South Koreans it seems are the foreigners most eager to pick up Hindi — and they want to do it fast. The majority of students enrolled for the short-term Hindi courses at Delhi University are South Koreans. Reason? Great job prospects in India with Korean majors Samsung, LG and Hyundai.
MJ Park, director, Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency, says that with 200 Korean companies already here and many more showing interest, India has emerged as the land of opportunity. “Earlier, Korea’s attention was on China. But now the scope for growth is greater in India,” says Park.
Over 3,000 South Koreans are working and studying in India. Of the 28 foreign students enrolled in the certificate, diploma and advanced courses in Hindi, 14 are from South Korea.
DU student Park Soon Ki is a graduate in global marketing and advertising from Busan. He and his friend Huo Jong Cheol, a computer scientist from Seoul, are in India studying, travelling, and job-hunting.
“Many Koreans working in India speak good English, but the workers in the factory speak Hindi,” says Ruchika Batra, GM (corporate communication) at Samsung. “We had a programme under which executives from Korea would spend a year in India learning the language and knowing the local culture.”
Koreans at LG too are busy learning Hindi. “They make a lot of effort to localise themselves,” says YV Verma, director (human resources), LG.