Korean Translation Services
Our Korean language specialists are happy to advise you
The Unknown Origin of The Korean Language
Korean is spoken by about 78 million people, the vast majority of which live in North and South Korea. This language is spoken by minorities in China, Japan, and India as well as in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Korean is the official language of Yanbian, an autonomous region in the People’s Republic of China located on the border of North Korea. Classifying Korean to a distinct language family has yet to be successful and remains a source of controversy in Linguistics today. Structurally, Korean is closest to the Altaic languages. Among others, these languages include Turkish, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and Mongolian. One feature of the Altaic languages is that by placing a syllable to the end of a word, the entire meaning of the word or sentence can be changed. However, it is possible that Korean is an isolated language that cannot be classified to any language family at all.
Texts in Korea were composed using Chinese characters until the fifteenth century when King Sejong the Great ordered a Korean script to be developed. The Hangul script was the result of this order. This script is still used all over Korea today and has become modernized over the course of time. The alphabet of this script contains fourteen consonants and ten vowels. These are added to form syllable blocks and then combined with the base symbols. However, what’s unique about the Hangul script is that it can be written vertically as well as horizontally; both variations are correct. Today, UNESCO awards the King Sejong Literacy Prize for outstanding achievements in the area of literacy.
Distribution of the language and dialects
Korean is considered the official language of South and North Korea. However, Korea’s division facilitated separated development in terms of language. The standard language in South Korea is determined by the capital city of Seoul while in North Korea, the standard language reflects the dialect of Pyongyang. In contrast to North Korea, South Korea has many loanwords from English. New words formed by fusing English and Korean are called "Konglish". This development does not apply to the North Korean side as they use the core vocabulary of Korean. The fact that the majority of Korean loanwords come from Chinese can be explained by the close relationship to their Chinese neighbors as well as the adoption of Confucianism.
Unique characteristics of Korean
In Korean, forming sentences using the second person is often avoided and in the third person, people’s names are used along with their title or relationship defining term. Korean contains more honorifics and relationship specific terms than commonly found in other languages. Many parents speak to their first child as "first son" or "first daughter" and older people are generally introduced as "Grandfather" or "Grandmother". In order to ensure that your translations are adapted to Korean culture, they should be translated exclusively by native speaking translators. They are guaranteed to hit the right tone and provide communication free of barriers with your business partners and clients.
How Much Does a Translation into Korean Cost?
The standard rate for translations from English into Korean is $ 0,24 per word and for translations from Korean into English the industry rate is $ 0,24. For new customers or large texts (more than 5,000 words) we may significantly reduce our rates. For urgent jobs that need several translators working simultaneously, we'll apply a surcharge. For a full list of rates per language, please visit Rates table for most requested language combinations.
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