SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – Kakao, the corporation behind the eponymous messaging service Kakao Talk, has created a translation service that can handle both informal and formal Korean input, the first of its kind developed in South Korea.
Formal or polite Korean is referred to as “jondetmal” or “nopimmal” and is employed when addressing social superiors – parents, work superiors, older individuals – and strangers. Korean is categorized into seven different speech levels of varying formality, and honorifics feature prominently as well.
During a press conference held at its Hannam-dong office in Seoul, Kakao informed media present that its Kakao I AI platform-integrated translator will be released by June. The technology will be capable of processing both spoken- and written-style Korean.
Kakao further revealed that the translator will eventually be incorporated into its other services including Kakao Talk, Kakao TV and its AI speaker, Kakao Mini.
Of particular note is the plan to use the translator to generate subtitles for video content.
A company director said of the potential subtitling ability, “Though its output won’t be as good as that of a human’s, it should be sufficient for viewers to understand without difficulty.”
Currently only available at translate.kakao.com, Kakao promised that an app version is coming soon.
Languages supported will also increase from just English to include Japanese and Chinese.
A company spokesperson said testing had revealed its Korean to Chinese and vice versa translation quality was superior to that of competitors, while its translation of Japanese was comparable to that of the best services.