Finding the Right Korean Translation Agency to Maximize Quality and Value

Looking for a high-quality Korean translation provider? Our guide covers the 8 key factors to consider when choosing a specialized agency for your business.

Choosing the right Korean translation agency is crucial for any business looking to expand into South Korea.

But with so many options available, it can be challenging to find a provider that offers both high-quality translations and affordable pricing. After all, research suggests that there are more than 650,000 language service providers out there—so how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

If you are wondering what factors to consider when selecting a Korean translation provider, this article is for you.

Why Finding the Right Korean Translation Agency is Essential for Your Success

South Korea is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced countries in the world, ranking first in the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021. So, it’s no wonder that several companies are looking to expand their global reach by expanding into the local market.

But, as your company targets the Korean market, localization is essential. While most Koreans speak at least a moderate level of English, the people in the country will much prefer content in their language—and make their purchase decisions accordingly.

Of course, to get there, you wouldn’t want to start from scratch. Korean translation is challenging and requires expertise in the language and culture, as well as a deep understanding of your industry in a local context.

That’s why partnering with a specialized Korean translation service provider is a must for companies looking to tap into the country’s growing economy.

A competent Korean translation agency can help avoid cultural missteps, making your content more effective and truly resonate with your target audience.

Find out more in our guide to succeeding in Korean localization.

Eight factors to consider when choosing your Korean translation agency

Whether you’re a multinational company going international or an entrepreneur looking to promote your startup, here’s what you need to look out for when finding a translation agency that suits your needs.

1. Translation Quality Assurance

Make sure to select an agency that pays attention to quality assurance for their translations, with rigorous editing and proofreading processes in place.

Find out:

  • What methods do they use to ensure consistent and accurate translations?
  • Do they have a dedicated team of editors and proofreaders who review each translation to ensure it meets their quality standards?
  • How does the agency handle revisions or changes requested by the client after the initial translation has been delivered?
  • What type of quality control measures do they have in place to catch errors or discrepancies before the final delivery?
  • Can they provide references or examples of previous projects where they have successfully maintained a high level of translation quality?

At JOEL Localization, our translation deliverables include translation, editing, and proofreading done by multiple qualified linguists (all of whom are native Korean speakers), meaning our process is tailor-made to achieve an exceptional standard of linguistic quality.

2. Linguist Recruitment

The quality of the translation heavily relies on the translator’s expertise and experience.

For example, it takes a different set of skills to write to educate (user guides) vs. writing to sell (marketing texts). This means the agency needs to be able to tell what makes a good quality translation in context and recruit qualified translators based on their strengths in the industry and file type.

This includes evaluating the candidates’

  • Native language proficiency in the target language;
  • Experience in the industry;
  • Knowledge of specific terminology related to your business or industry;
  • Adherence to the style guide and glossary;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Tone of voice and style;
  • Experience with the file type or format;
  • Faithfulness to the source text while making it reader-friendly for the target market.

JOEL Localization uses dedicated test kits to ensure that each Korean translator we hire has the right translation qualifications, language proficiency, subject matter experience, and experience with the format of the text.

During the recruitment process, we review portfolios and assign tests with various source formats to determine if the Korean translators meet the required criteria for the project, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

3. End-to-End Project Management Support

For large-scale Korean translation projects, a dedicated localization project manager should be assigned to each account to ensure that all of your requirements are met within the specified timeline.

The localization project manager should be able to:

  • Prepare files for translation;
  • Put together a professional translation team;
  • Assign tasks;
  • Manage the project;
  • Track progress;
  • Create and manage style guides and glossaries in collaboration with the Korean language lead;
  • Handle any unforeseen issues that may arise;
  • Be the primary point of contact between the client and the translation team, making communication smooth and efficient.

At JOEL Localization, we offer a turnkey solution that takes care of all your localization needs, designing and managing the project from end to end.

Our project managers work closely with our clients to understand their requirements, manage timelines, and ensure that the final product meets their expectations.

4. Area Specialization

The Korean translation agency you choose should have expertise in your particular industry.

For example, suppose you’re a SaaS company looking to localize your website and UI strings for a South Korean audience. In that case, you’ll want to choose an agency specializing in software localization services with previous industry experience in South Korea. The same goes if you’re a law firm needing assistance with legal documents or legal translations, or a health care provider looking for medical translation.

At JOEL Localization, we have extensive experience in providing Korean-to-English and English-to-Korean translation services for SaaS, gaming, and Web3 clients all over the world. If you’re in any of these industries, it means you can trust us to handle your project with care.

5. Confidentiality

Choose a translation provider with strict security protocols in place to protect your documents and data while also ensuring confidentiality between you and the linguists involved in the project.

Make sure to ask about:

  • Data security policies;
  • Use of encryption;
  • How they handle data retention and destruction.

At JOEL Localization, we take data security seriously. We have strict confidentiality policies in place, and our managers and translators sign nondisclosure agreements if necessary to ensure the security of our client’s information.

6. Timelines and Turnaround Time

When choosing a translation company, you want to make sure that they can meet your timeline and turnaround time requirements.

This includes not only the translation process but also the editing, proofreading, and review stages.

Make sure to discuss your deadlines with the agency and get a clear understanding of their process and how they manage timelines.

At JOEL Localization, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide high-quality Korean language services within the client’s expected delivery time (at reason). We work closely with our clients to establish clear timelines and ensure that we never compromise on quality.

7. Familiarity with CAT Tools and Tool Training

Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are useful tools for translation agencies to increase productivity, improve consistency, and reduce costs. The translation agency you choose should have experience working with CAT tools and be able to provide training on their use.

If you’re unfamiliar with CAT tools or translation management systems (TMS), we can help you find a tool that suits your requirements and provide assistance with integrating it into your workflow.

Which CAT tool will be best for your needs will depend on the file format of your project files—some tools will be better suited for document translation, while others may be better for software localization.

8. Use of Machine Translation

Machine translation has become an increasingly popular option for translating large volumes of content quickly and at a lower cost. While machine translation can be a useful tool, it’s important to choose a translation agency that uses a human-centric approach and only employs machine translation as an aid to the translation process, rather than a replacement.

At JOEL Localization, we tend toward human translation and encourage our translators to exercise caution when using MT. It is unrealistic to expect them not to use it in this day and age, and we recognize that it can be useful when stuck—but we ask them never to send anything generated by MT unedited.

Achieve success in South Korea with JOEL Localization

We are a team of language experts and professional translators who strive to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations with the highest quality of service in eight different languages, including Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese, and French. Contact us today for more information about our translation services or to get a quote!

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