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

Even tech giants like Google are not immune from Korean translation errors when best practices are not followed in the work process.

While helping my wife download photos from her Android phone recently, 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…  There’s a Korean translation error in Google!

Apparently, the English source was provided to the Korean translator [EXPIRED LINK REMOVED: https://uz9.25e.myftpupload.com/korean-translator/] 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-Practice Tip – Translating into a computer interface often has limitations. However, when working with you on Korean translation[EXPIRED LINK REMOVED: https://uz9.25e.myftpupload.com/], it’s extremely important to remember that we can’t just force Korean into an English grammatical structure or sequence. Sometimes it can be done, but this often results in awkward phrasing.

Actually, there is one more Korean translation error in Google here. 

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.

Steven Bammel

Steven S. Bammel is president and chief translator/consultant at Korean Consulting & Translation Service, Inc. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington (B.B.A. Economics) and Hanyang University (M.S. Management Strategy), Steven has worked for over twenty years in Korean business and translation. | more about Steven

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