Google Translate vs Microsoft Translator: Which Translation App Should You Use

Google Translate is the top app for language translation for many people since its debut in 2010. Apart from being free and easy to use, it also supports multiple languages. Microsoft Translator debuted in June 2009 and aims to rival Google Translate. It will make many people wonder if Microsoft Translator is better than Google Translate.

One thing I immediately liked was the name. Microsoft changed it a bit to make it easier to distinguish itself from Google Translate. Let’s explore the differences in the comparison below.

Downloads: Microsoft Translator

Google Translate has a minimalistic design with a clean white background that you will find in all Google apps. You can directly select input and output languages ​​with some additional options at the bottom. The sidebar menu contains settings, offline translations, and a phrasebook. Convenient tour options are available for new users. Neat and functional.

Microsoft Translator has a subtle yet colorful layout, starting with Hello in many languages. You will find the translation options at the bottom and a three-dot menu icon at the top. You have to tap on the keyboard icon in Translator first, which is unlike Google Translate where text translation is available immediately. That’s one of the advantages of Google translate, namely the UI is cool.

Google Translate has been around for a long time. It supports 109 languages ​​while Microsoft Translator supports 60 languages ​​currently. The number increased from 54 for Microsoft Translator the last time I checked. But, everything will depend on the language you want to translate and how you want to translate it. Text, audio, image or real-time conversation? That’s what matters and you can’t rely on numbers here. Let me explain.

Only 43 of the 109 languages ​​in Translate supports bilingual text translation while image translation is limited to 37, and the number is 32 for voice in conversation mode. You have to choose a translation app based on the language you want to translate and how you want to translate it.

You can check your preferred language for Google Translate and Microsoft Translator to know which languages ​​are supported and in what mode.

We discussed above how different languages ​​are available for translation in different modes. Let’s explore the modes and see where Google Translate and Microsoft Translator stand.

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Google Translate

  • Type: Enter text using the keyboard to translate it to another language
  • Talk: voice to voice bilingual conversation using audio
  • Snaps: Take a picture using the camera with subtitles in a foreign language to translate it
  • See: Use the camera to translate but in real-time without having to click the photo first. Useful for reading signs or documents.
  • Write: Handwriting support
  • Offline: Ability to download language dictionaries to translate offline without internet

Microsoft Translator

  • Type: Enter text using the keyboard to translate it to another language
  • Talk: voice to voice bilingual conversation using audio
  • Conversation: Supports text and voice translation in a group of people, not just two people in real-time like in Google Translate
  • Snaps: Take a picture using the camera with subtitles in a foreign language to translate it
  • Offline: Ability to download language dictionaries to translate offline without internet
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Microsoft Translator offers a unique feature where several people who speak different languages ​​can join a room by scanning a code. Once inside, they can all communicate with each other allowing for multi-lingual group conversations.

On the other hand, Google Translate also displays the definition of the word in case you come across something that you don’t understand. I also like how you can switch between two languages ​​for input and output in both apps. For example, English to Spanish and vice versa.

Both apps support their respective AI virtual assistants namely Cortana for Microsoft and Assistant for Google. You can save your favorite translations for later use in the phrasebook in both translation apps.

Both Google Translate and Microsoft Translator are completely free to use with no ads. Google Translate supports all popular platforms like Android, iOS, and the web along with smart devices like Home via Assistant. It also offers (paid) APIs that many developers use in their apps and websites. Talking about websites, you can use browser extensions to easily translate entire web pages or parts of them.

While Microsoft Translator, Apart from working on Android, iOS, and the web, it also works on Windows 10 computers and supports Apple Watch. Microsoft Translator supports WearOS for Android smartwatches. Are you giving a presentation? Microsoft Translator is also integrated with other Microsoft Office applications such as PowerPoint via add-ins. Other supported apps include Outlook and Edge browsers. Microsoft also offers an API, but it doesn’t appear to be used as widely as Google’s API.

Even though most people use Google Translate, I know why many are turning to Microsoft Translator. The ability to communicate with a group of people in Conversation mode is a real bonus. Plus, the UI looks sleek and works just as well. But that’s not to say that Google Translate is obsolete, Google Translate is still the king of translation apps, but now, this search engine giant has to take an active approach as competition in this field heats up and Microsoft is looking to bring it down.