Going global is always challenging, and it requires lots of time and effort. If you have decided to expand your business on the global level and think of entering the Korean market, this article is certainly for you. Down below, we are going to tell you more about localization in Korea.
Benefits of Localization
Simply translating the website to the Korean language with the help of automated tools won’t be enough because of the enormous language and cultural specifics. It will be recommended to turn for professional help. There are plenty of services like www.translate.com/localization that offer their clients a wide range of specialists with expertise and experience in localization. They know everything about the process to ensure all cultural differences and peculiarities are taken into account to avoid any possible misunderstandings and ambiguity.
Here is why you should localize for Korean market:
- Enhanced global presence;
- Wider client reach;
- Competitive advantage;
- Bigger revenue;
- Increased market share;
- Personalized clients experience;
- Minimized cultural sensitivity.
How to Effectively Localize for the Korean Market
Here are some important things that you should pay attention to before localizing your business for the Korean market.
Do Some Research
If you are planning to enter the Korean market, your first step should be to do some extensive research to identify Korean culture’s peculiarities. It will make your expansion more smooth and effective. Pay extra attention to the specific language nuances. Keep in mind that the language is quite difficult as it has 24 vowels and consonants that are combined into blocks that consist of 2-6 letters each.
One of the Korean language’s main peculiarities is a postposition, which is a concise word of a suffix usually placed after a noun or pronoun in a sentence. This word/suffix will define the overall syntax as well as relations between different parts of a sentence. That’s why it is so difficult to translate any content in Korean and convey the right meaning.
You should understand that automated translation won’t be a great solution if you want to achieve success in the Korean market. Taking into account that postposition depends on a context, and because of other language peculiarities, it is important to get the help of qualified professionals who are aware of all linguistic and cultural nuances. They will help you deliver the right message to your target audience.
Different Levels of Language Proficiency
Despite the fact that English is considered one of the widely spoken languages in the world, in Korea, the proficiency level varies, and not all people can speak English well enough to understand your website content. Therefore, localization is inevitable if you want it to be successful.
A professional translator who knows how to localize the website will do some research to identify what needs to be done (from content to site images changes). They do not just know the language on a decent level; they also know everything about cultural background and peculiarities. That’s why they will be able to adjust your content to come up with an easy-to-understand Korean version. It is the only way you can effectively sell your products or services there.
Add More Space
The Korean script usually takes way to much space, and it might negatively affect the overall website design and layout. Keep in mind that when all your content is translated, you will definitely have to adjust your website, so it looks appealing and not bulky. In some cases, you will have to think of deleting some less important chunks of information to ensure visitors have the best experience of browsing your website. Make it simple and don’t overuse fluffy wording, unnecessary images, and buttons.
Korean Linguistic Formalities
There are seven different formality levels that you should also be aware of when localizing your content for the local Korean market. Two of them are for the higher level, three of them are for the middle level, and the last two are for the lower level. Based on the level of familiarity between two people (in our case, it’s a merchant and a client), Korean people differentiate formal and informal speech.
When localizing all your content, you will need to communicate with a translator to agree on what level of formality you will use in your content strategy. If you have a prestigious business, for example, in healthcare or technologies, and your company works with international clients, the higher level of formality will be appropriate. In case you have a small business that sells products and work with young people, a lower level of formality can be applicable, but in case it’s the right fit for your brand image.
Keep in mind that the higher level of formality you choose, the more diverse the word choice on your website should be, as well as the structure of sentences you use.
You should understand that building local connections is of paramount importance for companies that want to become successful in Korea. You have to establish rapport with other local businesses and clients beforehand. Before launching the adjusted version of a website, it will be required to foster connections with the local Korean community.
In case you fail with this important task, you will have trouble creating a positive brand image and retaining your clients. Korean market is unique, and even the biggest companies in the world had challenges establishing their brands without a deep understanding of their local culture.
Entering the Korean market is extremely challenging due to some drastic cultural and language differences. However, localization will help you introduce your business and achieve success in the future. Consider this information carefully before you start tackling this important and ambitious task. Always keep in mind that the Korean market drastically differs from the American or European market, and understanding their culture first will let your business thrive.