How to Use the Apple Translate App

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

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:

iPhone Life
Discover your iPhone's hidden features
Get one daily tip each day (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.
  • 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. Next, check out these tips on how to have a multilingual MacBook.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden Both

Amy Spitzfaden-Both is the Managing Editor for iPhone Life magazine and an award-winning novelist, with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. She specializes in Apple news and rumors, health and fitness tech, and parenting in the digital age. She graduated from MIU with a BA in Literature and Writing.
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.