Korean Translation Services

Korean is an interesting language with many unique features. When Korea was divided into North and South, the language developed into various dialects. Classifying it into a language family is the cause of controversy.

Regardless, Korean is spoken by many people even outside of Korea and continues to grow in popularity. Due to active trade relations, demand for translations into and from Korean is also increasing.

In order to avoid miscommunication, translations intended for professional purposes should only be done by native-speaking and academically trained translators. Therefore, we only work with professionals who translate into their mother tongue and are also fluent in the original language of the document.

Additionally, all of our translators possess relevant knowledge in at least one subject area to ensure that your documents are translated accurately in terms of content and terminology.

The Unknown Origin of the Korean Language

Korean is spoken by about 78 million people, the vast majority of which live in North and South Korea. It’s also spoken by minorities in China, Japan, and India, as well as in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Korean is the official language of Yanbian, an autonomous region in the People’s Republic of China located on the border of North Korea.

It has been difficult to classify Korean to a distinct language family, so this subject remains a source of controversy in Linguistics today. It’s possible that Korean is an isolated language that cannot be classified to any language family at all.

Structurally, Korean is closest to the Altaic languages. These languages include Turkish, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and Mongolian. One feature of the Altaic languages is that the placement of syllables at the end of a word changes the entire meaning of the word or sentence.

Korean Script

Texts in Korea were composed using Chinese characters until the 15th century when King Sejong the Great ordered a Korean script to be developed. The Hangul script was the result of this order. This script is still used all over Korea today and has become modernized over the course of time.

The alphabet of this script contains 14 consonants and ten vowels. These are added to form syllable blocks and then combined with the base symbols. However, what’s unique about the Hangul script is that it can be written vertically as well as horizontally, and both variations are correct. Today, UNESCO awards the King Sejong Literacy Prize for outstanding achievements in the area of literacy.

Distribution of the language and dialects

The standard language in South Korea is determined by the capital city of Seoul, while in North Korea, the standard language reflects the dialect of Pyongyang. In contrast to North Korea, South Korea has many loanwords from English. New words formed by fusing English and Korean are called "Konglish." This development doesn’t apply to the North Korean side, as they use only the core vocabulary of Korean. The fact that the majority of Korean loanwords come from Chinese can be explained by the close relationship to their Chinese neighbors, as well as the adoption of Confucianism.

Unique characteristics of Korean

The Korean language often avoids forming sentences using the second person, and in the third person, people’s names are used along with their title or relationship-defining term. Korean contains more honorifics and relationship-specific terms than commonly found in other languages.

Many parents speak to their first child as "first son" or "first daughter," and older people are generally introduced as "Grandfather" or "Grandmother." In order to ensure that your translations are adapted to Korean culture, they should be translated exclusively by native-speaking translators like the ones in our network. Only then are your documents guaranteed to hit the perfect tone and communicate with your business partners and clients without misunderstandings.

Also, we translate from Korean into English and other languages, including certified translations of official documents (such as birth, death, marriage certificates) for the USCIS and other organizations.

How Much Does a Translation into Korean Cost?

The standard rate for translations from English into Korean is $ 0.16 per word and for translations from Korean into English the industry rate is $ 0.20. For new customers or large texts (more than 5,000 words), we may significantly reduce our rates. Urgent jobs that need several translators working simultaneously require a small surcharge. For a full list of rates per language, please visit Rates table for most requested language combinations.

Don’t hesitate to contact our project managers with any questions, or simply send us your text via email or the form. We’ll respond with a quote at no further obligation to you.


Mariana Mellor
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