Top Five Apps to translate Korean to English

For translating a foreign language like Korean to English, most people will go for the Google Translate app. However, the internet is full of numerous translation apps that can do much better in terms of accuracy for translating specific languages like Korean.

If you are looking for Korean to English translations while visiting South Korea or want to understand Korean language documents to do business in the country, then there are quite a few translation apps available. has shortlisted the best apps to use for any Korean language translation to English.

1)   Flitto

Flitto is known for its human-powered translation service. The online platform matches individuals or businesses with the right translator for their translation needs. The user must post a request on the Flitto platform via a text message, a voice message, or even an image, and it will be checked by the millions of translators registered on the Flitto platform. Flitto works on a point-based system, where users can buy translation points and use those for translation purposes. The translator whose work is chosen by the customer is awarded Flitto points.

Flitto only takes a small percentage of commission for the process. To make sure of the accuracy and finesse of the translations, Flitto has a dedicated team based in their Seoul office to monitor the integrity of translations occurring all over the world. Flitto also works with companies like Naver, Systran, and Airbnb in providing translation services.

Flitto was started in 2012 by three Korean co-workers Simon Lee, Dan Kang, & Jin Kim. The company has now since expanded its translation platform to include professional and AI translation. Flitto also provides domestic and international companies with language data based on the data collected through the Flitto platform. As of 2018, the platform has over 9.5 million users in 173 countries. In July 2019, Flitto’s IPO was listed in Kosdaq that raised $ 23 million.

2)   Naver Papago Translate

Created by Naver Corporation, the internet giant of South Korea, this app is an easy-to-use translator to get real-time output. It specializes in translation between English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. The app’s name Papago means Parrot in Esperanto, and like a parrot, the app has abilities to handle multiple languages that include Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Russian, German, and Italian. 

The user can select the language of choice, and the input method can be through typing, microphone, conversation, or text recognition with a camera. The app allows users to save words as ‘favorites’ to create a database. It is a handy tool, especially for beginners and travelers. The app also caters to kids with its colorful section available in Korean and English. 

Two of its features promise to be great aids for beginners and travelers – a phrasebook and website translator. The Kids section offered is especially helpful if you want to teach your child Korean studies. However, knowing a little Hangul is a must while using this app. Papago works on iOS, Android, and Google Chrome. In April 2019, Papago’s user base became more than 10 million.

3)   Genie Talk

Genie Talk is a two-way instant translation service for Korean into English, Chinese and Japanese, and vice versa. Office suite developer Hancom Interfree has created it. The app was initially launched in 2012 and had become popular for its ‘on the spot’ translation. However, in 2018 the company launched a new version that overcame technical difficulties like slow internet and connectivity issues related to the app’s performance.

The new Genie Talk has all its required programs for translation installed on the smartphone when the user downloads it. It is useful for any traveler who wants to find directions, do hotel check-ins or such useful tasks in a foreign country. The app supports over nine languages. It can easily do text translations, speech translations, and even image translations. Genie Talk has won many accolades and was the official translation partner for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

4) Daum Dictionary

This app requires some knowledge of Korean but is immersive, and many advanced learners use it to learn the language better. With Daum, you can bypass English altogether if you want, and look something up only in Korean. The Search feature allows you to look up words and see their translation with romanization. There is an option of looking up a Korean-to-English translation or only in Korean. This is a great option for cross-checking translations as the Korean translation is very accurate. The app works on iOS, Android, and web browser. It doesn’t have a microphone but does have a camera option to look things up.

5) GreenLife Korean English Translator

This app sets itself apart in many ways. Besides translating via text, speech, or conversation, it also suggests changes to sentences that contain errors. The app gives you various suggestions on the translation you have searched for and what’s more, it tells you what grammatical function a word has! The app supports learning with daily words, crosswords, a vocab building game, phrasebook, flashcards, and offline dictionary too. One can also email or text translations to study later. Its Pro Feature helps you translate your texts into Korean or English. The cool features include SMS text translation and in-app learning games. Sadly, it works on Android only.

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About Jeon Jinju

Jinju Jeon is a Senior Startup Reporter for KoreaTechDesk.

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