GTE Localize

How Much Does Online Korean Translation Cost?

Posted by Chloe G. on August 22, 2022.

The total online Korean translation cost is one of the biggest concerns for clients who seek the help of Korean translation service providers.

The Korean market, the 11th largest economy in the world with rapid economic growth and apparent structural stability, has become a promising destination for businesses. To engage with Korean audiences, you need a high-quality translation and localization approach that is often provided by professional language service carriers. 

We cannot give you the exact online Korean translation service cost as it is affected by many factors. But in this post, we will point out the primary factors that drive the translation costs, and provide tips on how to keep them as low as possible.

Factors Affecting Online Korean Translation Cost

online korean translation cost 2

#1. Korean translation volume & repetition level

The online Korean translation costs are typically determined on a price-per-word basis. The more words you have, the more money you have to pay. However, that doesn’t imply that all Korean translation projects with similar volumes are charged equally.

In terms of repetition level, you should know that the more repeating words in your documents, the less money you have to pay for your online Korean translation cost.

To automatically translate a term that was translated by human translators before, many translation companies use CAT tools. With the translation memory feature, CAT tools help Korean translators not have to translate the same phrase twice, saving them a ton of time while maintaining consistency in Korean translations.

From the client’s side, you don’t have to pay the full cost of these repeated phrases. Depending on the match rate, translation agencies will offer different fees.

For example, you need to pay the full price for a new word, but only 70% of the full price for “fuzzy match” (74% to 99% of the segment matches the previous translations), or 25% of the full price for “exact match” (100% of the segment match the previous translations). Please keep in mind that the percentage we provide here is only an example. The exact numbers differ across agencies.

“No match” words

x 1

“Fuzzy match” words

x 0.7

“Exact match” words

x 0.25

The price you pay with CAT Tools The price you pay without CAT Tools
450 x 1

= $450

300 x 0.7

= $210

250 x 0.25

= $62.5



1000 x $1

= $1000

#2. Types of Online Korean translation services

There are three levels of Korean translation services, which are arranged in ascending order in quality and cost – Translation Only (TO), Translation + Editing (TE), and Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP).

The higher the level of translation is, the more linguists get involved and the more you need to pay. For this reason, TO is advised for internal content or low-budget projects, while TE and TEP are recommended if your content is complex or used for external purposes such as Korean advertising content, Korean websites, Korean technical materials, Korean legal documents, etc. 

Korean translation and localization often take up less horizontal space than English text. On average, the Korean version is shorter than the English by 15-20%. Meanwhile, hangul is taller than Latin text so it needs more line height. And as the Korean words are more complex, the designer might need to increase the font size to make the writing legible. For materials with high visual content, you may need to use an extra service called Desktop Publish (DTP) to ensure the final Korean products are easy to follow and well laid out. For this step, an additional fee is required.

#3. The complexity of your content

The quote you get from your translation partners heavily depends on how difficult your Korean content is to translate. If your documents include a significant amount of technical or scientific terminology, you need to work with highly qualified and specialized Korean translators who charge extra for their services. The same situation happens when your documents require native Korean translators with a high degree of creativity, such as in marketing campaigns, slogans, or poetry. 

Therefore, if your content is of a complex Korean subject, you should expect the rate to be 20–30% more expensive than that for general content.

#4. Other requirements

The total online Korean translation cost is also affected by some other factors such as deadlines or file formatting. Regarding the deadline, if you need a translation as soon as possible, it will cost you a markup. 

According to a Common Sense Advisory (CSA) survey, 88% of language service providers charge an extra fee for urgent projects, ranging from 10 to 200% depending on how short the turnaround time is. With file formatting, if your documents come in non-editable formats like scanned PDF, Photoshop, or Indesign formats, you can be asked to pay more.

So we have gone through some major factors that determine your online Korean translation cost. Now let’s take a sample project and calculate its costs. Assuming you need to translate a 20-page website with 10,000 words into Korean, with 6,700 new words (x1), 2500 fuzzy match words (x0.7), and 800 exact match words (x0.25). To guarantee the accuracy and smoothness of content, we always advise our clients to use TE services. Our offered rate for general content is $0.06/word. Then, the cost of this project will be as follows:

“No match” words

x 1

“Fuzzy match” words

x 0.7

“Exact match” words

x 0.25

The price you pay with CAT Tools
6.700 x 1 x 0.06

= $402

2,500 x 0.7 x 0.06

= $105

800 x 0.25 x 0.06

= $12




Tips For Minimizing Online Korean Translation Cost

online korean translation cost 3

If you have known which factors determine the cost of your Korean translations, let’s find the solutions to minimize the cost. Here are our top three suggestions:

#1. Plan ahead to lower your Korean translation rate

You should have the following details in your mind to prepare content ready for translation and reduce the risk of wasting money.  

  • Plan the source material to be translated and the delivery deadline for translations: A rush translation is always costly. In some circumstances, you need to get the translation urgently; it will be much better if you spend enough time polishing your Korean content. Also, depending on the complexity and the length of your content, you should make time for Korean translators to finish their job. This way, you can save a big amount of money.
  • Evaluate your human and financial resources: To minimize the online Korean translation cost, you have to take full advantage of your available human/financial resources. For example, if you are on a tight budget, and your staff is qualified to translate your Korean content, you may have them do so before hiring a qualified Korean editor to double-check the accuracy of the Korean translation.
  • Choose your Korean translators: If you want to have a professional translator or a language service provider to produce high-quality Korean translations, you should spend time searching for different Korean translators/translation companies and select the most reliable and suitable one. As GoodFirms is a trustworthy review site for Korean translation and localization services, it’s better for you to have a look at this site before choosing your Korean translation agency.

#2. Optimize your content to reduce online Korean translation cost

To enhance your content, you have to complete the following tasks:

  • Step 1 – Define your target audiences: Your target audiences should be described in as much detail as possible. You have to define if they are in North or South Korea. Due to their long history, there are great differences between these two regions regarding spelling, pronunciation, and vocabulary. For example, when South Korea preferred to incorporate foreign versions of new words, North Korea created Korean versions of all of them. Not portraying your target audiences at the beginning might make the wrong impression and create unexpected misunderstandings afterward.  
  • Step 2 – Set the goal of your campaign (Its goal is to build your brand image or to push Korean customers to buy your products, etc.): Different goals will lead to the use of different phrases, sentences, tone of voice, and much more. You should notice that the Korean language comes with 7 levels of formality. The use of each level of formality is based on the relationship or title of the speaker and the listener. If you want to reach more young-generation clients, you should use a low level of formality to make a friendly relationship and ensure that your translator/translation agency knows about that. 
  • Step 3 – Prepare the original content as fitting with your expected translation outcome as possible: It will help translators have a clearer view of what the translation output should be. Also, don’t forget to put it in an editable format so you do not have to pay an extra fee for the converting step. Here are some tips for your Korean localizations you should know to make clear goals for the Korean translation project:
    • Color is a noticeable factor in Korean localization. For example, black is known for darkness and night. Yellow refers the happiness, wealth, and holiness.
    • The Korean people use both 24-hour and 12-hour clock notation.
    • The most common currency in Korea is the Korean won (₩).
    • It is better to use active voice than passive voice, so your Korean clients will understand your content more easily.
    • For more insights, you can find them in this post: Tips For Korean Localization Projects.

Your content should not only be optimized in “quality” but also in “quantity”. Typically, more words require more money. Therefore, try to cut down on the number of source words by reducing wordy sentences and lengthy words; removing unnecessary parts of your content such as idioms or jargon; and avoiding text in graphics.

Along with your original content, you should also attach the following files to speed up the translation process and get closer to the Korean translation outcome you expect:

  • A style guide: This will include your company’s culture and values as well as the expected tone and style. In Korean culture, triangles may come with negative connotations. It is better to avoid them in documents, websites, graphics, advertising files, and business presentations. 
  • A glossary of terms: This list will present how you want translators to translate certain terms or that you do not want them to translate. There are many Korean borrowed words, so it is essential to create a list of wanted Korean borrowed words for your Korean translators to have high-quality and consistent Korean translations. 

#3. Make the most out of technology

From the example illustrated above, we are sure you have seen how CAT tools benefit your Korean translation project. CAT tools are even more effective when you plan on using Korean translation services in the long run. As the Translation Memory gets bigger after each project, the money you need to pay will be lessened. Therefore, partnering with translators/translation companies with CAT tools or other latest translation technologies is strongly recommended to save money.

You may like these posts:


Get a Reasonable Online Korean Translation Cost from GTE Localize

Since Korean translation and localization are complex fields that require skilled native translators and subject-matter experts, having a professional translation provider perform your content is needed. As an ISO-certified Korean translation agency, GTE Localize has a solid foothold in Korean translation and localization and offers you business with one-stop Korean language solutions such as translation, localization, transcription, and subtitles, at a fast turnaround time and a dedicated support team.

Whether you require English to Korean translation, Korean to English translation, Spanish to Korean translation, or any other language pair, we have a huge pool of 100% native Korean translators to offer online Korean translation costs and services without mistakes for all major languages globally. With our localization insights into the Korean market, we know exactly how to translate and localize your content to fit with the target Korean audiences, while also maintaining your business values and cultures. 

Get a cost-effective online Korean translation & localization

The following are three levels of our online Korean translation services costs:

  • Translation Only (TO), starts from $0.07 per word.
  • Translation + Editing (TE), starts from $0.1 per word.
  • Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP), starts from $0.12 per word.

Get in touch with our localization experts and let us help you reach your Korean audiences through our cost-effective Korean translation services.

You can download our White Papers for a better understanding of Korean and other Asian localization tips or to build an effective localization strategy for any industry.