6 Things to Translators Should Remember When Translating Korean to English


The Korean language has 75+ million speakers and is the official language of both South and North Korea. There isn’t much difference between the language spoken in South and North Korea other than few vocabularies and spelling. Both countries follow the common language standard dictated by the Korean Language Society.

The Korean sounds and meanings are hard to decipher since they are written in Chinese characters. Korea has experienced immense growth as a global economic powerhouse and a major industrial hub. This made the Korean language popular in the surrounding countries and the world at large. While in Korean for a trip or business or want to learn something written in the Korean language, you will need Korean to English transition services.

Tips to remember for Korean to English translation

To avoid some common mistakes, translators need to have some important tips at the back of their heads for Video and audio transcription or translation services.

1. Check spacing

Text in the Korean language can sometimes be longer or shorter than the English equivalent. Because of that, you should ensure that the text containers are flexible. Designing your text course for expanding words by avoiding boxes and constrictive frames will help have a uniform document.

Be careful with menus, link regions, and horizontal navigation bars. Always allow room for words to expand, preventing awkward abbreviations that affect the text’s effectiveness and readability.

2. Be careful with terms

Always check for cultural-specific Idioms, expressions, or slang that might lose their meaning when translated to English. Transcription services should know the importance of avoiding new technical terms and abbreviation acronyms that can bring confusion to learners.

Change gender-specific pronouns and instead use general or third person words like “they.” Also, it is important to create a translation glossary to help the audience know other Korean words with different or unique meanings. Be precise and concise but don’t leave important and necessary words when offering transcription or translation services.

Text without relative pronouns or proper prepositions can be hard to translate or, rather, cannot provide good, translated results. Read through after translating the document to see if it has the same flow as in the Korean piece.

3. Sentence structure

Translated documents need to have the same flow and read as if it was first written in the intended language. Therefore, it is important to keep your writing simple, direct, and clear. The use of bullets to show lists will help break long paragraphs, increasing readability.

When translating Korean to English, you need to use short sentences and minimize the use of complex and compound sentences. Go through the translated document and see if you can split sentences further or delete unnecessary filler phrases.

4. Active and passive voice

Translation or transcription services involve the use of passive and active voices. Active or passive voices that describe already happened events don’t always appear correct between different languages. Passive voice is treated differently in other languages and changes the meaning of words once translated to English.

Therefore, the most sensible thing to do when translating Korean to English is to change passive to active voice. Also, passive voice is more difficult to understand and translate, and less direct.

5. Images

Cultural icons in Korea are different from other English-speaking countries. Therefore, be cautious with symbols. You can use universally understood images or symbols to make the document or text more versatile. If possible, use a well-known currency like the Dollar sign and avoid cultural-specific gestures during transcription.

Check the texts written on images to have a fully translated piece. Sometimes it is not easy to see texts embedded in graphics hence producing half translated work. Before translating a text with images, inspect any hidden words to make the process easier and more accurate.

6. Dates

American English uses a date format that starts with months followed by days and ends with the year. The Korean text may contain date formats that are not very clear. Therefore, get the dates right when translating Korean text to make the audio transcription service easier.

For example, when May 2, 1998, is abbreviated, it will look like this, 5-2-1998 (in American English). However, when the date in the Korean document doesn’t follow this format, the date abbreviated 5-2-1998 will mean February 5, 1998. Therefore, be keen and clarify the exact dates before starting the process.

In a Nutshell

Translation services or translators need to keep the above 6 tips at their fingertips when translating from Korean to the English language to get a concise and clear final product. Ensure you use the above and any other tips you can get to produce something professional. Translating from Korean to English will still be challenging even when the translator is fluent in both languages. Therefore, learn how to make word decisions, how to approach different texts, and how to effectively and efficiently structure your translated text.

Bilal Is a Blogger and an SEO professional. Founder of & & , I have 2 years of experience in SEO & 1 year of Successful blogging @ I have a passion for SEO & Blogging, Affiliate marketer & also interested to invest on profitable stocks.

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