Korean Translation Tip: Korean, English, Tildes and Dashes

Translation is a fascinating topic, isn’t it? I particularly find it interesting in my work as a Korean translator to consider those points at which languages don’t connect perfectly and the adjustments we have to make for them.

This is a quick tip about dashes and tildes in Korean.

In English, we use an m-dash to connect numbers that cover an interval:

Ex: 5–7 or 1997–2012

But Korean uses a tilde:

Ex: 5~7 or 1970~2012 (also commonly written with extra spaces: 5 ~ 7 or 1970 ~ 2012)

Best-Practice Tip – Be ready for this conversion. Translators handling English to Korean should add tildes to numbered intervals; those translating Korean into English should change the tildes to dashes.

3 Responses

  1. Walter Foreman says:

    When translating from Korean to English do you recommend inverting numbers, for example: 90~50% 할인 / 50-90% discount?

  2. No, don’t do that. That wouldn’t help at all.

  1. May 9, 2019

    […] marks you won’t see in our translations. (For past tips on other Korean punctuation, see #3, #14, #19, […]

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