Netflix success, ‘Round 6’ sparks global interest in learning Korean

Interest in learning Korean has increased since the release of Netflix’s hit series “Round 6”. Language learning services reported growth and highlighted a global obsession with South Korean culture, whether in entertainment or beauty products. Language learning app Duolingo alone said it has more than 7.9 million active users learning Korean, its second fastest growing language after Hindi.

Duolingo said the nine-episode thriller, in which broken contestants take part in deadly children’s games in an attempt to win $45.6 billion (about R$208.5 million), hopes to help beginners and existing students improve their skills, Duolingo said. They recorded a 40% increase in new users signing up to learn Korean in the UK and 40% in the US during the two weeks following the program’s launch.

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“Language and culture are inextricably linked, and what happens in pop culture and the media often influences language and language learning trends,” said Duolingo spokesman Sam Dulcimer. to learn the language.”

South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has established itself as a global entertainment hub with its vibrant pop culture, which includes films such as the seven-member boy band BTS and the Oscar-winning “Parasite”, which fights inequality. A comedy about deepening. “Minari: Pursuing Happiness” about a Korean immigrant family in the United States.

“Round 6”: South Korea’s latest cultural phenomenon Photo: Youngkyu Park / Netflix / AFP

This week, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) added 26 new words of Korean origin to its latest edition, including “haliyu”, or Korean wave, a word widely used in the global success of South Korean music, film, TV, fashion used to describe. and food. President Moon Jae-in this week welcomed the addition, the Korean alphabet, to the country’s “soft power” as “hangeul.”

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According to the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange, there are approximately 77 million Korean speakers worldwide. The King Sejong Institute, administered by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, had approximately 76,000 students in 82 countries last year, rapidly expanding from just 740 students in three countries in 2007. Milika Martinovic, a student at the institute in Russia, said she wanted to master the language so that she could watch K-drama without subtitles and listen to K-pop without having to translate the lyrics.

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Caterina Costa, a 24-year-old Portuguese woman living in Toronto, Canada, said the language has become more popular since she started learning it two years ago, when most of her friends didn’t understand why.

“People are fascinated when I say I’m learning Korean,” said Costa, who is using the study through the TalkToMeInKorean e-learning platform.

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The program has 1.2 million members studying in 190 countries, including words added to the OED, such as kimbap, a dish of cooked rice wrapped in seaweed; Mukbang, a video, often streamed live, shows someone eating a large amount of food and; A Korean style of manhwa, cartoons and comics.

“There were thousands of people who wanted to learn Korean even before the success of ‘Round 6’ or BTS, but they often studied alone,” said Sun Hyun-woo, founder of the local e-mail Talk to Me in Korean. Forum. Learning Korean with 1.2 million members studying Korean in 190 countries, who said: “They are now part of a global phenomenon: learning Korean has become a great hobby,” he said.

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Participants from around the world participate in a Korean speech competition organized by the Sejong Institute Foundation in Seoul
Participants from around the world take part in a Korean speech contest organized by the Sejong Institute Foundation in Seoul. Photo: Daehyun Kim / Reuters

About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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