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Korean Translator Is Vital For International Business

Posted by Ethan N. on December 14, 2022.

South Korea has successfully built up a reputation for leading technology, tourism, and exports, evidenced by an increasing GDP growth rate.

There is no better time for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to break into the Korean market with a well-prepared and strategically rigorous plan. Along with this has been the Korean translator who is a vital person in supporting communication and localization to speak the same language with the local citizen.

In this article, we will point out the importance of Korean translator in helping businesses expand to an enriched marketplace.

1. Korean translator is critical for expanding business in various fields


Thanks to robust skills and investment in R&D, Korea is leading in the development of frontier technology with the potential to transform production processes, stimulate the entry of international firms, and launch ground-breaking products.

IT hardware contributed a large portion of the GDP in 2020 which had total revenue of $17.9 billion. The computing hardware segment was the market’s most lucrative, with $13.4 billion, equivalent to 74.6% of the market’s overall value.

In addition to IT hardware, the software field gained a total revenue of $10.6 billion in 2020 with the dominating gaming software segment at 33%. Thus, it can be said that the technology industry is a potential market for many big international companies to dedicate to their research and development. 

For instance, Minecraft, a sandbox game developed, has successfully taken over a million Korean gamers’ hearts by not only translating to the Korean language version but also localizing their culture to be intimate and encourage kids to learn more about Korean history.


Young kids learn about traditional culture through a Minecraft Gyeongbokgung Palace server 

As can be seen, there is a huge opportunity for Korean hardware and software translation services to expose new clients which mean the demand for Korean translator is rising and equally entailing them to be more professional, specialized, and linguistically skilled.



In resonance with developed technology, e-commerce has become one of the biggest e-commerce worldwide. Over 97% of shopping internet usage is from 29 to 39 years old with the average spending at 187.08 KRW.

Therefore, the online market opens a wide door for small to medium players who want to expand their business in Korea but are not ready to spend much on brick-and-mortar. Especially, taking advantage of the Korean website translation services would be a plus point to saving money on a marketing plan.

Especially, coffee shop giant Starbucks approached its Korean consumers by collaborating with e-commerce affiliates such as and Gmarket Global to promote their products and increase its online sales by utilizing live commerce.

Starbucks also shows its understanding and respect for the local culture by localizing its brand name to the Korean alphabet (Hangul) in e-commerce and at physical stores. The Seattle-based company’s expansion gained a lot of attention and support from local citizens.


It is a wise strategic step to expose the Korean market. In this case, a Korean translator has contributed a critical part to helping Starbucks win Korean consumers’ hearts. 


Fashion & cosmetics

In 2020, the market size of the online fashion and beauty industry had total revenue of around 35.3 trillion KRW. From 2017 to 2020, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of fashion and beauty e-commerce was over 11 percent.

South Korea is the home of numerous world’s leading cosmetic companies such as Sulwhasoo, Innisfree, Laneige, Cosrx, etc. With 70% out of 1000 respondents in the survey, they normally use 5 to 10 products in their skincare routines. 

However, there will be more chances for international cosmetic companies to enter the fierce competition by hiring Korean translators to adapt their strategic marketing plans. For example, Estee Lauder, a popular French skincare, has localized their website into the Korean language and marketing publications for new product launches such as flyers, brochures, packaging, etc.


Estee Lauder has created brand awareness and successfully exposed millions of affluent and sophisticated Korean consumers. Utilizing Korean marketing translation services help international business approach effectively and efficiently. 


2. Korean translator removes language barriers

The Korean language is spoken by more than 75 million of whom live in Korea and other countries. However, it is listed in the top 10 most difficult languages in the world. Thus, Korean translator is able to assist businesses to overcome language barriers. 


Level of formality

There are seven speech levels: Hasoseo-che (하소서체), Hapsyo-che (하십시오체), Haoche (하오체), Hageche(하게체), Haerache (해라체), Haeyoche(해요체) and Haeche(해체). Each level shows a different level of formality and politeness to the audience.


Level of speech Name When to use
High levels Hasoseo-che – 하소서체

(Very formally polite)

  • To address a king, queen, or high official.
  • Used in historical dramas and religious text.
Hasipsio-che – 하십시오체

(Formally polite)

  • Commonly use in public speeches, broadcasts, business and service industry to speak to customer
  • Speak to strangers, elders
  • Speak to people in higher social rank
Middle levels Hasipsio-che – 하십시오체

(Casually polite)

  • Between strangers of the same age.
  • Among colleagues.
  • Phrasebooks.
  • By younger speakers.
Haoche – 하오체

(Formally neither polite or impolite)

  • In modern times, among the older generation.
  • To address people who are in lower or the same position
Hageche – 하게체
  • Outdated style of formal speech
  • Speak to people who are the same rank or lower as some older people, for instance, a director of a company speaks to employees.
Lower levels Haeyoche – 해요체

(informal but polite speech)

  • The most common speech style, used in everyday situations
  • Between strangers, friends, parents, teachers, and students
Hae-che – 해체

(informal speech)

  • Close friends and relatives.
  • When talking to children.

However, there are only four styles of speech are frequently used every day: Hasipsio-che (하십시오체), Haeyo-che (해요체), Haera-che (해라체), and Hae-che (해체). For instance, regardless of healthcare international brands with older target audiences, the formal style must be carefully used to show respect and professionalism. 

Therefore, a Korean translator is highly recommended for global companies in the first step of expansion. With a Korean translator from a reliable localization company, the business will avoid translation mistakes that offend cultures and customs nuances.


Most Korean loanwords originate from the Chinese language as China used to have one significant hold in Korea for so many years. Nevertheless, the modern Korean language commonly uses some English words if the subject pertains to technology, mechanical engineering, medicine, and fashion. 

These loanwords are not translated into Korean and are kept textual. While translation and localization, Korean translator will help businesses keep eye on loanwords to translate content accurately and convey the same meaning to consumers.

Recently, more English words have been introduced into Korean vocabulary (Konglish). These are mainly not translated but transliterated. Thus, a Korean translator is able to give you more access than 2.3% of the present online purchasing power in the world. 

Here are some examples of Konglish:

Loan Word (한국어) Actual English Translation
컵 (keop) Cup
포크 (pokeu) Fork
초콜릿 (chokollit) Chocolate
아이스크림 (aiseukeurim) Ice Cream
콜라 (kolla) Cola
주스 (juseu) Juice
피자 (pija) Pizza

Space Allowed

According to Koreanwikiproject, space allowed is considered one of the important things while translating and localizing Korean content. Therefore, when businesses plan to use long sentences in English, they will be longer in Korean translation. 

There are some simple rules to use space in Korean sentences:

  1. There is no space between a name and 씨 such as: 미영씨
  2. Leave a space between parts of speech:
    • Noun + verb (one space) as in: 김치 먹어요 (eating kimchi)
    • Noun + Adverb + Verb (two spaces) as in: 선생님 일찍 왔어요 (teacher came early).
  3. There is no space between particles (이, 는, 를, etc.) and verb endings (어미) such as 나는 or 너는.

With numerous rules and complex words, Korean translator is located in the country so that they can fully understand the intricacies and nuances of language. Whether planning to localize websites or business documents from any language into Korean, the Korean translator will be there to serve. 


3. Partnering with GTE Localize to be offered the best-in-class Korean translation services

With proven experiences in Korean translation services, GTE Localize provides 100% linguistically native Korean translators who are talented, professional, and highly skilled to come up with high-quality solutions.

We have earned the trust of a large number of international companies, as evidenced on the GoodFirms platform. Our team exceeds your expectations and satisfies any requirements. 


Contact us now for more information and get a free test!