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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Korean Government Funds Groundbreaking Language Project

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

In a bid to revolutionize the world of translation and strengthen cultural ties, the Korean government has embarked on a groundbreaking project to build a comprehensive corpus data for translating Korean into Philippine Tagalog and seven other languages.


Breaking Language Barriers: Korea's Revolutionary Language Project Paves the Way for Cultural Unity and Economic Engagement


It is spearheaded by the National Institute of Korean Language and the first phase of the project commenced in 2021, resulting in a parallel corpus containing eight million words translated from Korean into Philippine Tagalog, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Indian Hindi, Cambodian, Russian, and Uzbek.

The second phase expanded the corpus to 10 million words, and phase three, currently ongoing from May to December 2023, aims to build an impressive 11.04-million-word corpus.



To disseminate information about the project, Dr. Jung Hee Lee (Kyung Hee University), Project Convenor, and Ji Yeon Jeon, Tagalog Researcher, of the "Korean-Foreign Language Parallel Corpus Project” visited the Philippines from September 3 to 6 and had multiple meetings with counterparts from various linguists and academic institutions.

In the long run, this project is seen as a significant step in narrowing the cultural gap and boosting economic engagements between the Philippines and Korea.

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“We are confident that the project will not only lay the foundation for the language data industry through the construction of a large-scale, high-quality parallel corpus but also contribute to promotion of mutual understanding and future-oriented win-win economic cooperation through vitalization of exchanges between countries,” noted Jung Hee Lee, Professor at Kyung Hee University and project convenor.

The corpus data from phase one is now accessible to the public for FREE here: https://corpus.korean.go.kr/request/reausetMain.do?lang=en.


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The project not only seeks to facilitate research and development in translation technology but also create an automatic translation tool that aims to bridge gaps in Korean-Filipino language research.

"Building Korean-Philippine Tagalog corpus is challenging yet very fulfilling as this will eventually stimulate more active Korea-Philippines mutual cooperation in the academe as well as other sectors," explained Kyungmin Bae, Director of the University of the Philippines Korea Research Center (UP KRC) and head of the project's review team.

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Beyond academia, this initiative holds the potential to benefit industries, allowing for more accurate translations and the creation of manuals for businesses.

As South Korean firms increase their business activities in the Philippines, thanks to a bilateral trade deal, the demand for precise translations is expected to soar.




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