With the release of Netflix's trending movie 'Squid Game', the number of Korean language learners increased
New users signing up for Korean language lessons on Duolingo in the UK increased by 76% and in the US by 40% in the two weeks after "Squid Game" premiered on Netflix.

Interest in learning Korean has skyrocketed since Netflix released the hit movie "Squid Game". This shows the growing global influence of Korean culture, from entertainment to beauty products.

Language learning app Duolingo says the series consists of nine episodes, in which people with a lack of money play childhood games. If they lose, they must die and if they win, they will win a prize of 45.6 billion won ($38.19 million). The film has motivated both beginners and those who are learning Korean to improve their language-related skills.

Just last week, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) added 26 new words of Korean origin to its latest edition, such as the word "hallyu" (Korean wave) - a widely used term. widely used to describe the global success of Korean music, movies, television, fashion, and food.

President Moon Jae-in welcomed the addition, calling "Hangeul", the Korean alphabet, the country's "soft power".

People from abroad participate in a Korean speaking contest organized by the Sejong Institute Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, on October 8. Photo: Reuters/ Dogyun Kim

Duolingo spokesman Sam Dalsimer said language and culture are intrinsically linked, and what goes on in popular culture and the media often influences trends in language learning.

"The growing global popularity of Korean music, movies and television is increasing the need to learn Korean," he said.

According to the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE), there are about 77 million Korean speakers worldwide. Pittsburgh-based Duolingo (Pennsylvania, USA) says it has more than 7.9 million active users learning Korean, the second fastest growing language after Hindi.

The King Sejong Institute, run by the Korean Ministry of Culture, had about 76,000 practitioners in 82 countries last year, up from 740 practitioners in three countries in 2007.

Milica Martinovic, a student at the King Sejong Institute in Russia, said she wants to be fluent in the Korean language so that she can watch K-dramas without subtitles and listen to K-pop without translation.

Catarina Costa, 24, from Portugal, who lives in Toronto (Canada), has noticed that the language has become more popular since she started learning it two years ago, when most of her friends did not. understand why.

"People get hooked when I say I'm learning Korean," said Costa, who is learning through the online learning platform Talk To Me In Korean. The platform, which has 1.2 million members in 190 countries, includes new words that appear in the Oxford dictionary, such as "kimbap" (rice wrapped in seaweed), "mukbang" (medium form) while eating) and "manhwa" (a genre of Korean cartoons and comics).

Sun Hyun-woo, founder of Talk To Me In Korean, said there were thousands of people who wanted to learn Korean even before the Squid Game or BTS craze, but they often taught themselves. "They're part of a 'global phenomenon' now. Learning Korean has become a much more enjoyable pastime," he said.

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