In Korea, like in many countries where English is not the lingua franca, there is an especially large gap when it comes to having the right words for an international audience. This language barrier comes in not only while traveling but also while conducting business internationally. More and more users are now relying on technology to help overcome language issues that they may face on a daily basis, while getting directions in a new city or a business trying to get a foreign investor on board.
This environment has given rise to a number of language, education and translation related startups that are taking novel approaches to ensuring that people always make the right first impression, regardless of whom they are speaking to. Here are a few Korean startups that understand this problem and have created products aimed at the most effective way to solve this dilemma.
Flitto is a crowdsourced translation platform that allows users access to all kinds of global content in their native language including text, voice and images. It works by linking those in need of translations with bilingual individuals all across the world. Flitto doesn’t just send the request out to one person; its algorithm extracts hundreds of translators who best fit to your request and then only a few hundred are extracted from the algorithm to receive the request. Completed translations come back to your device, and you are then able to choose which one you would like to select. Flitto also offers translations for a variety of content such as celebrities and brands' social media feeds, fun web comics, restaurant menus and e-commerce deals
Flitto currently supports 17 different languages (Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese).
‘Ediket’ is a web-based document editing system in English where users can make proofreading requests by selecting relevant categories and uploading content with instructions. This is instantly picked by one of the 300 qualified native English speaking editors available from various time zones based on an automatic notification. Requesters can leave review and choose to follow or block editors for their future requests and can also send one-on-one request to the editors they would choose to follow.
Available in in 4 languages - Korean, Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese, and English, Ediket can be used by students who need assistance, especially international students in countries like South Korea who seek help in English and professionals who would need help in business e-mails, mass online marketing including Cost per Click (CPC) ads and Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM) to post their ads effectively in English.
A unique English proofreading service ‘ChattingCat’, instantly converts broken English to native English. It has changed the way non-native English speakers learn to communicate in perfect English.
‘ChattingCat’ is a software that curates crowd-sourced community of native English speaking tutors with the non-native English speaking students or professionals that need help with English language. The best part, it provides instant responses unlike other English proofreading services in the market. ChattingCat is apt for casual users who would like to use social media to communicate with English-speaking friends to instantly translate their views into correct spoken English, students who would require standardized writing for assignments and school projects, and professionals who spend a lot of time editing their presentations, memos, or emails.
A team of leading language experts created Korea's first Adaptive Learning project, Santa. targeting students across the country. The first service offered (Santa for TOEIC) is a personalized learning solution targeting the TOEIC test market which about 200 million people within the country take per year. The app helps prepare students effectively in a mobile environment, using technology and existing data to identify their weaknesses and by providing recommendations on how best to rectify them.
BeNative, a Seoul-based edtech startup, has developed a global business English learning platform for use by corporations and customers throughout Asia and other geographies where English language learning is a priority. Currently the company serves clients in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. BeNative's business English courses are based on the video interviews and presentations of more than 100 American business leaders, including top executives from 3M, Box, and General Motors. in the videos, executives introduce their business models and share business strategies in English. The content is then used by language analysts to create lessons and exercises.
With a vision to connect entrepreneurial ecosystems East and West, these apps are making sure language does not become a hindrance to global growth. Similarly, with international travel on the rise, internet audiences are now consuming more and more international content and media. With the help of these innovative apps, language may no longer be a barrier in global communications.