Whether you’re studying Korean to understand K-dramas and K-pop or because you have plans of traveling to Korea soon, learning the Korean language definitely comes in handy. But even the most diligent learner can get stuck sometimes. Fortunately, there are Korean translator apps to get you unstuck.
But with so many apps for translating English to Korean, how do you know which one is best for you? This list will help you assess your options.
Why use Korean translator apps
- They help you learn the language faster. Most Korean translator apps work well in combination with Korean language learning apps. Mobile apps for translating Korean words and phrases that are more difficult will come in handy as you progress in your learning journey.
- They help verify the meanings of words. Learning a language doesn’t happen overnight. Even though I can read Hangul, I personally find Korean translator apps useful for words that I don’t know the meaning of. And if you’re a beginner, you’ll encounter lots of unfamiliar words which will be easier to understand through translator apps.
- They’re cost-efficient and convenient. Korean language books and Korean online courses are worthy investments but not everyone has the budget or the time for either. Most Korean translator apps, on the other hand, are free or fairly priced. And since it’s mobile, you can literally take and use it anywhere, anytime.
Translator apps are great for studying Korean, translating the menu or messages from your favorite K-pop idol, or understanding casual conversations. It must be said, however, that you would still need human translators for formal documents, long-form literature, and translating idioms, and slang.
What to look for in Korean translator apps
- Functionality: Do you need an English-Korean translator app for studying or for travel? Some apps give literal translations, which might be enough as you’re just starting to learn the language. But when traveling to Korea, you’ll need accurate translations for idioms and colloquial phrases. Knowing your needs will help you weed out your options.
- Accuracy: No translator app can replace a human Korean translator but some do come close. And while an app may give accurate translations for Spanish to English, for example, it doesn’t mean that translations from English to Korean will be just as accurate.
- Usability: Is the app easy to navigate? Is it easy on the eyes? Does it have other useful features aside from translations? Is the font readable? These things are worth considering when choosing which app to download.
- Price: Most Korean translator apps are free but some do charge minimum for additional features. And it’s up to you if you’re willing to subscribe to pay for these.
And without further ado, here are our hand-picked Korean translator apps that are available for you to download!
The best Korean translator apps
1. Google Translate
No list of translation apps is complete without Google Translate. It supports over 100 languages, with over 50 of those languages available offline including Korean. Aside from the standard text translation, it also supports camera and photo translations (through text recognition), handwriting, and voice input.
Although not the most accurate translator for Korean, Google Translate has improved over the years. Translations skew towards business or formal terms, which is good if you want to be more polite. If you want to sound casual or translate idioms, this may not be the best choice.
Google Translate is great for quick, verified translations, especially if you already have basic knowledge of Korean. If you’re a beginner in Hangul, Google Translate’s romanization will come in handy.
What I like about Google Translate:
- As it supports over 100 languages, it’s the only translator app you’ll need if you’re a frequent traveler
- Offline access
- Plenty of input choices – typing, writing, speech, conversation, text recognition, and voice input
- Good, simple interface; no ads to block your view
2. Naver Korean Dictionary
You’d be hard-pressed to find a list of Korean translator apps that doesn’t mention Naver Korean Dictionary. Combining a search engine, dictionary, translator, and learning app, this multifunction tool is a godsend.
Developed by Korean search engine Naver, this app gives accurate and complete Korean-English and English-Korean translations. Aside from the meaning and translation, it also provides plenty of variations and sentences to help you learn its usage. You can also record your (or someone else’s) voice, transcribe, and translate your speech.
The app also features grammar tips, idioms, words-of-the-day, and other sources for Korean language learning. One caveat, though, is that most text in this app is in Korean so it’s best for users who can read Hangul.
What I like about Naver Korean Dictionary:
- Highly useful and immersive app not just for translations but also for learning Korean
- Includes a lot of sample sentences and variations for better word context and usage
- Translations have audio so you can also hear the correct pronunciation.
While Naver Korean Dictionary offers a lot of functions, Papago focuses on translations. Also developed by Naver, it currently supports translations between 13 languages, including Korean.
Papago supports real-time text translations, text recognition, voice input, handwriting, and website translation. It can also translate offline. Apart from initial translation results, dictionary information is also available. A phrasebook also comes in handy for travelers.
Papago does have a leg up on Google Translate when it comes to accuracy; translations in Korean sound more casual and natural, and it can even translate some idioms. But it does have translations for honorific.
What I like about Papago:
- Simple user interface
- Plenty of input options
- Instant, accurate translations and a phrasebook for beginners and travelers
- In-screen translations via Papago Mini when you copy the text from your other apps
- Options to translate to both polite and casual form
4. Daum Dictionary
Developed by Kakao Corp., Daum Dictionary has a similar layout and function to the Korean Naver Dictionary. A word search yields different meanings, translations, and even romanization. If you enter a sentence, the app will break it down into separate words and give meanings and translations for each.
Daum does require Korean knowledge and is best for advanced learners. You can translate English to Korean or vice versa, or you can look up words in just Korean. You can also search for other languages; however, Daum’s coverage isn’t as wide as Naver’s.
What I like about Daum Dictionary:
- Highly immersive dictionary and translator if you already know Korean
- Simple, user-friendly interface
- Verified, accurate results
5. GreenLife Korean English Translator
GreenLife is one of the best Korean translator apps if you’re looking for a learning aid. Not only does it translate Korean to English (and vice versa) accurately, but it also gives sentence correction! How cool is that?!
GreenLife’s Translator is able to translate via text, speech, or conversation in multiple languages including Korean, English, Italian, French, German, and Japanese. It also features an offline dictionary, word of the day, crosswords, a phrasebook, and flashcards.
The app also shows what grammatical function a word has in a sentence. You can also speak a sentence and hear its translation, a feature that is perfect for travelers.
What I like about GreenLife Korean English Translator:
- Voice recognition for translations on-the-fly
- Translation history which you can send to yourself for studying later
- The ‘word of the day’ and in-app learning games that help build vocabulary
- Grammar lessons and sentence correction
For Android only
Price: free. Offers in-app purchases.
6. SayHi Translate
SayHi is an Amazon company that specializes in conversational translation – you simply have to speak into the microphone and it’ll translate your speech instantly.
The app is so easy to navigate. You literally just have to tap a button and start speaking to translate to Korean and other languages. And with over 90 languages and dialects, it has good coverage, too.
Most translations are also pretty accurate. Translations are clickable and you can copy or share it easily via email, SMS, or social media. You can also change between languages, choose male or female voices, and speed up or slow down the speech rate.
What I like about SayHi Translate:
- Simple, straightforward, uncluttered interface
- Quick and accurate translations via speech, perfect for conversing with someone who doesn’t speak your language
- Accurate text-to-speech
7. Microsoft Translator
Microsoft Translator has all the basic features of a good translator app – multilingual support, text and voice translation, text recognition, offline access, plus all the bells and whistles. But this app comes with an extremely useful and unique feature: multi-person conversation translation.
Using a 5-letter code, you can connect your device and join conversations with up to 100 people across languages. Then you can speak and the app will automatically translate it when you’re done. Not only does this app help you understand unfamiliar words and phrases, but also solves a lot of problems for multilingual teams.
This app also comes with phrasebooks which is great if you’re traveling to Korea. Pronunciation guides and alternate translations and meanings of a word are also provided. Pretty nifty, right?
What I like about Microsoft Translator:
- Accurate Korean translation from English
- Offline access
- Multi-participant conversation translation
- Clean interface
8. Klays-Development Korean-English Translator
Klays-Development’s has one of the most accurate Korean translator apps in the market. Its translations to Korean are provided in both oral and written versions that include standard and slang. This means you can get more accurate and contextual translations.
Being able to see more casual translations is helpful for those who plan to travel to Korea. However, this would be more beneficial for learners who already have knowledge on the Korean language and culture.
Aside from the instant translations via text and voice, you can also save some of your translations in a ‘favorites’ list. You can go back to these later and even access the list offline.
What I like about Klays-Development Korean-English Translator:
- Simple, user-friendly interface
- Casual speech translations
- Offline access for favorite translations
For Android only
Need professional Korean translators for technical and business documents? Flitto’s translation service might just be what you’re looking for.
Flitto is known for its direct human translators and crowdsourced translation service. Available in 173 countries and supporting 25 languages including Korean and English, the site offers crowdsourced translation and professional translation for different kinds of translation needs.
Users can request for translation in text, voice, and image formats. You can get translations within three minutes in average for short texts, and longer for professional documents. Proofreading service, as well as the basic text translation, is also available.
What I like about Flitto:
- Crowdsourced translations that give you more ‘human’ results
- Professional and accurate translations for technical and business documents
Price: Basic text translation is free. Rates for crowdsourced and pro services vary.
10. Korean Dict Box
Korean Dict Box by Evolly is one of the simplest Korean translator apps in the market but it gets the job done. Translate to Korean and vice versa in few, easy taps. Since this app also functions as a dictionary, it’s also great for those learning Korean.
Features include offline support, smart word suggestions and word corrections, audio pronunciations, a picture dictionary, and flashcards for memorization. It can even translate text directly from the web browser and over other apps. Korean translations are pretty accurate, too.
What I like about Korean Dict Box:
- Fuss-free accurate translations
- Useful features for language learners
- Offline access
- Can translate text from other apps
Price: free. Offers in-app purchases.
If you’re looking for multipurpose Korean translator apps, Yandex is a great choice. This useful app can translate between any of the 90 languages that it currently covers, which include Korean and English.
Besides the standard text translations, you can also get entire sites translated to Korean. The predictive typing function and automated language detection makes this a user-friendly app.
Text recognition and photo translations are available for some languages. However, this feature is currently not available for Korean.
What I like about Yandex.Translate:
- Build-in dictionary helps verify meanings.
- Predictive text saves time.
- Can translate entire sites
Technically, Tandem is not a translator app but a language exchange and language learning app. But I’ve included it in this list because it does have a translation feature.
Tandem lets you master any language by chatting with real people. This social and collaborative app has chat and video communication tools and correction features. Free translations are limited to only three messages per day so that users will stop and think before mindlessly translating everything.
What’s great about this is that you can translate a quick message when you’re not sure about a word or two in your sentence. When you run out of free translations, you can just try to work it out with your language partner using hints in each language. Or go for the pro membership which has unlimited translations.
What I like about Tandem:
- The social component makes learning Korean more fun
- Correction feature
- Quick and accurate albeit limited translations
Price: free. Tandem Pro costs $9.99/month, $6.66/month for three months, and $4.17/month if you sign up for a year. Comes with unlimited translations, no ads, and lets you find language partners in the same city.
And there you have it! You’re now equipped with the best Korean translator apps. No more getting lost in translation!