Korean Translation Services In SG: What Makes Korean Unique

Korean Translation Service Singapore
Korean, like any other language, is unfamiliar. After all, for English speakers, there are almost no words common with English, apart from a few lone words, such as “computer” or “television”.

When it comes to translating Korean words, a significant obstacle is that most of them sound similar. Since there are no characters, it’s harder to mentally build systematic building blocks. Moreover, Korean is ranked as one of the more difficult languages to learn due to its unique designs.

Here are some ways Korean differs from other languages and why a Korean translator in Singapore is needed:


1. The shape of the letters mimic your tongue

Korean’s primary letter system, Hangul, derives its consonant shapes from scientific principles and the forms of vocal organs. The basic shape letters, such as , , , , and , replicate the mouth, teeth, tongue and throat positions at the moment of pronunciation.

Some examples include:

·      “” is /k/, which resembles the tongue’s rear raised to block the throat

·      “” is /n/, where it looks like the tongue shape touching the upper gums behind the teeth

·      “ㅁ” is /m/, which is similar to the shape of the mouth when the lips are pursed

·      “” is /s/ which represents the teeth shape

·      “” is the shape of the opening at the back of the throat.


2. There are two kinds of number systems

Korean has two number systems, unlike many languages with a standard counting system. These two number systems are the Native Korean number system, and the Sino-Korean number system. Both of them are used in different circumstances.

For overall counting, such as from 1 to 99, you use the Native Korean number system. It’s also used for counting things such as ages, people, items, and hours.

If you want to number things such as dates, money, minutes, addresses, phone numbers, and numbers more than 100, you use the Sino-Korean numbers.

Here’s an example. Suppose you need to purchase two oranges. Since two is less than 99, the Native Korean number system is used.

The world “oranges” in Korean is 오렌지[olenji], so two oranges would be 오렌지 두개 [olenji du gae].

What if you want to buy a whole crate of oranges, such as 120 of them? Because 120 is more than 99, you will switch to the Sino-Korean number system. Hence, “120 oranges” in Korean would be 오렌지 백이십 [olenji baegisip gae].

An interesting thing to note is that the Sino-Korean vocabulary is derived from Chinese, where they create new Korean words created from Chinese characters. Hence, the pronunciation could be mistaken for Chinese, which is why an expert Korean translator’s service is recommended for Korean translation.


3. There are distinct differences between North Korean and South Korean

While both North Korea and South Korea share the same language, Korean, the way they use the language is different. For example, the language spoken in South Korea has a Seoul dialect, and they use words borrowed from English.

However, in North Korea, the leaders strongly discouraged the usage of borrowed words. Hence, they use the Pyongyang dialect. When they include words from other languages, they will use Russian, the preferred language.

Moreover, when it comes to written language, they may not look quite the same even though they do use the same letters. For example, some consonants and vowels are considered separate letters for the North Korean version. In contrast, the South Korean version will think of them as being connected and hence, the same letters.

Sometimes, depending on the version, some “jamo” are put in a different order. Not only are the letters different, but complete words can also be distinct. For instance, the South Korean language has more spaces than North Korean, especially when writing pairs of words that are merged to display a single idea.

A machine is unlikely able to tell the difference. Hence, a Korean translation service is needed to distinguish them.



Because of Korea’s unique variations and systematic functions, this means that a machine translation will not cut it, because they may not be able to distinguish from other languages, such as Chinese. Should you need to translate Korean, it’s best to ensure that they are able to have a firm graph of both languages, especially the version of the Korean language you want to translate.

Translating is not just putting words into the target language, but rather being able to stick to the original content, while maintaining the cultural aspects of the target language.

As a translation company in Singapore, Eureka Translations only hire the best experts for the designated language. Should you need something translated from Korean, contact us today.


Frequently Asked Questions

To provide professional Korean translation services, you must be proficient in Korean, just like how you would be fluent in your native language. In most cases, those who want to be a Korean translator will require a degree to succeed in this field. 

How long you take to master the language depends on many factors, such as language abilities, experience, and the language combination. On average, becoming a translator would take 3-4 years.

Our translation prices depend on the number of words and the general difficulty of translating the source to the target language.

Since the word count would differ when translating from Korean to English and vice versa, the price is to make up for the extra effort the translators have to put in to make it understandable to the readers.

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