South Korea, one of the largest economies in the world, is also known for many attractions regarding its culture, including the Korean language. Korean is no doubt a unique and fascinating language and is spoken by about 80 million people worldwide, primarily in the South and North Korea.
When it comes to translation and localization and Korean is no exception, the very first thing you should bear in mind is the significant features of the source and target language, especially when the quality expectation tends to be high. Here are 5 things you need to know about Korean translation and localization.
Korean witnesses a larger number of native speakers than French
French, which is usually considered as the second popular language in the world, has less native speakers than Korean, according to some estimates in 2007. But this is understandable if you dig deep into the context. Apart from South and North Korea, you can find Korean communities across the world.
Korean, a language isolate
Korean language is a distinct spoken language, without any living relatives, regardless many people misunderstand that Korean have been in the same family with Chinese or Japanese.
Korean translations basically require less length but more height than the English source text
This is another interesting fact about Korean translation and localization. Literally, Korean translations take up less horizontal space than the English or any other Latin alphabet language. However, they require more height as Hangul is absolutely taller than Latin text. Along with the complex characters, the font size of Korean text should increase to keep the writing legible.
Nearly 50% of South Korean population have limited proficiency in English
If you are going to do business in South Korea, this is the thing you should take into consideration. Don’t assume that your customers can speak English. Nearly half of South Korean people are not proficient in English, according to the Korea Times.
The source of loan words has changed over time
Like many other languages, Korean embraces loads of loan words from others. Korean loan words used to come from Chinese and Japanese before it is rich in English loan words.