Patients' responses to quality-of-life questionnaires are dependent on the cultural milieu. The aims of this study were to translate the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life questionnaire, which was developed in the West, into Korean and to validate the translated questionnaire in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Translation of the original questionnaire was performed according to accepted linguistic validation guidelines. Korean patients had no difficulty understanding the questions. Data from the translated questionnaire were well correlated with results from the SF-36 questionnaire and reflected the stress status of the patients as measured on the Perceived Stress Scale. Some questionnaire items seemed, on first analysis, to be problematic in this subset of patients, but these results may relate, in part, to cultural differences between Korea and the West. We conclude that the translated questionnaire is reliable and offers an accurate measure of quality of life for Korean patients with irritable bowel syndrome.