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Korean Translation Tip: There’s a Translation Error in the Korean Google Android Interface!

Recently, while helping my wife download photos from her Android phone, I was baffled when the Korean-language interface indicated as follows that it was "uploading 344 of a total of 200 photos”

That doesn't make sense.

Then I realized what happened...  The English source was provided to the translation team with coded variables, which then didn’t get placed correctly into the translation. In English, we would put the smaller number first, but in Korean, the larger number should be first. 

Best Practices Tip - Translating into a computer interface often has limitations, but when working with your client, it’s extremely important to remind them that we can’t just force Korean into an English grammatical structure or sequence. Sometimes it can be done, but this usually results in awkward phrasing.

Actually, there is one more error in this translation. 

Even if the number positioning issue is fixed, the sentence would read:

“Uploading 200 of a total of 344 [photos]”. 

But that’s wrong. 

Without having access to the original English, I can’t be sure exactly what it is supposed to say, but it should say one of these:

“Uploading photo 200 of a total of 344 photos”
(총 344개 사진들 중 200번째 사진 업로드 중)


Uploaded 200 of a total of 344 photos”
(총 344개 중 200개를 업로드 했음.)

Either way, the current translation doesn’t reflect the meaning correctly and should be fixed.


* For more translation errors, check out A Collection of Korean Translation Errors in the User Interfaces of Leading Software.