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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Bridging Two Countries Through Korean-Filipino Languages

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

In a world witnessing a growing demand for seamless language translation in politics, economics, and culture, the Korean language is making strides to bridge communication gaps with Philippine Tagalog, a language previously underrepresented in translation technology.

Breaking Language Barriers for Stronger Korea-Philippines Ties I Photo: UP Korean Research Center

Spearheaded by the National Institute of the Korean Language, the Korean-Foreign Language Parallel Corpus Project is breaking new ground in linguistic data exchange.

The significance of this endeavor cannot be overstated. The project addresses the need for improved translation quality, particularly in languages like Philippine Tagalog, which have seen vibrant economic and cultural exchanges with Korea but suffer from limited linguistic resources.

The primary goal of the project is to build a substantial parallel corpus, enhancing automatic translation technology for more accurate and culturally appropriate communication.

The project's first phase, launched in 2021, successfully constructed an 8-million-word parallel corpus translating Korean into eight languages, including Philippine Tagalog. Building on this achievement, which is currently the third phase as of May 2023, it has started setting to expand the corpus to a massive 11,040,000 words.

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This increase in linguistic data promises to foster cultural, diplomatic, and trade relations between Korea and the Philippines.

The direct exchange of data between these languages is expected to bring them closer to the cultural nuances and local contexts of each country, ultimately narrowing the cultural divide.

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Professor Jung Hee Lee, Project Director, and Ji Yyeon Jeon, a Philippine Tagalog researcher, are leading a delegation on a visit to the Philippines from September 3 to 6 to further advance the project's objectives.

They are engaging in a series of meetings and talks with key stakeholders in linguistics and language studies, including the UP Department of Linguistics, UP Korea Research Center, and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF).

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The project's potential impact is immense. It promises to facilitate more active exchanges in trade, business, public affairs, defense industry, and education between Korea and the Philippines.

Filipino students learning Korean and Korean students studying Tagalog are expected to benefit from reduced language barriers, enhancing their job competitiveness in the global market.

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As the delegation continues its meetings and discussions with various stakeholders in the Philippines, the Korean-Philippine Tagalog Parallel Corpus Project takes another step forward, fostering stronger cultural and economic ties between these two nations.

The collaboration is poised to make communication more accurate and culturally sensitive in an increasingly interconnected world.

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