There are a number of different apps out there for translation of Korean to English and vise versa.  When it comes to apps for translation, none of them work perfectly.  But some do work better than others.  With that being said, today I am going to review from Naver Corp called Papago Translate.  This app does not only English to Korea, but also does Chinese and Japanese.  Today’s review will be based on using this app on Android using a OnePlus 2 phone that uses Android 6.0 operating system.

Use of Romanization

This will be one of the big things I check for with any app.  From my own experience, and the experience of others, using romanization of Korean tends to slow down the learning process for most people.  The reason is due to the fact that the eyes of English speakers are trained to look at romanized letters before anything else.  This means that many will look at the romanized Korean instead of looking at the actual Korean. However, there is no romanization in this app that I’ve seen.  This allows one to see the Korean word without distraction.  In the long term, this is best for most users to learn Korean faster.

Translation of Words and Phrases

The reason why some translators are better than others is because some are good for translating words only, and others are good at translation phrases only.  So how does Papago stand up for translating words?  It does very well.  Some words in Korean can have multiple meanings.  This can make it hard when you use a translator to know what is the actual meaning of the word.  But my experience with Papago is that the translation is accurate.

But what about translation of phrases?  If you’ve ever tried to translate an email from Korean to English via a translation app, you know that many times it’s hard to understand what was being said.  Some words don’t get translated, while other words may not get translated properly.  But the test I did with Papago went very well.  The email message that I selected came out very clear and easy to understand.  I was impressed with accurate the English translation came out.

Speed of Translation

When looking at the reviews of this app, one complaint was the speed of translation.  I can say that I did notice that this app sometimes did go slower when it came to translating words.  When speaking into the app, sometimes the wrong word would appear before the right one would, causing a delay in translation.  How important is speed in translation?  The answer will depend on you.  For some, fast translation is vital because of the situations they are in.  They want to communicate as fast as possible, meaning this version of the app would bother them.  However, many who work with different languages will tell you that accuracy means more than speed.  I tend to agree with this.  I would rather an app take its time and get the translation right the first time, instead of being wrong and having to go back and do the job again.  So while the app could be faster, the accuracy makes up for it in my opinion.

Overall Thoughts

If you are concerned about speed, this app can will probably get faster over time with an update.  That being said, the app is accurate and gets the job of translating done very well.  It is easy to read and easy to use for those familiar with using translation apps.  In the Google Play Store, this app gets a 4.6 out of 5 star rating from users.  I agree with this rating.  Naver Papago Translate will stay on my phone and I will recommend it to others as well.  If you would like to download this app to your Android device, you can do so by clicking here.

As always, if you have an app or product that you would like for me to review, you can reach me at contact@waygookinway.com.