Tutoring services reported that since the launch of Netflix’s hit series Squid Game, the interest in learning the Korean language has risen. The nine-episode thriller, in which highly indebted participants compete in deadly challenges to win nearly 40 million USD, has enjoyed a far-reaching success. While enjoying the ride, viewers seemingly want to know more about the original language of the show, to enhance immersion.
Earlier this week, Oxford English Dictionary (OED) added more than 25 new Korean words to its latest edition, including “Hallyu” meaning Korean Wave. It is a collective term used to refer to the growing obsession with Korean culture, ranging from entertainment to cosmetics.
The new drama is a part of that mania that has inspired more folks to learn a new language as well.
Squid Game Brings More Users to Language Learning Apps
According to released data, there is more than 40% growth in new Korean language learners in the US as compared to last year. This dramatic rise is reportedly linked to the widespread popularity of Squid Game.
Language learning app, Duolingo also shared how its users were increasingly attracted to the Korean language.
Duolingo also reported that 7.9 million active users are learning Korean, which has become their second-fastest growing language after Hindi.
The app told the media that language and culture are intrinsically connected so what happens in the media or pop culture, influences language and sometimes language learning. The global recognition of the Korean entertainment industry has increased the demand for learning Korean. According to reports, there are more than 75 million Korean speakers around the world.
The Korean Wave
South Korea has become a global entertainment hub due to its vibrant pop culture, dramas, and music. Especially the boy band BTS and an Oscar award-winning movie, ‘Parasite’. Here are some of the best Korean TV dramas that people were crazy about.
However, the exceptional rise in the popularity of Korean culture started well before BTS or Squid Game arrived on the scene. It turned out that Hallyu was not only a word but a top priority of the Korean government. It involved Americanizing itself and becoming one of the very few exporters of pop culture. Reportedly the Hallyu surge began in 2000 when a 50-year ban on the pop culture exchange between Korea and Japan was lifted.
South Korean broadcast authorities started to send delegates to other countries for the promotion of its TV programs and cultural content. The country went from being one of the poorest of the 20th century to an economic giant in the 21st. According to reports, the GDP of South Korea in 1965 was even less than today’s Ghana and now it is the 12th largest economy in the world. Due to the Hallyu effect, the Korean economy got a 12 million USD boost in 20 years, as per 2019 reports.