Happy Hangul Day: Indian educator for Korean language credits 'Hallyu' for boost in learning

Korean has become one of the most sought-after languages in the world.

Updated on Oct 09, 2022   |  03:09 PM IST  |  466.8K
Happy Hangul Day
Happy Hangul Day

“Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” Director Bong Joon Ho said during his speech at the Golden Globes regarding his Oscar-winning movie Parasite. People internationally seem to have taken his statement to heart, as we witness an augmented audience inclination towards 'everything Korean'. On Hangul Day or The Korean Language Day, which is celebrated on October 9, we walk through the core of it all.

Korean Wave:
Hallyu continues to spread its charm around the world. And it's no more a secret that people are gaining an interest in learning the language which is at the base of it all. With the Korean wave taking charge of an ever-growing audience that is at its disposal, the need for getting over the tiny barrier of subtitles has become the primal force in guiding this generation of foreign language learners.

From the on-ground specialist:
During a conversation with Era, a Korean language educator for over 6 years now, we went into the details of the hows, whats, whens, and whys of one of the most favored lingos of today. Having taught close to 4000 students since first starting her professional career in 2019, she has a close understanding of the current scenario and puts the onus on the Korean wave for growing interest. Moreover, factors like the undeniable presence of the BTS phenomenon and the widely sensational K-dramas like Squid Game have played into the hands of an audience eager to learn. Era thinks that the risen stake of the media is one of the other reasons to have brought about the change.

Love for the language:
Be it learning from the comfort of your home or taking it to a professional level, the Korean language has become a source of knowledge for millions as it eases people into this country with a rich cultural base. While European speech has been a go-to for years as Asians seek western culture, the scales are seeing a tip on the other side. However, it has not been a sudden change and surely not a precedent as baby steps have turned into a global shift, over many people’s efforts. This has resulted in courses being begun by universities and India too is a frontrunner as an increasing number of colleges are showing a liking towards having Korean as one of the languages they offer.

Expanding curiosity:
While dealing with a crowd of her own that has grown from 7-8 per batch in 2019 to 40-50 now in her 4 batches per month, an exponential rise in the participation has made Era seek it as her full-time career as she pursues her masters in the language. Her trick? Making it personal and bite-sized. While English remains one of the most used modes of communication for her, she makes use of Hindi to break down the grammar and articulation of her curriculum. The demographics also play a big part and a shallow peek might show teenagers at the forefront of the curve, however, according to her, it is the people in their 40s and 50s who are as enthusiastic to strengthen their basics who make the most out of this opportunity. Social media and a swelling online presence bring them closer to bridging the gap between students and educators.

The gains:
Korean learning has not only helped people find a purpose in life, much like Era who has made a career out of it, but has also presented them with countless opportunities and the escalating demand for Korean translators and teachers would be a clear indication of the same. Heightened confidence, employment, immigration, getting a degree, or even for pure joy- the deep dive has benefitted many multifold.

“Language contains the essence of the country”, our talk concludes with a cheer for people who wish to start but are unaware and in need of guidance. A lot of free material online can be their trusted source with enough research and dedication needed to make it work. With an ocean full of charming content awaiting your involvement, Hangul- the Korean alphabet, may as well be your next challenge, as creator King Sejong had probably wished!

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