34 Years of Redefining Asian Localization at Hansem Global

Thirty four years, countless languages, and one mission: to make information not just accessible but truly understandable for people everywhere. From developing our first fax machine manual to pioneering global communication solutions, this is Hansem’s story of bringing high-quality user experiences to consumers globally.

Hansem Global has navigated the evolving landscape of language, culture, and technology to become one of the top language services providers in Asia. What started in a modest Korean office is now one of the fastest-growing LSPs in the world, serving clients in industries from electronics to medical devices to gaming and beyond.

Hansem Begins: Revolutionizing Technical Communication in Korea

Our story starts with our founder and CEO Yang Sook Kim, the first technical writer in Korea to craft user manuals in English.

Kim was a trailblazer who introduced the concept of Technical Communication (TC) to Korea. In the 1980s and 1990s, this idea was new there. Even large companies relied on engineers, not professional writers, to draft manuals. As a result, these often were simple translations or slight modifications of existing specification or engineering documents, lacking in clarity and compliance with international standards.

Kim’s breakthrough came with creating user manuals for Samsung‘s first export fax machines, marking her as Korea’s inaugural TC specialist. She recognized early on that as Korean products gained global traction, the demand for professionally crafted manuals that met international norms and addressed product liability concerns would grow. This insight was pivotal at a time when product manuals were an afterthought for many Korean manufacturers, who prioritized product development over clear user instructions and consumer experiences.

In 1990, certain of the critical need for clear and accurate technical documentation, Kim founded Hansem, Korea’s first specialized TC service. Her vision was clear: to elevate the standard of user manuals, ensuring they were not only accurate but also provided the best possible user experience in all languages.

From Samsung Manual Projects to Global Expansion

Kim’s foresight proved invaluable—Hansem soon gained notice and began translating manuals for Korean electronics giant Samsung, the start of a lasting partnership that continues to the present day. Over the decades, Hansem has created multilingual manuals for countless Samsung Electronics products, starting with fax machines and moving on to wireless and wired telephones, pagers, city phones, digital cameras, and mobile phones.

Word spread, and in 2008, based on our reputation alone, Canon came to Hansem for help developing and localizing their user manuals.

By 2014, we were expanding with offices into other countries: first China, then Vietnam. Our Vietnamese office is now the official Vietnamese translation partner for eCommerce giant Alibaba, meeting their exacting localization and language quality requirements.

Adapting to a Shifting Localization Landscape

Mobile App manuals

As manufacturing capabilities have become more standardized, manufacturers are now focusing more on the additional benefits and product experiences they can offer to consumers to differentiate themselves. Providing accurate and user-friendly information on how to use products has become a crucial way for global businesses to stand out in a crowded market, and we’ve been leading the charge in creating innovative content that offers a top-notch user experience.

One of the key reasons Hansem has continued to grow and expand over the past thirty years is our ability to quickly adapt to a changing global market. We may have started out localizing paper manuals for consumer products, but we’re constantly searching for innovative solutions that take advantage of the latest technology and modern user content experiences.   

As smartphones and online access reshaped how people find and use information, we adapted by creating digital user manuals for Samsung and others. This was a strategic choice that helped our clients save money and easily update content. Our commitment to staying ahead means always finding better ways to deliver information, whether through apps, videos, or online guides.

We’re also constantly innovating our own translation processes to incorporate new technologies like translation management systems (TMS) to leverage past content, automation to streamline workflow, and of course, AI-powered machine translation (MT) to boost productivity and handle massive volumes.

Core Services and Innovative Solutions

Our foundational offerings include document translation, eLearning localization, and comprehensive gaming localization. We operate in industries such as life sciences, gaming, manufacturing, IT, marketing, legal, and technology. We specialize in handling large-scale projects within tight deadlines, using advanced automation and AI (where applicable) to enhance process efficiency and accuracy. Our commitment to rapid translation services and our capability to operate across multiple time zones help us meet the urgent needs of our clients with smooth project execution and continuous support.

Beyond that, we’re known for developing innovative solutions that improve results for our clients and their customers. Here are some examples:    

As consumers gravitated to consuming more information on their phones, we developed an in-house solution to convert an In-Design manual to an HTML manual. Samsung has been using our solution to push their embedded manuals for their smartphones.

In-Design to HTML: Making Manuals Mobile

We introduced an innovative program aimed at increasing brand loyalty and product engagement that transformed Samsung’s customer education. Our focus on creating an immersive learning environment, backed by ergonomic design and comprehensive research, resulted in an educational experience highly praised by consumers.

Beyond Manuals: E-Learning Localization, Life Sciences Localization, and So Much More

As we’ve grown, we’ve also diversified. We’ve built partnerships with companies involved in everything from social media (Meta),  e-learning localization (Coursera, Udacity) to auto manufacturing (Hyundai) to life sciences, and more. 

Excellence in Asian Localization

Hansem started out as a small, two-person operation with a single office in Korea. Thirty four years later, we’re the number one LSP in Korea according to CSA, the 16th largest LSP in Asia-pacific, and one of the top 100 in the world!

In addition to the Korean office, Hansem Global now has offices in the USA, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan, Spain, and Argentina.

Our commitment to quality and security is reflected in the ISO certifications we hold, including: 

What the Future Holds for Hansem Global

As we look to the future, Hansem Global remains committed to navigating the ever-changing digital landscape with agility and foresight. Our dedication to innovation, quality, and meeting our clients’ evolving needs is unwavering. We’ll continue to lead in localization and technical communication, adapting to new technologies, expanding our global presence, taking our ethos of quality and innovation into new industries, and refining our services to offer unmatched solutions.

With our expertise, innovative approaches, and commitment to excellence, we’re equipped to help you connect with audiences worldwide. Reach out to learn more and come grow with us!