and More) 3
  • 6 Best Japanese Translator Apps in 2022 (Google, Microsoft, and More) 4
  • 6 Best Japanese Translator Apps in 2022 (Google, Microsoft, and More) 5

6 Best Japanese Translator Apps in 2022 (Google, Microsoft, and More)

Are you planning a trip to Japan or interested in teaching yourself Japanese? Maybe you need to translate the label on a package or want to understand what's happening in that manga you just picked up? Whatever you need it for, a Japanese translator app can help you to better understand the world around you! But there are many apps out there, making it difficult to find the best one for you.


We put together a list of the 6 best Japanese translator apps to help you choose! Our favorite is Google Translate because it can translate photos, text, and audio and works offline. Check out the rest of our list for more Japanese translator apps, and take a look at our buying guide for information on how to find the app that will work best for you.

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  • Last updated: 08-22-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Japanese Translator App - Buying Guide

In order to find the right app for you, consider your translation needs, if the app works offline, other helpful features, and whether it has in-app purchases.

Choose a Translator App Based on Your Needs

When choosing a Japanese translator app, consider your needs and the situation. For example, do you need to communicate with another person with audio, or do you need to translate menus and signs?

Photo Translator Apps for Understanding Written Text

Photo Translator Apps for Understanding Written Text

To translate text, point your smartphone camera at a word or phrase. The app will scan the text and translate it immediately. Some apps also allow you to upload images from your camera roll to scan and translate. A clear, high-quality image will have a more accurate translation. 


Photo translator apps can be helpful when you need to read a menu, food label, packaging, sign, pamphlet, or any other text. This type of translator app is beneficial if you’re unfamiliar with Japanese or do not have access to a Japanese keyboard on your smartphone. 


However, some Japanese words and phrases do not translate clearly into English. Handwritten and stylized fonts may be difficult for the app to decipher, too.

Text Translator Apps for Online Use or Conversations

Text Translator Apps for Online Use or Conversations

Most Japanese translator apps support text translations. These apps translate words and phrases that you type in English into Japanese. They can usually translate Japanese into English as well, enabling you to communicate back and forth with Japanese speakers. 


Text translations are ideal for translating text online from Japanese into English, like a website or message, or if you’re in a situation where you need to communicate with someone else. 

Text Translator Apps for Online Use or Conversations

Some apps also allow you to draw Japanese characters with your finger rather than type them out. However, you will likely need some knowledge of Japanese in order to use this feature.

Additionally, text translations are not always accurate. Some translations may be too literal, vague, or translate a word into the wrong context. Despite that, text translations are still reasonably understandable. 

Voice Translator Apps for Conversations

Voice Translator Apps for Conversations

Apps with voice translators can be used if you need to translate something on your own, but you can also use voice translator apps to have conversations with Japanese speakers. For solo use, speak into your smartphone in English. The app will translate what you’ve said into Japanese, and you’ll be able to see and hear the translation.


For conversations, you can speak into your smartphone and play the Japanese translation for the other person. They reply by speaking into your smartphone in Japanese, which the app translates into English. 

Voice Translator Apps for Conversations

Some Japanese translator apps have features dedicated to bilingual conversations. Google Translate, for example, has a dedicated conversation feature designed to translate conversations spoken in two different languages.


For the most accurate translations, speak slowly and clearly into your smartphone. Due to the nature of speech-to-text technology, voice translators aren’t entirely accurate. However, you will still be able to get your point across.

Apps With Multiple Language Pairs Are Great for Polyglots

Apps With Multiple Language Pairs Are Great for Polyglots

While some apps specialize in translating Japanese, most of these apps offer translations for all kinds of language pairs. This can be helpful if English isn't your first language, you're studying multiple languages, or you're fluent in several languages. 


If you're getting a translation app for travel, it can be helpful to get one with multiple languages if Japan isn't your only destination.

Look For Apps With Offline Availability for Reliable Access

Look For Apps With Offline Availability for Reliable Access

If you’re traveling or know that you won’t have a reliable internet connection, it’s crucial that you download a Japanese translator app that works offline. Many apps provide translations for multiple languages, so you may need to download the Japanese translations in advance so that you can use them offline. 


Other translator apps have in-app purchases or premium features that are unavailable in the free version, including offline availability. Before you need to use the translator app, check to make sure that its offline availability is not locked behind in-app purchases

Keep an Eye Out for Helpful Features Like Dictionaries

Keep an Eye Out for Helpful Features Like Dictionaries

Not only do translator apps help you to translate words and phrases in Japanese, but some also come with helpful features to assist you while you’re traveling or studying. 


For example, many Japanese translator apps come with phrasebooks and dictionaries. These tools can help you practice your pronunciation and access accurate translations of phrases and words. Some apps may also keep track of your recent translations, making it easy to reuse a phrase or remember a word.

Be Aware of In-App Purchases

Be Aware of In-App Purchases

A few Japanese translator apps may prompt you to make in-app purchases. An in-app purchase requires you to pay to use additional features


Some features that may be locked behind in-app purchases include offline availability, unlimited translations, and access to phrasebooks and dictionaries. If you don’t want to make an in-app purchase, be sure to read the app’s description carefully to make sure it has the features you need for free. 

Make Sure It Supports Your Operating System

Make Sure It Supports Your Operating System

We may be stating the obvious here, but be aware that some apps are only available on certain devices. Some apps may only work on or be better on Android devices, while others are exclusively on iPhone. Read the reviews on the respective stores to make sure your app will work at its highest potential on your device.

6 Best Japanese Translator Apps

Here are our six favorite Japanese translator apps. Whether you want to talk to a native Japanese speaker or translate a menu, an app on this list can help! We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.

Image
Google  Google Translate 1

Google

Microsoft  Microsoft Translator 1

Microsoft

Naver  Naver Papago 1

Naver

Xung Le Japanese Translator Offline 1

Xung Le

SayHi SayHi Translate 1

SayHi

Yandex  Yandex.Translate 1

Yandex

Name

Google Translate

Microsoft Translator

Naver Papago

Japanese Translator Offline

SayHi Translate

Yandex.Translate

Features

Best Japanese Translator App for Travelers

Best for Communicating With Japanese Speakers

Best App for Translating Images and Entire Websites

Best Japanese Translator App for Offline Use

Best for Accessibility and Customized Audio

Best for Those Currently Studying Japanese

Price$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
Translation typePhoto, text, voiceText, voice, photoText, voice, photoText, voiceText, voiceText, voice, photo
Handwriting translationYesNoYesNoNoNo
Offline availabilityYesYesYesYesNoYes
In-app purchasesNoNoNoYesNoNo
FeaturesPhrasebookPhrasebook, share translations, translation history, save translationsDictionaryDictionary, save translations, translation historyShare translationsDictionary, save translations, translation history
Link
Translation typePhoto, text, voice
Handwriting translationYes
Offline availabilityYes
In-app purchasesNo
FeaturesPhrasebook
Translation typeText, voice, photo
Handwriting translationNo
Offline availabilityYes
In-app purchasesNo
FeaturesPhrasebook, share translations, translation history, save translations
Translation typeText, voice
Handwriting translationNo
Offline availabilityNo
In-app purchasesNo
FeaturesShare translations
Translation typeText, voice, photo
Handwriting translationNo
Offline availabilityYes
In-app purchasesNo
FeaturesDictionary, save translations, translation history
Translation typeText, voice, photo
Handwriting translationYes
Offline availabilityYes
In-app purchasesNo
FeaturesDictionary

Xung LeJapanese Translator Offline

$0.00

Translation typeText, voice
Handwriting translationNo
Offline availabilityYes
In-app purchasesYes
FeaturesDictionary, save translations, translation history

More Apps to Help You Study or Travel

Whether you're planning an international trip or studying a new language, there is an app out there for you! Check out more of our favorites by reading the articles below.

Author: Alexa Nogueira


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