- Tip #1: A Korean-Language Google Translation Error and Best Practices for Handling Your Korean Projects
- Tip #2: Is the Standard Korean Greeting a Question or Not?
- Tip #3 : A Quirk of Punctuation Usage in Korean
- Tip #4: This Week’s Episode of “Steven’s Believe It or Not!”
- Tip #5: Greetings to Koreans Can Be Particularly Tricky
- Tip #6: A Surprising Aspect of Character Limitations in Korean Translations
- Tip #7: Use a Korean-Style Holiday Greeting; Don’t Just Translate Your English One
- Tip #8: Don’t Make Errors Like This One in the Microsoft Windows 7 Korean-Language Interface
- Tip #9: To My Esteemed Translation Agency Reader
- Tip #10: Korean is Taller and Skinnier Than English
- Tip #11: Korean Has a Plural Form; It Just Doesn’t Get Used Much
- Tip #12: Koreans Are All About “We”
- Tip #13: Pitfalls of Handling Acronyms in Korean Translations
- Tip #14: Korean, English, Tildes and Dashes
- Tip #15: Here’s Why You Can’t Blindly Search-and-Replace in a Korean Text
- Tip #16: Cardinal Rules of Korean-Language Layout
- Tip #17: Sometimes You Have to Change the Colors in Your Korean Translation
- Tip #18: Use Some Cultural Sensitivity When Translating the Names of Places for a Korean Audience
- Tip #19: Koreans See Punctuation in Acronyms from a Different Perspective
- Tip #20: Koreans Smile Differently When Writing
- Tip #21: Don’t Spell Korean Proper Nouns Wrong in English
- Tip #22: Keep an Eye Out for Unique Number Units in Korean
- Tip #23: Koreans Work Harder Than Anybody
- Tip #24: Korean Capitalization and English Hieroglyphics
- Tip #25: Koreans Don’t Write Numbers Out Very Often
- Tip #26: Korean Letters Look Different in Different Fonts and Positions
- Tip #27: Watch Out for Verb Ending Inconsistencies
- Tip #28: Don’t Just Use a Dictionary to Translate Job Titles Into Korean
- Tip #29: Solving Spacing Issues Between Korean and English Text in MS Word
- Tip #30: Three (3) Number-Related Tips in One (1) Easy Article
- Tip #31: Applying the Cardinal Rules of Korean-Language Layout to Microsoft PowerPoint Files
- Tip #32: Correct Font Handling in Korean Layout
- Tip #33: Spacing Around Parentheses in Korean Looks Funky and Inconsistent
- Tip #34: Why You Can’t Translate Phrase-by-Phrase Between English and Korean, Part I
- Tip #35: Why You Can’t Translate Phrase-by-Phrase Between English and Korean, Part II
- Tip #36: Handle Korean Line Breaks Like a Pro
- Tip #37: Ornery Koreans Write Things Backward
- Tip #38: When a Korean “Yes’ Means “No”, and a “No” Means “Yes”
- Tip #39: The Use of Chinese Characters in Korean Writing
- Tip #40: The Two Styles of Technical Korean Writing
- Tip #41: The Lowdown on Korean Alphabetical Order
- Tip #42: Numbers That Change When Translated
Exploring Korean business, language and life from Ansan, Korea
I was just awarded this certificate for completing an online course on ethics in research by the Korea Institute of Resource Development (or something like that. The actual name of the institute is 국가과학기술인력개발원 but the only English they provide for this is the acronym "KIRD").
Not a big deal but I was proud to finish with a 90% on the final exam on my first attempt since the course and exam were all in Korean. I'd figured I'd need to go through everything twice, but I guess not!
My team and I have handled more than 15,000 discrete translation projects over the years; the following are a few examples of the types of work we handle, many on a very regular basis. Due to confidentiality commitments, I have not included any customer-identifiable information in the lists below.
Jobs I’ve Translated from Korean to English
- Countless Korean family documents, including family census registers (호적등본, aka “Korean birth certificate”) and the new certificate format (basic certificate, family relationship certificate, marriage relationship certificate)
- Personal letters
- Business emails (especially for litigation cases)
- Korean medical records and receipts, including for medical insurance claims
- Business receipts in Korea, including for business reimbursements
- Korean bank statements
- Korean online game dialogue
- Korean financial statements, notes to the financial statements and auditor opinions
- Korean legal documents, such as Korean lease agreements, business agreements, intellectual property protection agreements and others, as well as legal complaints
- Clinical trial translations (mainly back-translations of clinical trial consent forms and other related documentation to be used in clinical trials in Korea)
- Many Korean newspaper articles
- Korean-language survey responses, including those filled out in response to surveys of Korean employees and customers of multinational corporations, physicians involved in medical research, and others
- Marketing materials for Korean companies targeting non-Korean buyers and investors
- Academic articles and dissertations
- Academic and professional degrees and certifications
- Product ingredient lists
- Korean patents of all types
- Transcripts of Korean videos
- Korean legislation and other legal regulations
- Back-translations of marketing materials first translated into Korean
- Insurance adjuster reports
- Korean RFQ and RFP materials
- Korean-language whistleblower reports
- Business case studies
Jobs My Team Has Handled from English to Korean
- Website content for Korean visitors
- Advertisements to Korean customers, especially to Korean-Americans
- Clinical trial documents
- Users manuals of all types which require a Korean version
- GUI content for computer software, including mobile apps
- Machinery warning labels
- Zillions of business cards
- Surveys of Korean consumers, site visitors, employees and others
- Government literature for Korean-American readers, including public service announcements, information about available services, and others
- Messages to students and parents of students studying in the US and other countries
- Health insurance-related materials for Korean buyers
- Marketing videos, including captions and voice-over content
- Proposals of Western suppoers to Korean companies
- Business correspondence between Western and Korean companies
- Patents of all types, including chemical patents, software patents, mechanical patents and others
- Religious materials
- Documents and online resources to facilitate ethics reporting violations within multinational companies
- Corporate newsletters
- Reports and announcements by national and multinational para-governmental organizations
- Jinho Park
Academics & Learning
- D. Bannon
- Prof. Seo
- Frithjof Arp
- DH Kim
- Richard Roy
General Business Network
- Jake Kim
- Mike Park
- Steve McKinney
- Prof. Sangman Lee
- Michael Lee
- Peter Underwood
- Dom LaVigne
Considered But Left Off
- Hongil Kim
- Stephane Mot
- Josiah Hunt
- Sol Kim
- Eun-Shil Park
- Dave Woods
- Troy Ottwell
- Carl Kwan
- SG Lee
- Sean Hayes
- Emanuel Pastriech
I’ve been involved with Korea and Korean business for many years, and am proud that thousands of people and companies around the world have found the Korean business information in my online and offline resources helpful for furthering their careers and results in Korea.
Because of this, I get a steady stream of inquiries requesting support of all kinds. The purpose of this page is to outline the ways I can and will help, and to share insights about how to get the answers you need.
Korean Translation Services
I offer the very best Korean translation support in business fields, including management, economics, finance, HR, marketing and accounting. By working with me, you not only benefit from the translation expertise I’ve gained from over 20 years in the field, but also business and cultural insights about Korea and Korean business. You can download my resume here for full details about my background.
Please email me directly about Korean translation services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Advice and Questions about Korea and Korean Business
If you reached this page because you read a weblog post or other online commentary I provided and you have a related question, please go back to that post or discussion and ask your question there. (Make sure your question is related to the post or discussion!) I don’t generally answer random emailed questions that come from strangers, but I do enjoy engaging in discussions on this blog or elsewhere online where I’ve been active.
I am also not interested in “business opportunities” in Korea or elsewhere (especially multi-level marketing opportunities) and am focused only on fee-for-service based translation and consulting work.
- Korean Consulting & Translation Service, Inc.
- Korea Business Central (Facebook Group – Korea Business Network)
- Nojeok Hill: My View from the Top
- Seongpo-Dong Photoblog
- Google Drive (also StevenBammel)
- Bookshelves (Korea/USA)
- Hard drives
- File boxes (USA)
Starting Out in Korea
A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington (College of Business Administration), Steven S. Bammel came to Korea in the mid-1990s, working in Seoul for nearly five years within the LG Group of South Korea. During that time, he learned about Korean business practices from the inside as a member of the team handling international trade support work for LG International Corporation.
By the end of the 1990s, Steven had successfully promoted overseas business for several Korean companies and edited/translated hundreds of documents.
Building a Korea-Focused Translation and Consulting Practice
Based on this foundation, Steven returned to the US in 1999, and then founded Korean Consulting & Translation Service, Inc. in mid-2000. During the first several years of building the company, Steven, his wife Myunghee and two children Treasure and Cauvery, shared their time between Irving, Texas and the company’s corporate apartment in Ansan, near Seoul, Korea.
Thanks to a perfectionist mindset and deep understanding of the requirements of translation clients, not to mention high-level Korean skills, Steven and his team have successfully handled more than ten thousand projects both large and small over the years, mainly for US-based companies and agencies, but also for individuals and corporate clients around the world, many of whom have provided testimonials and given permission to publish them.
Steven is one of the only non-heritage Korean speakers to achieve a top ranking on the Translation Competence Test of the Korean Society of Translators and is also certified at the highest level for SDL Trados and memoQ translator pro, the leading software used by translation professionals. He’s been a member of the American Translators Association since 2000.
Steven has served as a GyeongGi Province Foreign Direct Investment Advisor, as well as a consultant to the GyeongGi Association of Foreign-Invested Companies.
In-Depth Research into Korea and Korean Business
In early 2008, the Bammels returned to Korea indefinitely so that Steven could study at the Graduate School of Business Administration of Hanyang University to further develop his unique Korean business perspective and to improve his language skills in an immersive Korean language environment.
Having written his thesis in Korean (“서비스 정의의 비판적 검토를 통한 서비스 혁신에 대한 혼돈의 해소: 과정-참여 모형의 소개”), Steven was awarded a Masters in Science with a major in Management Strategy from Hanyang University in February 2011.
Steven is still a ceaseless student of Korea and the Korean language in spite of already having been recognized at the highest level on the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK).
In September 2012, Steven started back at Hanyang University as a doctoral student, still focused on management strategy, and he is working to earn his Ph.D. by 2017.
An Accessible Expert Resource With Informed, Fresh and Nuanced Perspectives on Korea and Korean Business
Steven is the creator of Korea Business Central, a unique online space with free and paid resources for members to deepen their general knowlege, improve credentials and discuss with Steven and others about business and non-business (but always Korea-related) topics. The community’s Facebook page is called Korea Business Network.
Steven is director and developer of the KBC Professional Certification Program, a unique and affordable online educational resource within the paid resources on Korea Business Central that gives students the expertise, support and credibility to reach their goals in Korean business. The program currently offers a specialization in Korean Business Culture Fundamentals, with more planned for the future. (Testimonials about the program.)
In addition to being author of this Korean business weblog, Nojeok Hill: My View from the Top, Steven has developed a variety of practical Korean business resources, including the Korea Business Adviser column for Seoul Magazine, some of which are listed on his Amazon Author Page.
Finally, since first arriving in Korea nearly twenty years ago, Steven has only called one city home there and he tirelessly promotes Ansan through the perspectives here at Nojeok Hill and in the Seongpo-Dong Photoblog, which includes a variety of travel collections from around Korea, as well as the Chirisan Doollae-Gil, his main current destination for outdoor recreation.
Korean Language Phrases
- Opening Greetings for Korean Emails
- Closing Greetings for Korean Emails
- Korean Greetings for Special Occasions
- Korean Email Greetings for Chuseok
- Korean Holiday Greetings for Holidays
- More New Year’s Greetings in Korean
- End-Of-Year Card Greetings in Korean and Japanese
- Frequently Asked Translation Phrases
- 2013 New Year’s Greetings
- More New year’s Greetings for 2013-2014
Answers to Client Questions and Other Translation Project Considerations
- Do you/your team feel comfortable enough to deliver this project without editing?
- On How to Translate Korean for Koreans Outside Korea
- About Dialects of Korean and Choosing Which to Use for Your Korean Translation Projects
- On Charging for Additional Translation Reviews
- Four Aspects of Agreements with Clients to Which I Pay Special Attention
- Translating Addresses on Asian-Language Business Cards
- Issues in Calculating Rates for K>E Translation Jobs
- The Use of Chinese Characters in Korean Writing
- This Translation Isn’t Perfect!
- Key Considerations for Translating Korean Emails and Other Documents Related to Legal Disputes
- How Do You Write “Director” in Korean?
- On Handling a Post-MT Editing Project Request for Translation to Korean of an English Document
- Applying Best Practices to the Translation of Korean Survey Responses to English
- Rethinking Korean-Language Translation and Localization: Process Failure Points Demonstrated with Examples
- English>Korean Translation Errors Discovered through a Proofreading Step by a Native English-Speaker Translator
- Ten Reasons to Avoid Proofreading, Editing and QA Tasks on Korean Translation Projects
- “What is a Korean FELO?” (April 2012) – Supplemental Information
- “Three Ways Contracts in Korea are Different” (March 2012) – Supplemental Information
- “Three Hacks for Effective Korean Business Card Exchanges” (February 2012) – Supplemental Information
- “Four Principles to Understanding and Expressing ‘No’ in a Korean Business Settting” (January 2012) – Supplemental Information
- “Three Ways Meeting Koreans for Drinks will Promote Your Business in Korea” (December 2011) – Supplemental Information
- “Three Discussion Topics That Will Interest the Koreans You Meet on Business” (November 2011) – Supplemental Information
- “Two Cold, Hard Realities of Gift-Giving in Korea” (October 2011) – Supplemental Information
- “Two Things to Remember about Korean Job Titles” (September 2011) – Supplemental Information
- “Three Steps to Business Network Building in Korea” (August 2011) – Supplemental Information
Korea Business Central (Online community created, moderated and curated by Steven Bammel)
- KBC Professional Certification Course – Business Culture Fundamentals Specialization
- “Review of Peter Underwood’s New Book ‘First Mover'” (August 2012), New Korea Economic Slice
Nojeok Hill: My View from the Top (This is the blog you’re looking at right now.)
- Succeed in Korea by Understanding Company Hierarchy (Executive Report)
- The Top Ten Gifts to Give in Korea to Make a Great Impression (Executive Report)
- Korean Translation Service Buyer’s Guide (eBook)
- Rapid Relationship Building in Asia (Video)
- Common Korean Expressions Kit (Language Sheet and Audio)
- The Definitive Guide to Business Cards in Korea (eBook)
- Korean Handbook for Translation Agencies (eBook)
- Cultural Nuances of Business Meetings in Asia (Executive Report)
- Korea Business Success eZine (Newsletter, 2004 – 2010)
- Korea Business Etiquette eCourse (precursor to Korea Business Central Professional Certification Course above)
- “서비스 정의의 비판적 겈토를 통한 서비스 혁신에 대한 혼돈의 해소: 과정-참여 모형의 소개” (Master’s Degree Thesis, Hanyang University, February 2011)
- “Ten Big Ideas About Marketing to Koreans” (April 2012)
December 10, 2012 – Steven S. Bammel Interviewed and Featured
October 29, 2012 – Quotes by Steven S. Bammel
August 2012 – Interview with Groove Magazine
June – July 2012 – Interview with Business Network Korea
October 13, 2011 – Steven S. Bammel Interviewed
October 3, 2011 – Steven S. Bammel and Family Featured
July 21, 2011 – Brief Quote by Steven S. Bammel
July 2011 – Steven S. Bammel Featured
March 10, 2011 – Steven S. Bammel and Family Featured
August 13, 2010 – KoreaBusinessCentral.com Featured