Learning a language

Months after its Netflix debut, “Squid Game” continues to encourage US viewers to learn Korean – Salon

Summary

Shortly after its international debut, Netflix’s hit series “Squid Game” spurred a newfound craze over honeycomb toffee and had viewers asking, “How much is 45.6 billion won?”

The show — which follows a group of indebted contestants who play a series of violent and deadly childhood games for an extravagant cash prize — also became the first non-English title to amass more than 100 million global viewers during its opening weeks. 

Now — over a month later — the ni…….

npressfetimg-1447.png

Shortly after its international debut, Netflix’s hit series “Squid Game” spurred a newfound craze over honeycomb toffee and had viewers asking, “How much is 45.6 billion won?”

The show — which follows a group of indebted contestants who play a series of violent and deadly childhood games for an extravagant cash prize — also became the first non-English title to amass more than 100 million global viewers during its opening weeks. 

Now — over a month later — the nine-episode survival drama is driving an enduring Korean language learning trend across the United States.

Language learning app Duolingo Inc. initially reported a 40% increase in beginner Korean language learners just 10 days after the show’s premiere on Sept.17. That percentage experienced a 10% hike during the past two weeks, raising the total to a whopping 50%.  

RELATED: The allure of Netflix’s  brutal “Squid Game” owes a debt to our predatory upbringing

“That’s for our new learners, so people who are coming to Duolingo for the first time and creating a new account with us in order to learn Korean,” explained Cindy Blanco, Duolingo’s senior learning scientist, in an interview with Salon.  

The app also reported new growth amongst their existing learners, individuals who are already enrolled in one or more of the app’s courses. Approximately 32% of these learners are now adding Korean lessons to their class itinerary.

“More current learners are trying out Korean now compared to last year,” Blanco said. “And we think that’s absolutely a specific link to ‘Squid Game’; it’s really becoming a phenomenon in pop culture.”

Language learning spikes, overall, are a common spectacle at Duolingo. Global interest in specific languages is heavily influenced by major international sporting, pop culture and social events, according to Blanco. In 2014, the app noted an increase in new Portuguese learners after the FIFA World Cup in Brazil garnered widespread attention. An overall rise in new language learners was also witnessed during the onset of the pandemic, when people worldwide were relegated to the confines of their own homes. And in May of this year, Duolingo took to Twitter to share the 56% surge in Italian language learners following Måneskin’s Eurovision victory.

What sets apart this “Squid Game”-fueled language spike from ones in the past is its singularity — many Duolingo students are learning Korean solely because of the show, according to Blanco. When asked why they chose to enroll in Korean classes, over 17% of learners cited “culture” as their main motivator.

“The media scene is certainly a part of culture,” Blanco said. “Language learning is [a] way to learn more about the media that they’re consuming . . . I think that’s a testimony to the power of pop culture and media.”

For 21 consecutive days, “Squid Game” maintained its No. 1 position on Netflix’s platform before being overtaken by “You.” Now, two months later, it’s still in the Top 10 as the sixth most-watched title in the U.S. 

The show’s influence and acclaim — …….

Source: https://www.salon.com/2021/11/14/squid-game-korean-language-duolingo-hallyu/