The app, dubbed VoiceTra4U-M, will allow people to converse with foreigners in their own language, NewScientist.com reported Wednesday.
Developed by the Universal Speech Translation Advanced Research Consortium, made up of researchers from 23 different countries, the app will support full voice translation for 13 different languages and text translation for a further 10.
Users can share a single iPhone for face-to-face conversations or make phone calls to anyone else using the app.
The translation process takes place on remote servers, introducing a slight delay into conversations, U-STAR said.
The app will initially focus on translating words and phrases related to tourism, it said.
Up to five people can converse at once, each in his or her own language, U-STAR said.
Theoretically the system can support any number of people, but U-STAR said it has capped the app to reduce server load for the time being.