How to Find the Best Korean Translation Company in 2020
Overwhelmed by the number of Korean translation companies?
Translation is estimated to be a 50 billion dollar industry in 2020.
There are thousands of translation companies in the world.
Most tackle every language under the sun.
Like going to a restaurant with a 10 page menu, they do everything, but nothing great.
That’s because they don’t specialize in one language pair and outsource to the lowest bidder. This makes sense given their high fixed costs, including office space, employees, advertising, etc.
So how do you find a reliable Korean translation company?
We’ve been trying to answer that question for over a decade now. We never found a solution as clients, so we started our own translation company to fill the void.
This article will go over ways to spot a trustworthy Korean company, and get consistent Korean translation service.
How do I find a good Korean translation company?
It helps to avoid companies with generic names.
Anything with “trans” in the name is probably not a good bet.
They will outsource to the lowest bidder.
Avoid companies that have hundreds of employees and multiple offices.
This just means they need to charge a premium to make payroll and keep the lights on.
Also, having a legal and marketing team has no effect on translation quality.
It’s also a good idea to find one that specializes in Korean language pairs.
Our company, for example, is owned by a Korean and English speaker.
All documents are checked in-house by the founders before being delivered.
Where can I find a good Korean translation company?
Online is a good place to start.
Google will return millions of results, but most aren’t focused on Korean translation.
Good marketing doesn’t equal good translation.
Companies pay a lot of money to be the top search result.
That’s a cost you’ll have to pay.
There’s also no guarantee you’ll get better quality as it will depend on the translator they outsource to.
How should I contact a Korean translation company?
The best way is to send an email directly or through a contact form.
It’s nice to talk on the phone sometimes, but ultimately the document is what matters.
For the fastest results, send your file so you can receive a quote.
How much does a Korean translation company charge?
If you contact ten companies, you will most likely get 10 different prices.
In our experience, the range is 20-100 USD for a 250 word page.
A better question would be, “how much should you pay a Korean translation company per page?”
30-70 USD for a page is a reasonable range.
With technical translation such as legal and medical documents being at the higher end.
If you are spending less, then you’re most likely getting machine translation, which isn’t worth it.
Any more, and you’re paying for the CEO’s vacation home.
Why you should use a Korean translation company?
I know what you’re thinking. “Why should I pay that amount when I can get a freelancer on Upwork for half the price?”
If you can afford to have mistakes in your translation, then you’d be correct.
However, if you need professionally translated documents with no errors, then a company is what you’re looking for.
Other advantages are:
- Peace of mind. Most companies provide some sort of quality control. This can include proofreading, review, grammar check, etc. If not, then you shouldn’t bother with them.
- Accurate files. A reputable company will have a project manager checking files to make sure nothing is left out.
- On time delivery. Having worked with freelancers, I can tell you that getting files on-time is not always a given. Translation companies often have guarantees for timely delivery.
How to save money with a Korean Translation company
Korean translation companies charge by the page.
Pages are determined by word count.
- For English to Korean, 250 words equals 1 page.
- For Korean to English, 700 characters is 1 page.
Before sending a document, take a moment to look it over carefully and see what needs to be translated.
In our experience, there are often redundant sections and non-vital sentences.
You can reduce your translation costs by a large percentage this way.
Ask your project manager to remove numbers and symbols from the word count.
This will save you a lot of money too.
Ask for a discount on duplicate sentences.
Translation agencies use translation software to count repetitions in a file.
You can avoid paying twice for the same work.
Don’t be afraid to check for volume discounts on large files.
Most Korean translation companies will subtract 5 to 10 percent on files over 1,000 USD.
The bigger the file, the less customer service and marketing they have to do.
What to do before contacting a Korean translation company
Check their company website to see their procedure.
Reputable translation companies will make this easy to find in plain language.
Ask them to clarify how they manage projects if you need clarification.
Make sure they have both a proofreader and an internal review system.
This will increase the chance that you won’t need to retranslate their files.
Even after all this, it’s a good idea to have critical documents reviewed independently before showing them to customers.
How to work with a Korean translation company
The more you put in, the more you get out.
It’s a good idea to provide a terminology list and ask your project manager to keep it updated.
This is your insurance in case you have to switch companies at some point.
It will keep terms consistent in translated documents.
Make sure to ask for revisions if they are required.
Also, send them any revisions you make, even if they are simple.
This will help them understand your needs and save you both work in the long-run.
How to save time and money on revisions
There are many ways to translate a sentence.
It’s impossible for a project manager to know which style suits you.
You can help out by providing a reference.
A reference file includes the original text and the translation side by side.
This lets translators know what kind of tone you prefer.
If you don’t have a reference, be sure to explain who the translation is intended for.
The more details you provide, the better your results.
How long does Korean translation take?
It can be easy to forget about the translation step in your document creation process.
With all the technological advances in machine translation, you might think it only takes a few hours to crank out quality work.
We may have been promised flying cars by now, but usable translation still requires a lot of human labor, which takes time.
Try not to request deadlines that are too tight.
An experienced translator can do between 1,500 to 2,500 words per day.
Any more and they might be tempted to split the file with another translator, leaving you with a bunch of sentences that lack continuity.
You also need to provide time for proofreading and review, otherwise you will end up doing it.
5 pages (around 1,250 words) take at least 48 hours to translate and polish.
How to get consistent quality from a Korean translation company
Translation companies make you believe they provide perfection from day one.
Great results don’t happen overnight.
It takes a few files for even the best translators to find the right word choices.
Good ones will always improve their quality.
After 10 years we still find ways to make our translation more accurate and easy to read.
Look for project managers who ask the right questions to provide better results.
Once you get well-translated documents from a Korean translation company, be sure to let them know.
You can request the same translator and proofreader.
A good translation company will be happy to receive any kind of feedback.
Never hesitate to voice your concerns or appreciation.
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We hope we answered all of your questions.
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