Best language translation devices to help you travel smarter

You may have “hello” and “thank you” mastered, but when the conversation gets real, you can count on these trusty translation devices to have your back.


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Best budget option

BUOTH Smart Voice translator device

If your travels will keep you in range of a mobile hotspot or WiFi connection, the BUOTH Smart Voice translator is a solid choice. Coming in as the lowest price on our list, you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

In the Golden Age of Marie Kondo, tiny homes, and minimalist interior design trends, people are focusing their intentions on swapping out things for experiences, making traveling abroad more popular than ever. The shift — and the rise of the sharing economy — has proven that today’s travelers are seeking out more authentic experiences as they’re opting for AirBnbs rather than luxury hotels and planning their travel itineraries so they can fully immerse themselves within the local culture. 

Even with the best intentions in mind and all the pre-trip research you can fit in, traveling to a country where you don’t speak the native language presents a roadblock in making the most out of your visit. Experiencing cultures different from your own and meeting the locals is part of what makes international travel so special, but communicating in a country where you don’t speak the same language can prove rather difficult. Even if you didn’t find time to cram that Danish 101 lesson in before landing in Copenhagen or haven’t brushed up on your Spanish since high school, you can relax. There is officially a technological gadget to make everything better. (Because of course there is.)

SEE ALSO: 13 travel bloggers on their very favorite travel gadgets

Once you’ve hacked how to get the most sleep as possible on that international flight and found a piece of carry on luggage you can fit a week’s worth of wardrobe in, it’s time to think about translation devices. In recent years, handheld translation devices have become increasingly popular among travelers. Basically a pocket-sized box designed to translate what you’re hearing (or saying) in real time, the devices make communicating with locals as easy as the press of a button. 

If you’re looking to partake in smooth conversations without things getting lost in translation, these two-way voice translator devices are the answer to your immersive travel prayers. This means you can have full conversations in real-time without the back and forth of translating individual words and phrases with your phone, or frantically flipping through the pages in the language book you knew would come in handy at some point. 

How to shop for a real time translator

Even though the travel technology is a relatively new development, there are certain features you’ll want to keep in mind when searching for your pocket-sized translator. Does it work by WiFi or mobile hotspot, or does it come with a SIM card? What’s the response time when engaging in a two-way conversation? Can it be used as a dictionary to learn more key phrases? Is it touch-screen? So many questions, but don’t worry: We’ve got you. 

Thanks to our research and the lovely community of Amazon reviewers, we’ve broken down the details on some of the best translator devices on the market so you can find one that works best for you. 

After all, international travel is an investment and with the ability to speak the native language right at your fingertips, it only makes sense to give yourself the gift of immersive communication. Plus, you’ll feel like a Spy Kid. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it by rounding up the best translation devices so you can communicate more easily wherever else your travels take you.

Best language translation devices:

Built-in data • Convenient size

If you’re looking for a translation device that comes with built-in data (so you don’t need a plan or a hotspot to use it) the Pocketalk is a good choice. Plus, it’s small and truly pocket-sized for convenience.

1. Pocketalk language translator device

It can translate 74 different languages and comes with two years of built-in data, so you don’t need a plan or a hotspot to use it.

  • Languages:
  • Touchscreen:
  • How It Works:
    Built-in data

Pocketalk is a portable, AI-powered instant voice translation device in a mini package that comes in both white and gold. The two-way translator is hugely popular in Japan and comes with the ability to translate up to 74 languages, with more on the way. 
The most appealing factor of the Pocketalk is its built-in data capabilities, meaning you don’t have to be locked into a mobile carrier plan with a SIM card or hunt down a hotspot to get it to work. It comes with a two year built-in data plan, is equipped with Bluetooth compatibilities, powerful dual speakers, and noise-cancelling dual microphones to catch every word of the convo even in crowded, loud spaces. 
It comes with a large, easy-to-use touch screen that makes speech to text display of conversations a breeze. With a full seven hours of usage or up to ten days in sleep mode, it also boasts a reliable battery life.

Comes with an embedded eSIM card • Translates into 105 varying languages

The Langogo Pocket AI translator device is perfect for travelers looking to stay connected with information on places to stay, attractions to visit, updates on the weather, and more. If you’re looking for more bang for your buck aside from the two-way translation capabilities, it’s a good choice.

2. Langogo Pocket AI Translator Device

Aside from providing communication across language barriers, it also helps travelers stay connected with information on places to stay, attractions to visit, updates on the weather, and more.

  • Languages:
  • How It Works:
    Mobile hotspot
  • Touchscreen:

Langogo offers an online, two-way translation into 105 languages with the press of a button, powered by 24 world-leading translating engines. Not only does the device boast some of the highest accuracy on the market, it also doubles as a voice assistant to deliver useful information including weather forecasts, exchange rates, nearby attractions, hotel info, and more.  
The Langogo translator device works as a mobile WiFi hotspot router by the use of an embedded SIM card. With the integration of eSIM technology, you’re able to connect up to five devices simultaneously to the Internet without inserting an extra local SIM card or connecting to Wi-Fi.

12-month warranty • Comes with customer service

Only works in WiFi or hotspot • Bulky

If your travels will keep you in range of a mobile hotspot or WiFi connection, the BUOTH Smart Voice translator device will work well for you.

3. BUOTH Smart Voice translator device

If your travels will keep you in range of a mobile hotspot or WiFi connection, the BUOTH Smart Voice translator is a solid choice. Coming in as the lowest price on our list, you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

  • Touchscreen:
  • How It Works:
    WiFi, mobile hotspot
  • Languages :
Even though it’s priced lower than most other translators, the BUOTH Smart Voice delivers accurate and quick two-way translations in up to 70 languages. It’s only able to be used via WiFi or while connected to a mobile hotspot, so if you’re looking to go off the grid on your vacation, it might not be your best bet. 
The BUOTH Smart Voice has a five star review on Amazon and the reviews to back it up. 
Here’s what Amazon reviewer Mike had to say: 

“Bought this in April 2019 for my other half. She is always traveling, driving from job to job, business meetings, etc. Voila. Product found. This thing is absolutely great. It has a high definition touch screen and a noise cancellation ability to make accurate translations possible. It was very accurate when I tried it and it did not make any errors at all. The audio quality is superb. Such amazing technology to have. It comes with USB charger and full instructions. It is so easy to use, Just connect it to your WIFI or your phones WIFI and press the buttons and instant translations and conversations. The battery can last upto 5 hours whilst in use. It is a bit larger in volume than a charger and a single cylinder battery, but eh, 1 less thing to hunt for. Get’ll love it, especially traveling!”

Translates in 0.3 seconds

Has to be used on WiFi or mobile hotspot

The ZOTO Smart Language translator device makes communication flow seamlessly with a quick response rate for translations and a constantly improving AI system.

4. ZOTO Smart Language translator device

With a response rate of 0.3 seconds for translation, communication can flow seamlessly — but it does need to be used on WiFi or a mobile hotspot.

  • Lanuages:
  • How It Works::
    WiFi or mobile hotspot
  • Touchscreen:
Powered by a 1200mAh battery to support a standby time of over 7 days and or 12 hours of working time, the ZOTO Smart Language translator device is equipped to translate 42 languages. All you have to do is hold in the button, begin speaking, and you’ll both hear and see the translation within 0.3 seconds, making it one of the most efficient devices available. 
The ZOTO Smart Language translator device provides high-definition recording, independent noise reduction microphone, and can recognize your voice in noisy environments, making it perfect for travel, business, or learning a new language. It also features a 2.4 inch touch screen for easy-to-read text translation. 

Large display screen • Powerful noise-cancelling capabilities

No warranty • Mobile hotspot or WiFi only

The MORTENTR Smart Voice comes with a high-performing voice recognition ability and a powerful speaker, making it best suited for when your travels take you to noisy areas. It has to be used on WiFi or a mobile hotspot.

5. MORTENTR Smart Voice translator device

A high voice recognition ability and powerful noise-canceling speaker make this a go-to for crowded spaces and or other noisy locales.

  • Languages:
  • How It Works:
    WiFi or mobile hotspot
  • Touchscreen:

By translating up to 70 different languages, the MORTENTR Translator Device Smart Voice translator gives travelers access to a powerful built-in speaker and crisp clear sound. Designed with a large 2.4 inch color touchscreen, the MORTENTR device provides easy readability for voice to text translation and you can click the screen to replay audio. It comes with a standby time of seven days and a working time of 10 hours, pretty much on par with the lasting-power of other devices on this list.

Best screen resolution • Convenient photo translation

Has to be on WiFi or mobile hotspot • No warranty

The Sogou Salange Pro translator device boasts a large, vivid screen and photo translation capabilities.

6. Sogou Salange Pro translator device

The Sogou Salange Pro translator device comes with photo translation capabilities and a huge, gorgeous screen to boot.

  • Languages:
  • How It Works:
    WiFi or mobile hotspot
  • Touchscreen:

The Salange Sogou pro Smart AI is a two-way translator that supports 42 different languages online (while connected to WiFi or a mobile hotspot) and can translate English to Chinese while offline. Ranking in as the highest priced translation device on our list, the Salange really does have the features to back up the price tag (despite the lower number of languages). 
With both text and audio translation abilities, plus a photo recognition feature to translate written language on things like signs and menus, you’ll have access to all your dining questions. As of right now, the photo translation only works for English, Chinese, and Japanese, but the software is under development. 
Designed with a vivid 3.1-inch multi-touch screen and 800×400 resolution, the Salange Sogou pro Smart AI wins for easiest-to-view screen. 

Comes with a one-year warranty • Offers a hands-free option

Must be connected to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone • Two out of three modes require sharing an earbud

The WT2 language translator earbuds are a great handsfree option if you’re not opposed to sharing an earbud with someone. The speaker mode option allows for the same features as the rest of the device’s on this list, so you’ll have options.

7. WT2 language translator earbuds

The WT2 language translator earbuds are two Bluetooth, wireless earpieces
that translate 36 different languages in real-time, while keeping your hands free.

  • Languages:
  • How It Works::
  • Touchscreen:
So while not technically a handheld device, the WT2 Language Translator Earbuds made their way to the roundup as a hands-free option thanks to their versatility. By connecting the earbuds to your phone’s Bluetooth, you’ll have access to three translation options:

  • Auto mode: Each person uses an earbud for a two-way conversation, which is best designed for quieter environments.
  • Touch mode: With each person using an earbud, hold your finger on the sensor while speaking and let go to immediately have the translation play in both earbuds. This is best for loud environments. 
  • Speaker mode: By using your smartphone and wearing one earphone, the WT2 translator enables conversations between more than two people. This is best for quick and easy conversations, and of course, anyone less than comfy sharing earbuds with a stranger. This mode also allows for a transcription of the translation to be sent to your smartphone.

Photo translation for 15 languages • Works offline for Chinese to English translations

Not as long of a battery life (8 hours working time, 3-4 days standby)

The Alcorrect JoneR translator device is perfect for travelers looking to do mostly Chinese to English translation, since it can be done offline as well as while connected.

8. Alcorrect JoneR translator device

The Alcorrect JoneR translator device is a solid choice for anyone looking to primarily translate English to Chinese, as it works quickly even while offline.

  • Languages:
  • Touchscreen:
  • How It Works:
    WiFi, hotspot, or offline
The Alcorrect JoneR translator device supports translation of 55 languages by four different connection options: WiFi, mobile hotspot connection, SIM card, or use of a mobile data plan. It does provide offline translation between English and Chinese, meaning no WiFi or connection is needed for a two-way translation with accuracy and speed. If you’re primarily looking for a device to help you navigate Chinese translation, this is the best option. It also comes with object recognition to analyze signs, menus, and more.
Here’s what Amazon reviewer B.C. had to say:

“What Apple has done with its iPhone, Alcorrect has done by creating JoneR, a phenomenal language translator that is equipped with leading technology, ease of use, and best customer service I have ever encountered. I have been using JoneR extensively since couple of weeks, and having tried numerous translations between many different languages, I can attest to the precision of voice recognition as well as to the accuracy of translations, both of which are most remarkable. The device allows instant two-way-translation between two persons both in text and voice format and without the need for handing the device over because the format allows the text to be simultaneously viewed from persons conversing facing each other. Having network access to Wi-Fi, Hotspot, or LTE (via SIM card) allows the device to be used practically anywhere by using online translations. There is also offline Chinese to Japanese/English translations (& vice versa) with room to grow more, the company expressed its intention to incorporate more offline languages. I also loved the device’s instant menu and document translation capabilities into many languages, as well as its AI driven object recognition. This will make understanding restaurant menus, traffic and other signs in foreign countries a breeze.”

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