Seven Apps To Translate Text With Your Mobile Camera In Real Time

Seven apps to translate text with your mobile camera in real time

Today we bring you 7 applications to translate text with your mobile camera in real-time. If you go on a trip abroad, one of the problems you may encounter is not understanding what is said on traffic signs, billboards, and different types of text. A GPS app can help you with the signs and orient yourself, but on other occasions, such as when reading a note or the restaurant menu, you will need one of these apps.

What these applications do is use your mobile camera to see the text you want to translate, usually, take a photo, and process it online to translate it in real-time, superimposing the translation over the original text as if it were augmented reality. Usually the first two or three will have you more than enough, but we have tried to make a slightly broader list.

Google Translate and Google Lens

Let’s start the list with Google Translate, both in its native app and in Google Lens. The lens is a Google app for recognizing everything you point the camera at, and among its many functions is that of using the Google Translate engine to recognize texts and be able to translate them. In iOS you will have to go directly to the Google app since that is where you will find the Lens functions and the real-time translation.

In either case, real-time translation is allowed without taking a photo using the camera when a language that supports the feature is being translated. You only point to the text that is in a certain language and it will overlay the translation in augmented reality. It also allows you to upload photos that you have on your mobile to be able to recognize and translate the text.

Microsoft Translator

Microsoft also has its translation alternative, free like Google’s and quite feature-rich, though still a bit slower. Even so, it allows you to translate both texts and audio, including group conversations and has the text translation function with the camera, although it is not as advanced.

The difference is that at the moment the translation is not in real-time, and you don’t point the camera and translate, but rather take a photo and process it to superimpose the translations on it. It’s not something that makes much of a difference when you’re going to translate a sign or billboard, but if you’re in an environment where you don’t know how to read anything and you want to point to one site and another it can be a bit slower.


After being one of the best apps in the Apple App Store in 2015, iTranslate has continued to advance and supports 100 languages. Its main functions are to translate texts or web pages, initiate voice conversations, and search for words, meanings, or even verb conjugations.

It also has a camera translation function, in which you have to take a photo of something that contains a text that you want to translate, crop it to leave only the text, and start the translation. The downside is that this is a paid feature, so you will have to pay the €3.33 per month that iTranslate Pro costs.

Naver Papago

Although you may not have heard of it, this app has scores of 4.3 and 4.7 on Google Play and the App Store, consolidating itself as an alternative to consider. Of course, since it does not have the muscle of the main translators, it only has 15 languages ​​including Spanish, English, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai.

In addition to the translation of texts, websites, writings, conversations, or voice, the app also has an image translator. You just have to take a photo of the sign or text you want to translate, and the app will automatically recognize it and display the translation.

Camera Translator: Translate+

As its name indicates, this application for iOS is designed to translate all kinds of texts and documents with your mobile. It has AI recognition that it will use with the camera, so you can scan and translate with support for more than 100 languages. Just point the camera and click the button to translate.

The application recognizes texts in different formats within documents, images, and photographs that you decide to upload in formats such as png or jpg, and allows you to edit the scanned texts and copy them to be able to share them in other applications.

  • Available for iOS


This application only translates texts in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, but it can be done without the need for an Internet connection. Therefore, if you are traveling to an Asian country and you have knowledge of English, this application is essential if you are not going to be able to be online. Its only drawback is that the free mode is limited to just 10 translations a day, and to unlock everything you’ll have to checkout.

  • Available for iOS

Yandex. Translate


Yandex is the great Russian search engine, the equivalent of Google in that country, and among its many functions is also the image translator. It allows you to translate from Russian or English to Spanish even offline by downloading the languages ​​for free, and it supports about 90 other languages ​​for other types of translations.

But evidently, what concerns us today is his camera translator. We only have to take a photo of a menu, a sign, or the page of a book, or choose a photo with text from your mobile and you will see a translation printed on the image. In this case, this function only works with an internet connection, as in the rest of the apps on the list.