Korean Translation Revision

Upgrade your translation to exactly your required quality level with professional Korean translation revision (editing and proofreading).

I provide my Korean translation revision service (including editing and proofreading) to clients who have already completed a Korean translation but still need additional professional support. Sometimes clients need help because of having received negative feedback on a translation a third-party did for them and now need to get the translation up to snuff. Other times, an employee or friend has completed a translation in-house and the client would like an expert to review and improve it. Occasionally, a certificate of accuracy is required for a Korean translation but the original translator isn’t available to certify the job.

This page describes my best-practice approach to Korean translation revision. My service balances effort with value, and ensures you get exactly the quality you need, at a price that reflects the value delivered.

I provide best-practice Korean translation services.

  • Work directly with your Korean reviser!
  • Precisely targeted final quality
  • Transparent, value-based pricing
  • Guaranteed, on-time delivery
  • Thorough confidentiality of all materials
  • Easy accessibility, communication, and personal service before, during, and after your project

Contents of the page

I can fix your Korean translation for you!

From Geumgye to Donggang
Photo by Steven S. Bammel

Along the Chirisan Doollae-Gil (3 of 6)

Articles from the Korean translation best-practices series

“Thanks for the prompt, professional service. This was a big help to us!”

Brian S. Rodgers (MA, LPC, NCC, Associate Dean of Residential Life, Indian Springs School – Indian Springs, Alabama)


I am a meticulous translator, and my language skills in both English and Korean are excellent. I am also very good at revising (which includes editing and proofreading, as explained below). For these reasons, my Korean translation revision service is among the best in the industry.

If you have a Korean translation that you’re not happy with, that you simply want to have checked and improved, or that you need to get certified for accuracy without going back to the original translator, I’ll finish the process so that you can utilize your translation to its full potential.

Based on your guidance to me about your target quality or budget, I will provide a final revised translation at any of several improvement levels. My methodology matches my effort to your needs and budget and guarantees you full value every time. My delivery also provides an objective basis on which to discuss and evaluate the edits without getting involved in unnecessary trust issues of how long the job took, or should have taken.

My explanation below is a little long. However, if you bear with me on the details, I think you’ll agree that my Korean translation revision service delivers the best value anywhere.

Two-part rate structure

Conventional revision

You may have worked with other revisers (also referred to as editors or proofreaders) who bill on a per-hour rate or a per-word rate. However, both of these approaches are flawed in important respects.

A per-hour rate has the advantage of potentially tying the effort by the reviser to the value delivered. However, with hourly billing, you can only trust that your reviser put in the time they said they did and hope that the value they provided roughly corresponds to the value you received. When it comes to getting good work, do you really care how long the task took (other than to keep your costs down)? You’re not paying for hours; you want value. Hourly billing incentivizes the revisor to take a long time but doesn’t necessarily result in a good job.

A flat per-word rate is not an ideal billing unit either, but for another reason. The quality of the original translation reveals itself in the course of the work, and any advance estimate of effort is approximate at best. This uncertainty results because the range of quality on translations produced by unknown translators varies tremendously, and the effort to improve those translations is unpredictable.

For this reason, setting a fixed per-word rate to a job in advance ignores the likelihood that the original translation will be better or worse than expected, and means that either the translator gets lucky and earns a windfall on an easy job, or is burdened with a fixed price on a project that takes longer than expected. Either way, per-word billing incentivizes the revisor to get the task done as quickly as possible, regardless of how much work is actually required to do a good job.

By making the above criticisms of conventional revision approaches, I’m not implying that a long-term relationship of trust with a reviser on either billing basis can’t work out well with ongoing work. But how often do you really need a Korean translation reviser?

My best-practice approach

My approach utilizes a two-part billing method. The first part of the charge is a fixed per-word rate that covers my effort to review the English target text and/or also review and understand the Korean source text. The second part is a variable per-word rate based on an industry metric called edit-distance that measures the number of keystrokes required to revise a document. In this way, the fixed charge covers the overhead of going through the text, and the variable cost reflects the actual improvement effort, which could be small or could be substantial.

My methodology incentivizes the reviser to dig into the document and make improvements. And with the transparent billing and tracked-changes file delivery (described below), those improvements are something you can judge objectively to know whether you’ve received value for money.

Conditional fixed-quote option

With my standard two-part billing, you determine in advance what the final quality needs to be. This puts you in control of the end result and is a considerable improvement over conventional revision, which leaves the final result to the reviser’s discretion.

However, my plan has one major disadvantage, which is that we won’t know the final cost until the job is complete. A lot of clients find it challenging to work with this uncertainty.

For this reason, I can provide you a fixed quote, provided you understand that I will adjust the final quality to match the agreed price. If your original translation is excellent, I can review and tweak it to a high-quality level and still stay within the budget. However, if the original translation is terrible (a much more common case, unfortunately, especially since I’m often given disguised machine translation to repair), then I will only be able to improve it to a limited extent.

There’s always a trade-off.

With my two-part billing, if you are willing to remain uncertain about the final quality, I can guarantee you a final cost. On the other hand, if you must know what the final quality will be in advance, then we’ll have to calculate the price after the project is finished, based on the improvements made.

Any approach requires a trade-off. With conventional revision, the reviser manages that trade-off. With my approach, you make the choice explicitly.

Don’t forget, though, that regardless of whether you choose the fixed-quality or fixed-price delivery, I will still provide you with complete transparency in the form of an itemized cost breakdown based on the edit-distance metric so that you always receive uniform value in an objectively measurable way. This is something that you will not get under the conventional revision approach.

“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)

Levels of revision

“Translation revision” is the catch-all term I use to cover both of my translation-improvement workflows. Each revision type requires a distinct effort and is geared to different scenarios. There is no industry consensus on the specific meanings for these revision-related terms. Therefore, I’ve provided the following definitions and descriptions to clarify how I use these words in the context of my service.

Translation proofreading

“Translation proofreading” refers to a monolingual review of the target text only. When proofreading, the only time I look at the source text is to clarify unclear or suspicious meanings in the target text. In other words, if you ask me to proofread a Korean-to-English translation, I will only read the English target looking for elements to fix. As long as I understand (or think that I understand) the target text, I won’t compare it against the Korean.

As a result of working only in the target text, the work goes quickly and you get a translated document free of problems that most monolingual readers might otherwise have noticed. On the other hand, proofreading does not guarantee that the job is free of mistranslations, omissions, or mistaken additions.

Translation editing

I use the term “translation editing” to describe a careful bilingual review of the target text against the source. By checking both texts sentence by sentence, I can find and correct everything I would have fixed in the proofreading process, and also identify mistranslations, omissions, and mistaken additions as well. It takes a lot longer to compare the source to the target on a bilingual edit than it does to perform monolingual proofreading. Therefore, translation editing costs more, both in terms of the higher fixed-rate charge, as well as the higher edit distance-based variable charge that reflects the extent of edits made.

Revision process

Translation revision approaches

To ensure my delivery conforms to your needs and expectations, I will ask you to tell me before I start which of the following approaches to follow in my work.

Detailed descriptions of the approaches

  • Technical Proofread/Technical and Stylistic Proofread – These two approaches involve only checking the target text for errors, or errors and style. I will not systematically compare the source text to the target text. For this reason, the fixed-rate component in the proofreading workflow is roughly half that of the editing workflow (which compares the source to the target). With proofreading, I ignore the source text unless something stands out as odd enough to warrant a check of the source text for verification, in which case I will fix applicable errors that I find. Keep in mind that I cannot certify a translation as accurate following only a proofreading workflow.
  • Light Edit – I will get the translation to a minimum acceptable level. You should expect the translation to be free of objective errors, and I can certify the translation as accurate. However, with a Light Edit, I won’t try to improve the style of the target text, and the translation may still read badly.
  • Careful Edit/Intense Edit – I include everything from the Light Edit, but also work on style. With a Careful Edit, I tidy up the style somewhat, but it is with the Intense Edit that I aim for my very best work. For these two editing approaches to be cost-viable, the original translation must already be pretty good. If I have to make too many edits, then the cost of revision will approach that of a complete retranslation, especially with the Intense Edit.
  • Essential Edit – This workflow is for clients who don’t care about typos and grammatical errors, as long as the translation makes sense and is correct. This approach is particularly relevant when a client wants to perform due-diligence on other Korean translation resources they are using or have used, or when getting a Korean translation certified for accuracy.

Important conditions and caveats

  1. With my Korean translation revising service (both editing and proofreading), the target text must be in editable format. I won’t revise a scan by marking it up by hand since this dramatically reduces process efficiency and provides no basis on which to measure edit-distance and deliver the transparency that is a hallmark of my service. If you furnish me with a scan, I may (for an additional charge) be able to convert the target text to editable format with optical character recognition (OCR) software or by retyping.
  2. I waive the variable charge on segment-level repetition, meaning that I bill repetition in a file or group of files only at the fixed rate. I do so regardless of how many changes I make to the repeated segments, and this results in significant cost savings on some documents.
  3. My basic revision service does not include any formatting effort. I perform the work in memoQ and then export the file back out in the same format that I received. I am available to provide formatting services for an additional fee.
  4. My basic revision service does not include a significant terminology effort. I am available to provide terminology management/glossary development for an additional fee.
  5. I measure edit-distance using the memoQ edit-distance function. I will be glad to provide you with specific technical details of the workflow on request.

“Hello Steven, Thank you for your follow-up email… Quick, 7/7 response, Delivery systematically earlier than promised… Very best regards”

Olivier Beltrami, Owner, Alter Ego Services (Software and Data Consulting Company – France)

Workflow and delivery

When you commission the job, you must indicate the revision approach you wish me to take or what your budget is. After I accept the project, I will probably ask for advance payment. Occasionally I reject revision jobs when my initial assessment of the original translation quality determines that the budget is too low for me to do an acceptable job.

I will handle the entire revision process in memoQ (my computer-assisted translation tool), and deliver the following to you:

  • the revised translation in the same format I received it from you.
  • a tracked-changes file in Microsoft Word showing the edits made (allowing you to verify that my edits were in line with our initial agreement)
  • an edit-distance analysis in memoQ, along with an itemized breakdown of the cost

“Steven… The translation looked good, and I’d like to thank you for being able to accommodate the short notice. I look forward to doing business with you again, hopefully sometime soon. With best regards,”

Tero Taipale (Project Manager, Intralink Korea – Seoul, Korea)

I can help you get your Korean translation to an acceptable, or even excellent, quality level.

My best-practice Korean translation revision (editing and proofreading) service improves your current Korean translation so that you can use it for your required purpose. My approach always delivers uniform value and does so in a transparent way. With my work, you will know that you received the value for which you paid.