Korean Hybrid (Human + Machine) Translation

Cut your translation costs by half or more with hybrid Korean translation.

Are you stuck between the high cost of high-quality human translation and the low-quality of online translation mills and Korean PEMT or human-assisted machine translation? But why pay full price when you only need an accurate translation for internal or personal information purposes? Hybrid Korean translation is the service I offer to bridge this gap. I do so by delivering accurate Korean-to-English translation at rates 50-60% lower than my full, best-practice output.

I explain my hybrid Korean translation service in detail below. Review the description to decide whether my approach is right for you.

I provide best-practice Korean hybrid translation services

  • Work directly with your Korean translator!
  • Accurate and well-written translation
  • Transparent pricing with discount options
  • Guaranteed, on-time delivery
  • Thorough confidentiality of all materials
  • Easy accessibility, communication, and personal service before, during, and after your project

Page contents

Save money on Korean translation services with hybrid translation.

Photo by Steven S. Bammel

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Articles from the Korean translation best-practices series

“Steven, Overall was a great experience. I was walked through the process step by step and the end result was fantastic. Will definitely use your services for any future translation projects.”

Chris Sidebottom (Odenton, Maryland)

The problem

If you’ve used Google Translate or another online translation tool, you’ve likely been amazed. Today’s machine translation services are tremendously useful for translating between languages. The latest technology is based on advanced artificial intelligence algorithms. These deliver fluent Korean translations that are adequate for many purposes, both personal and business.

However, you’ve probably also noticed a fair share of nonsense in the Korean machine translation (MT) output. Machine translation errors come in two types. The first kind of error is a translation that doesn’t make sense, is grammatically incorrect, or is clearly wrong, vague, or ambiguous. This type of translation failure is annoying and may make certain machine translation output unusable, or at least less useful. If you know that something’s wrong with the translation, you can ignore it, get the work done by a professional translator, or even just send it through a different machine translation program and hope for a better result.

However, what if you don’t know which parts of a translation are wrong and which parts are right? Grossly incorrect machine translations can read very smoothly and appear correct and complete if you don’t know the source language. But basing business decisions on mistranslations could have serious financial implications as well. Thus, not knowing whether machine translation output is correct leads to distrust in the entire translated document. This distrust, in turn, reduces the usefulness of machine translation even when it is right!

The solution

What if you could get the benefits of low-cost machine translation without the risk of serious errors? Being able to trust the entire translated document would eliminate guesswork and dramatically raise the value of the translation to your purposes. This is precisely the outcome my hybrid Korean translation service delivers. I pair machine translation with my professional translation skills to help you cut your costs and eliminate concerns about unseen translation errors.

In the translation industry, post-edited machine translation (PEMT) is the common term for a rudimentary approach to improving machine translation output using human editors. Post-edited machine translation workflows are supposed to include careful editing to correct mistranslations, as well as improve style. However, the emphasis is on MT engine training, rather than the fidelity of the human editing process. Thus, the low rates many Korean translation providers offer for Korean PEMT and other human-assisted Korean machine translation tasks virtually guarantee sloppiness by editors, who may or may not actually check for both kinds of translation errors discussed above.

My best-practice hybrid Korean translation service is a significant improvement over Korean PEMT and other human-assisted Korean machine translation approaches. Rather than building a specialized MT engine or merely “editing up” a machine translation, my service focuses on the professional responsibility of the translator to refer to one or more machine translation outputs to produce a correct and acceptable human-directed final translation.

The Korean hybrid translation approach is for clients who need to know what a Korean document says but don’t have the budget for the holistic translation approach I provide with my full, three-step Korean to English translation approach. My Korean hybrid translation process lets you avoid working with cheap translation mills whose output may be virtually indistinguishable from Korean PEMT and other human-assisted Korean machine translation services. Instead, I give you access to my own services as a professional Korean translator at half or less than half of my regular price. I also deliver translations you can trust and understand.

My process

Here’s what you can expect if you request a Korean hybrid translation from me.

Project review and quoting

I will review your document and let you know if it is suitable for my hybrid Korean translation approach. Some documents have so many formatting complications or are so highly technical and complex that a hybrid translation will not save much or any time. Very short texts also incur hybrid-workflow overhead that negates the benefits. Word lists with terminology that will have to be looked up one-by-one just to verify accuracy also require an extra effort.

Furthermore, scanned documents have to be converted to editable Word file format. Optical-character recognition works in many cases if the scan is crisp and clear. However, if the source file is fuzzy, handwritten, or too small, I will have to go through extra steps to process the file in Word before I can input the text into my hybrid translation process.

I will take all of these factors into account when quoting the job to you. For this reason, I cannot tell you in advance how much cheaper the hybrid Korean translation workflow will be than my full process, or even if the hybrid workflow is an option for your particular document.

Translation of the text

After we’ve agreed on the project terms and I have prepared the document in editable format, I’ll import the text into my computer-aided translation (CAT) tool with the machine translation function turned on. In some cases, I may connect multiple machine translation engines at once.

As a first step, I will go through the document sentence by sentence, comparing the meanings of the source and target machine translations, editing and settling on a draft translation. This pass through the document ensures 1) I understand the source text correctly, and 2) the translation essentially says the same thing as the source. Along the way, I will fix mistakes (mistranslations of important meanings, incorrectly transposed numbers, and vague grammatical phrasings).

After the first draft, I will then go back through to perform a monolingual review. This step delivers a final polishing. While much less intense than my regular edit workflow, the second pass through the translation is still more value-generating than the one-step process of a standard Korean PEMT or other human-assisted Korean machine translation workflows. My two-step process ensures delivery of a hybrid translation that you can use with confidence.

Condition of the output

The hybrid translation I provide will, to the best of my knowledge and ability, be a correct rendering of the Korean source. It will not be fully polished. You may still find typographical and grammatical errors. Also, some nuances of the source will not have been communicated fully in every instance, and terminology will not necessarily be industry standard. I will also not make a significant formatting effort. As with any complex human process, mistranslations may sneak through as well, though I will try hard to prevent it.

My goal with the hybrid Korean translation is not to achieve parity with my full translation effort. Instead, I will focus on eliminating critical errors, omissions, and ambiguities in the machine translation output that would otherwise reduce the usefulness of the translation to your business purposes, while also trying to make cosmetic improvements along the way.

Free full-service translation included!

I understand that every word in your document may not be equally valuable to you. Some of the information will be critical, while other material may even be irrelevant. Furthermore, you may not know which information is important until after you’ve had a chance to review the Korean hybrid translation I deliver to you. Finally, since the Korean hybrid translation process involves compromises, you may still find that certain sections of the translation lack the precision or polish you need.

For this reason, I include in the price of every Korean hybrid translation project an extra workflow of my best work on up to 5% of the document content. This means that, once you have gone through the hybrid translation, if there are sections you’d like a little more insight on, you can send those back for my full English-to-Korean translation service at no additional charge. For example, if you’ve had me hybrid-translate 10,000 words of Korean pharmaceutical regulations and you find sections that are especially pertinent to your requirements, you can send up to 500 words of content back to me for a full-service Korean translation that will clear up any last questions. (Full-service translation over the 5% threshold would be billable at regular rates.)


The following are the advantages of my Korean hybrid translation approach over raw machine translation and standard Korean PEMT.

  1. You will have confidence that the translation is correct. Therefore, you won’t be left doubting an entire machine translation product because an unknown portion of it may or may not be correct.
  2. You will receive a better overall translation than either edited or unedited machine translation, including standard Korean PEMT and other human-assisted Korean machine translation services. This translation will be backed by my “Consistently Good Work” Pledge.
  3. You will also get a full-service translation of key sections once you’ve had a chance to read through the document and find what’s extra important and relevant to you. This further helps you keep your costs low while maximizing the value you obtain from the work.

“Hi Steven, I can’t think of anything that would make the service better — it was quick, courteous and prompt. Thanks again. Chan”

Chan D. Park (Pasadena, California)

“The service as efficient, professional and on time. It met my translation needs.”

Brett Miller (Seoul, Korea)