Korean Language Translation – Increasingly popular language translation in Asia

Korean Language Translation – Increasingly popular language translation in Asia

Language isolate

Unlike other Asian languages, Korean doesn’t seem to be a common choice for translators to specialize in. This is mostly due to its status as a language isolate and thus lower demand for English to Korean translation services. Perhaps because of that, there is a tendency to gravitate towards native Korean speakers who were brought up bilingual (Korean-English) when choosing a translation service provider. While in case of the English to Korean translation it is indeed better to go with a native speaker rather than someone whose first language is English, knowing the language isn’t everything.

The best of both worlds –a professional native speaker

When a professional translation agency wants to offer English to Korean translation services, it usually chooses a bilingual native Korean speaker who has experience of living in both an English-speaking country and Korea and can translate both English to Korean and Korean to English. Industry experience is also preferable, if the company specializes in certain industries. However, in case of Korean, the demand is too low for a translator to just be well-versed in a single field. That is why translation agencies prefer to hire someone who has a good knowledge and experience in many fields, the most important of all being Korean culture. Some translation agencies, although not all, also require certification.

What if there aren’t any native professionals near me?

From all the requirements listed above, it follows that a native speaker professional Korean translator is a preferred person to provide Korean translation service. While that can be the case, these requirements can also apply to professional English to Korean translators and interpreters whose first language is English. They are stricter, however – a truly professional translation company that chooses to hire a non-native Korean translator would expect them to have invested in gaining awareness of Korean language and culture, preferably through immersion. In addition, they would need to have a background in a competitive field like medicine, law, technology, or entertainment.

What to look out for

Native Korean speakers who aren’t professional translators or interpreters can be a good idea for short texts that don’t affect a person’s wellbeing or a large transaction, for example. In the latter cases, it is best to approach a professional provider of English to Korean translation services. When choosing such a provider, find out whether they employ native Korean speakers with a background in your field. If not, ask about the experiences and qualifications of their employees. Whether or not you choose to go with a native speaker or a non-native one is ultimately up to you and depends entirely on your needs and expectations.

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