A friend, who is not very tech-Savvy, is going to Cuba in a few weeks. He has no Spanish, so I am looking for an app to help him.

Since internet access may not be assured, I am looking for an app that works offline, so that he can download all needed data before leaving home.

A few potentially useful features would be:

  • point your camera at some writing and have it translated, like Google Translate does
  • two way speech translation. He speaks English and out pops Spanish. The person addressed replies in Spanish and out pops English. A bonus if the language is auto-detected. I tried a few where I had to keep pressing an English->Spanish or Spanish->English button every sentence.
  • worst case, they take turns typing into the phone and having it translated

I am trying a few and am not overly impressed, so hope that someone here has actually used such an app (with not matter which languages) and can recommend it. The simpler, the better, as it will be used by my non tech savvy friend.

  • 1
    My usual hint for "while waiting for good recommendations", as always, one of my lists: References and Translations ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 4, 2021 at 13:00
  • 1
    Izyy, you need to improve your English - or to be less modest :-) I think that you meant to say "while waiting for other good recommendations". Your recommendations are always good. Keep up the good work. Frohes Festund 'nen guten Rutsch :-)
    – Mawg
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 7:31
  • 1
    Thanks a lot! Will do of course. And happy end-of-year-wings-and-lights-festival to you, too :D
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


Your friend could use the Google Translate app and download the offline files.

To do this:

  1. Within the Translate app, open the menu
  2. Press 'Settings'
  3. Press 'Data usage'
  4. Press 'Download offline translation files'

Whilst still connected to the internet (before he leaves), he can also do the following:

  1. Open the menu within the app and go to 'Offline translation'
  2. He can then press 'Upgrade' next to the language packs to upgrade them to a higher-quality pack
  • 1
    There may be something better out there, but he chose your answer. I showed him on my 'phone, a few app that I had installed, including that one. Oddly I had to install it, but he seems to have gotten it pre-installed by his provider. His motto seems to be "can't go wrong with Google", while mine is "if he is happy, he is happy". Welcome aboard, and thanks for your help
    – Mawg
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 7:37
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    LOL. My first thought was whether some of the alternatives (e.g. DeepL, which usually has much better quality translations) might offer the same, as I tend to avoid Google whenever possible. But as you say: "if he is happy, he is happy" :D Just saying… !machine translations
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:06

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