What is a Korean Translator?

Vicki Hogue-Davies

A Korean translator is someone who translates written documents from Korean into another language, such as English, or from another language into Korean. Korean translators might work in several foreign languages or specialize in one foreign language. Translators are experts the languages that they work in and are often highly educated in the specific fields in which they translate. Korean translators can work in law, medicine, education, business and other areas.

A translated book.
A translated book.

Korean translators might translate software manuals, legal patents, pharmaceutical texts and other documentation. A Korean translator might specialize in adapting literary texts such as poems, novels and other works into another language. Korean localization translators translate products and services into other languages and adapt them to the new culture in which they will be used.

No matter what type of documentation a Korean translator works with, the job involves more than just rewriting documents in a different language. In adapting written works into other languages, Korean translators must take into account the nuances of the other language and ensure that the translated works make sense culturally. In other words, translated documents should read as though they were originally written in the languages in which they are adapted.

Many Korean translators are freelance, or self-employed, workers. Other Korean translators work for translation service companies. Some are employed by governments and businesses. A Korean translator generally works on a computer using word processing and other software to translate works. Translation is often a solitary occupation.

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The educational background of Korean translators varies, but, of course, the translator must be proficient in at least one language other than Korean. Some Korean translators have grown up in bilingual homes, so they might speak two native languages. Many Korean translators have four-year degrees, which often are required to find work, but degrees do not have to be in foreign languages. Some Korean translators pursue degrees in translation studies. There is no one-size-fits-all certification for Korean translators, but different industries sometimes offer certification programs.

The work of a translator shouldn't be confused with that of an interpreter. A language interpreter is a person who interprets between spoken languages. They often are used, for example, in courts of law to interpret the testimonies of witnesses and other parties involved in trials, in doctors' offices and hospitals to help patients speak with medical providers and at international business conferences where several languages might be spoken.

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