How to Use the Apple Translate App

Everything you need to know about this language translation app, including strengths, drawbacks, and hidden tricks.

This article will tell you all the ways you can use the Apple Translate app, available with iOS 14. In 2020, Apple released a translation app that works with 11 different languages. The Translate app comes pre-installed on your iOS device and, as you might expect, offers translations from one language to another. If you're looking for an easy-to-use offline translator, the new Translate app in iOS 14 is a great option. Its features include both voice and text translation, auto detect language capabilities, and even the ability to translate a page to English on Safari. Even with these many options, the app is simple and fairly intuitive to use. The language options are currently somewhat limited, but do cover many of the world's most commonly spoken languages. Let's take a look at how to use this new app and some of the possibilities that can come from it.

Related: Best Travel Apps for iPhone to Help Make the Most of Your Next Big Adventure

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Which Languages Are Available on the Apple Translate app?

If you're wondering what is the best offline translator, the Translate app is a solid contender. However, its current offerings only include 11 options. This list is likely to expand as time goes on, but currently your options are:

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

    language translator app

How to Translate Text in Apple Translate

Let’s start with how to translate text. To translate text from the Translate app, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Translate tab and then tap the top left button.
  2. Select the language of the text that you would like translated.


     
  3. Tap Done.
  4. Then tap the top right button and select the language you want the text translated into.



     
  5. Tap Done.
  6. Tap the Enter Text area of the screen and then enter the words or phrase you would like translated.
  7. Tap Go and your text will be translated!

The text near the top is your original wording, while the text in blue is the translation. If you tap the Play icon beneath the translation, you can hear how the words should be pronounced.

How to Use Conversation Mode

If you want to carry on a conversation with someone who speaks a different language, then that’s where Conversation mode comes in. To use Conversation Mode: 

  1. Select the language of the text that you would like translated (the top left button).
  2. From the languages list, you’ll want to scroll down and make sure that Automatic Detection is toggled on.
  3. Tap Done.


     
  4. Tap the top right button, select the language you want the text translated into, and tap Done once selected.
  5. To activate Conversation mode, turn your phone sideways (you may need to turn off Orientation Lock) and tap the microphone as each person talks. Your iPhone will translate the conversation for each person.

How to Save Translations to Favorites

This is a particularly useful feature if you are visiting another country and there are translations to certain phrases or questions that you need to reference often. Turns out, you can save these commonly used translations and easily view them when you need to! To do this: 

  1. Select the language of the text that you would like translated and then select the language you want your text translated into.
  2. Once translated, tap the star icon beneath your translation. Now you can access your saved translation by tapping the Favorites tab.

Translate a Page to English on Safari on Your iPhone

The ability to translate entire web pages is now built in to Safari. To take advantage of this feature, navigate to a page that doesn’t use your native language and then tap the double “A” icon next to your address bar. Then simply tap Translate to [your native language].  If prompted, tap Enable Translation. And there you go! You page should be translated to your native language. You can also check out our full tutorial on translating a page in Safari for step-by-step instructions with images.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.