Naver Translate: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Naver Translate emerges as a powerful translation tool, particularly for bridging the gap between English and Asian languages.

Naver Translate: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know
Naver Translate: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

We live in a globalized society. It’s not unusual to work with co-workers or clients that are on the other side of the world. You’re going to have to learn to speak their language - even when you’re explaining complex topics.

Luckily, with the right translation tools, the communication gap just got smaller.  One popular option right now is Naver Translate.

This tool has gained popularity and has surpassed 10 million monthly active users, supporting translation into 15 languages. While it’s very popular in Korea, it does well with European languages too.

While its Korean origins gives it an edge when it comes to Asian languages, Naver Translate may not be a good fit for you. That’s where this guide comes in - we’ll talk about a number of useful translation apps (including Naver Translate), as well as the features of Naver Translate itself. That way, you can make an informed choice.

Are you ready to take a closer look at how it works, who it’s best for, and how to use it?

Naver Papago, also known as Naver Translate
Naver Papago, also known as Naver Translate

Introducing Naver Translate

Naver Translate, also recognized as Naver Papago, stands as a robust multilingual machine translation cloud service under the ownership and operation of the South Korean internet giant Naver Corporation. Since its launch in 2017, it has rapidly asserted itself as a prominent player in the global translation market, gaining substantial popularity in East Asia, especially for its adept handling of Asian languages.

Utilizing advanced technologies like deep learning and neural networks, Naver Translate ensures the delivery of precise and nuanced translations. It goes beyond literal translation, extending support to idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. This versatile tool covers various translation needs, offering services for web and document translation, image translation, and even facilitating real-time voice recognition for seamless conversations.

There’s a free and a paid version.

What Makes Naver Translate Different?

There are a lot - and I mean, a lot - of translation tools out there. And let’s face it: they aren’t all that different. Naver Translate has a competitive advantage though - namely, it’s

proficiency in translating Asian languages.

When it comes to languages like particularly Korean, you can’t beat this translator for accuracy. This makes it a preferred choice for users dealing with languages that have intricate characters and contextual intricacies.

There are other standout features too (like image translation, which allows users to translate text directly from images captured by their device's camera). It’s perfect when  you’re traveling and need to translate signs, menus or road names.

Naver Translate also places a strong emphasis on context-aware translations. When we talk about context, we’re usually talking about the surroundings or circumstances that give meaning and relevance to something.

Language has its own context. There are idioms, funny phrases, slang words, and cultural references that make all the difference when you’re translating something. A native French speaker will call “un chat un chat” (i.e. a cat a cat) but an American calls a spade a spade.

Imagine translating a piece of work from French to English, saying, “Let’s call a cat a cat and face the matter.” It just won’t sound right to a native English speaker!

Naver Translate takes contect into account, so that the words aren’t just translated accurately, but naturally.

How Does Naver Translate Work?

Two methods make up the foundation of Naver Translate: SMT and NMT.  These two abbreviations stand for statistical machine translation (SMT) and neural machine translation (NMT).

SMT is like using a dictionary, good for basic understanding. It has a huge library of translated texts in different languages. When you give it a new sentence, it compares it to all the sentences in its library and picks the one most similar in structure.

NMT is like having a conversation, giving you deeper meaning and flow. It uses artificial intelligence to understand the relationships between words, like a student studying grammar and vocabulary. This lets it build its own "language brain" and understand the meaning of sentences, not just the structure.

By combining these two methods, Naver Translate delivers content that feels natural and remains accurate.

Is Naver Translate Accurate?

Overall, user reviews and app store ratings indicate that Naver Papago is among the best translation apps available. No translation app is 100% accurate, but it’s widely used and known to be accurate, especially when it comes to Asian languages.

Remember that different tools may have varying strengths and weaknesses. What works for one person or business may not work for another.

How to Use Naver Translate to Translate Web Pages

Translating a webpage with Naver Translate
Translating a webpage with Naver Translate

Naver Translate is easy to use - via the website or the app. Once you’ve installed the app, you just have to find the button at the bottom of the homepage to translate the contents.

Paste the URL of the website you want to translate into the provided field, select the language you want to translate the website into from the dropdown menu, and click the "Translate" button (or press Enter).

The translated website will open in a new tab or window, and you can browse the content just like you would any other site. One caveat: not all of the elements will be perfectly preserved or translated. If you want to do a quick comparison, you can use the browser's back and forward buttons to move between the original and translated versions of the website.

How to Use Naver Translate to Translate Documents

Translating documents with Naver Translate

Naver Translate supports a few different file formats, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Text files. You can also translate certain PDFs. Here’s how:

1. Click on the "Document" tab on the Naver Translate website or app.

2. Upload your document by clicking the "Choose File" button or dragging and dropping it into the designated area.

3. Choose the source language of the document from the dropdown menu.

4. Select the language you want to translate the document into.

5. Click the "Translate" button to start the translation process.

Once the translation is complete, you'll be able to review the translated text and even make minor edits. Afterwards, you can download the translated document in a supported format (e.g., .docx, .txt) by clicking the "Download" button.

Additional Translation Features of Naver Translate

Besides its main functions, Naver Translate has extra features to make the user experience better and improve translation accuracy. These added features make the translation process more detailed and refined.

One standout feature is Naver Translate's ability to handle different ways of speaking and informal language effectively. It recognizes small differences in how people talk, especially in casual expressions or regional ways of speaking, making the tool more accurate. This adaptability makes Naver Translate a helpful tool for users dealing with different language styles beyond formal situations.

Naver Translate includes a full set of special word lists related to specific areas of knowledge. This helps the tool understand words used in specific industries, like law, medicine, or technology, where using the right words is very important. Having these special word lists ensures that translations are very accurate, especially in these specific fields.

How To Get The Most Out of Naver Translate

If you’ve evaluated all of the options and decided that Naver Translate is the one for you, it’s time to make it count! Here’s how:

Essential Tips For Using Naver Translate

  • Choose the right mode: Papago offers various translation modes like text, voice, conversation, webpages, documents, and images. Pick the one that best suits your needs.
  • Utilize Papago Pro: Upgrade for advanced features like professional-grade translations, technical term dictionaries, and unlimited document translations.
  • Personalize your experience: Customize the voice speed and language in conversation mode, save favorite phrases, and create custom glossaries for specific fields.
  • Check for updates: Stay updated with the latest features and bug fixes by updating Papago regularly.

Text Translation Tips For Naver Papago

  • Proofread: While Papago is accurate, it's still machine translation. Always proofread your translations, especially for nuances and idioms.
  • Break down long sentences: Papago performs better with shorter sentences. For complex texts, divide them into smaller chunks for better accuracy.
  • Use context: Provide context when translating ambiguous phrases or terms.
  • Dictionary tool: Use the built-in dictionary to clarify meanings and find synonyms.

Voice Translation and Naver Translate

  • Speak clearly: Pronounce words clearly and avoid background noise for accurate voice recognition.
  • Use short phrases: Keep your spoken sentences concise for better translation.
  • Pause between speakers: Give a moment of silence between speakers in conversation mode for accurate translation.
  • Adjust voice speed: Modify the voice speed in Papago settings if necessary.

Conversation Translation and Naver Translate

  • Mute during pauses: Mute the microphone when not speaking to avoid unnecessary translation of background noise.
  • Use headphones: Using headphones can improve voice clarity and reduce background noise.
  • Face each other: In face-to-face conversations, position yourself and the other person close to the microphones for optimal results.

Bonus Tips for Using Naver Translate

  • Explore Papago Kids: Use the Papago Kids app for fun and interactive language learning for children.
  • Join the Papago community: Connect with other Papago users on the official forum for tips and discussions.
  • Report inaccurate translations: Help improve Papago by reporting inaccurate translations through the app's feedback feature.

Unless you need to translate an Asian language, there are comparable (or better) tools out there than Naver. Let’s take a look:

Monica Translate stands out as a sophisticated translation tool, utilizing a dual-engine system that incorporates cutting-edge Neural Machine Translation (NMT) techniques, which are further polished by human experts. This combination results in near-flawless translation outcomes, particularly excelling in technical or creative content pairs such as English-French and English-German.

What sets apart is its unique approach to translation—it's akin to having a multilingual AI companion equipped with a thesaurus and a poet by your side. This tool not only focuses on linguistic accuracy but also strives to capture the nuanced and expressive aspects of language. Users can anticipate a high level of precision, especially when dealing with complex or artistic content.

DeepL Translate

DeepL Translate
DeepL Translate

DeepL has earned a reputation as a technical maestro in the realm of translation tools. Its strength lies in advanced AI algorithms that deliver accurate and fluent translations, particularly excelling in European languages. The tool boasts a sleek interface and offers features such as synonym suggestions and context-aware translation.

This translation powerhouse is a dream for users dealing with scientific papers or technical documents. Its ability to navigate and interpret technical terminology ensures that the translations maintain accuracy and relevance in specialized fields. However, users may find its performance comparatively less satisfying when dealing with less common languages or creative content that demands a more nuanced approach.

Bing Translate

Bing Translate
Bing Translate 

Developed by Microsoft, Bing Translate takes the spotlight as an everyday hero in the translation landscape. This free tool is designed for seamless integration with Office and Bing Search, making it a convenient and accessible choice for users embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem. Bing Translate offers a vast selection of languages, enhancing its versatility.

While the accuracy of Bing Translate can vary depending on the language pair, it serves as a reliable companion for quick, everyday translations. Its strength lies in its simplicity and ease of use, making it a valuable asset for individuals who require instant and straightforward translations in various scenarios.

Yandex Translate

Yandex Translate
Yandex Translate

Yandex Translate takes on the role of the Cyrillic champion, excelling in translating languages that utilize the Cyrillic script, with Russian being a notable focus. Developed by the Russian search engine Yandex, this tool demonstrates proficiency in translating between Russian and other European languages.

While Yandex Translate stands out in its specialized domain, particularly for users dealing with Cyrillic languages, its performance may be less reliable when handling less common languages. It can be likened to a friendly neighborhood expert with significant expertise in specific regions but limited experience in others.

Google Translate

Google Translate
Google Translate

Google Translate has become the ubiquitous language bridge, spanning over 100 languages and offering free, instant translations for web pages, documents, and casual conversations. Its broad accessibility and simple interface make it a global go-to for basic language understanding.

While Google Translate excels in its sheer reach, it may encounter challenges with complex nuances and less common languages. It serves as a valuable tool for quick and fundamental language comprehension, making it an indispensable resource for a diverse range of users across the globe.


Naver Translate emerges as a powerful translation tool, particularly for bridging the gap between English and Asian languages. Leveraging advanced technologies like SMT and NMT, it delivers accurate and nuanced translations, even capturing the intricacies of idioms and colloquialisms.

Bear in mind, though, that while Naver Translate shines in some areas, users with specific needs or focusing on less common language pairs might find other tools like, DeepL, or Bing Translate more suitable

The choice boils down to your individual translation requirements. So, dive into the fascinating world of machine translation and explore the tool that best unlocks your global communication potential. Remember, translation bridges not just languages, but cultures and understandings, bringing us closer in an ever-connected world.

About The Author

Estelle Nagel has worked in the tech sector for 15 years, including eBay and Adevinta. You can find her on LinkedIn and X.

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