An Awesome Translating App for the Classroom

I recently found this AMAZING translating app and I just had to share it!

I work with English language learners, and I have quite a few who are brand new to English. I recently got a couple of new students from Japan, so my broken Spanish was of no help. I needed to communicate some basic information to them and was thinking about how I could do this. One evening at dinner I was talking to my kids about it and my ninth grade son, who is taking a foreign language class, told me about this app he found. It's called Microsoft Translator, and it's FREE! Let me highlight some it its awesome features for you ...

My screenshots will not do this app justice, so please take a few minutes to check it out for yourself. You will not be sorry!

Whether you have a new arrival in your class, or your translator for a parent teacher conference didn't show, or you're planning to travel out of country, this app is a must have!

On the apps main page (the picture above on the right), you'll choose either the microphone or the keyboard. I typically use the microphone. Once you say what you want to say, it's translated almost instantly into the language of your choice. There is a little speaker icon you can choose to have the "app's voice" read the translated statement aloud. AWESOME!!! This audio would be necessary, I think, if your new student was unable to read the written statement.

The book icon on the bottom of the screen takes you to the "phrasebook."

There are LOTS of goodies in here!

In the "essentials" section, there are some basic survival type sentences.

At the bottom you can select which language you need.

In the "Dining" section, you'll find statements like "I'm hungry." or "I'm thirsty."

Now for THIS...(drum roll please!) You can take a picture and the text in the photo will be translated! How awesome is that! Imagine all the ways that THIS could be handy! So many ways! Can you tell I'm excited about this app?

Want to have a conversation with someone? Simply choose the double microphone icon to split the screen. Now you don't have to pass the device back and forth, you both have your own microphone icon.

Want to have a conversation and you both have your own devices? Simply press "start conversation," and you'll be given a code that the other person types on their screen.

Talk about breaking down language barriers.

These are just a few of the amazing things this translating app can do.

I have found it to be very useful with my newcomers. I do not use it often, because I don't want to rely on it, or have my students rely on it. BUT, when we need it, it definitely does the trick.

Our language and the ability to communicate makes up so much of WHO we are. Imagine losing your ability to communicate. Now image if you were a kid, in a new school, surrounded by classmates and teachers who don't speak your language, and you are expected to learn a curriculum in a new language. This app is a tool that can give students a voice and a way to communicate during their first few weeks/months in school.

I've been using it for a few weeks now with my new students and I really think it's a fantastic resource for the classroom. :)

> I am in no way affiliated with the makers of this app.


  1. This one is amazing! I used it recently for parent conferences, and it made our lives so much easier!

  2. Yay! That's great to hear! It's definitely a great resource to have around.