10 In Korean learning journey (:

‘in style’ foreign languages

유행 (流行)

It seems that in the studies of foreign langauges, Korean seems to be in vogue right now. 5 years ago in Singapore, you will probably not know anybody whose interested in the language. But right now, I’m sure you know at least one person who’s taking up the language right now.

10 years ago, it was the time of the Japanese craze (哈日) in Singapore. Now, the korean wave is strong and ongoing. Jpop, J-drama, animation, manga seems to be the craze of yesteryear. Now, you will be OUT of it if you don’t watch any korean drama. It’s strange how it even has an impact on foreign language learning.

Case in point:

Last year, at the foreign language shelves in my neighbourhood library, you can find a complete collection of Korean textbooks. You will be hard pressed to find something on Japanese there – they have all been borrowed. Today when I went to the library again, there were quite a number of Jap books there, but all the elementary and intermediate Korean books were all taken.

I’m really happy to meet so many fellow korean learners through this blog (the number seems to be growing!). But I really hope that this will be more than just a passing fad and that through k-dramas, more people will come to appreciate the beauty of the korean langauge.


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  • Reply
    11 June, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    In view of the growing interest in Korean culture, our PM (even our PM is aware of the trend) has personally made a request to the Korea President at the last Korea-ASEAN Summit to set up a culture centre in Singapore. Of course, he agreed obligingly ^^

    • Reply
      14 June, 2009 at 7:52 PM

      wow i didn’t know that! It will be really cool to have a cultural centre here.

      it will be the best if they have korean studies in our unis 😀

  • Reply
    12 June, 2009 at 9:26 AM

    When I lived in Singapore in the mid 90’s it was very difficult to find a Korean language teacher. I’m glad to hear that there are now more people interested in learning about the culture and also the language.

    • Reply
      14 June, 2009 at 7:54 PM

      good korean language courses are still quite uncommon (and expensive) here. but it’s a start! (:

  • Reply
    13 June, 2009 at 11:05 PM

    Absolutely. Though in Europe Japanese still seems to be the No. 1, in Hungary there´s especially huge demand for Chinese, which is I think due to the huge presence of Chinese companies in Hungary and the numerous Chinese population as well. On the other hand, recently I have obeserved a growing interest in Korean, mainly due to music&movies, but there are also many Korean companies as well. Growing popularity is also shown by publishing Korean literature translated into Hungarian and a Korean Department has also been opened recently at ELTE University (and they teach the language at some others, too). But generally, I think nowadays anything Asian´s popular, people are looking for something new and less-known, so many turn to Asia, where you can find beautiful lands, cultures and languages indeed. 🙂

    • Reply
      14 June, 2009 at 8:02 PM

      In Singapore, I see more korean books translated to chinese compared to english. Most of the books i’ve seen are usually internet novels or korean entertainment related books.

      We still do not have a korean department in our universities, but I really look forward to one~

  • Reply
    14 June, 2009 at 5:11 PM

    The language craze is unfortunately not so apparent in Malaysia, though many people still follow the K-dramas and music a lot. But that’s not a problem for me! 😀

    • Reply
      14 June, 2009 at 8:02 PM

      haha are you watching any kdrama right now? i’m following 그바보. ㅋㅋ

  • Reply
    16 June, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    Not only in Singapore! Even here in Vancouver, interest in Korean is growing! I think it might be because more Korean people are visiting here and there are A LOT of Korean exchange students. Five years ago during my brother’s university days, he said he hardly saw any Korean students. But I see them a lot!

    And about the library thing, more Korean textbooks are definitely being borrowed out. Now theres even a waiting list!

    And to prove even further on this growing Korean interest, my university is looking to hire another full time Korean professor because the demand for Korean is high!

    Okay Sorry that this is so long. But I am just so happy that I am learning Korean now. I know it’s popularity will be increasing these days. Must keep ahead of the times! haha And I was never that interested in learning Japanese even though it has been popular in my city for a long time now. I enjoy the Korean language a lot better than Japanese (sorry if I offended anyone).

    • Reply
      17 June, 2009 at 7:32 PM

      haha! yeah japanese wasn’t my cup of tea too. i took beginner lessons for jap last year out of curiousity but i nv bothered to continue self studying it. XD

      alot of my korean friends are in vancouver studying english! it seems like canada, philippines and singapore are some of the top choices for koreans wanting to improve their english!

      let’s hope that korean will be even more popular in time to come ^^

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