Squid Game and other K-dramas effect: Korean language trainers flooded with requests
K-dramas have been popular of late, but Squid Game has literally taken the OTT viewership by storm., and people from all age groups binge watching the show. Besides this one, there are other K-dramas such as Hospital Playlist season 2, True Beauty and Yumi Cells that have been keeping denizens glued to their screens. Though these shows have English subtitles and are even dubbed in English and Hindi yet fans in Delhi-NCR are extremely keen to watch their favourite series in Korean and that’s what has been driving them to learn the language.
“We get so many queries on a daily basis. People call up and say, ‘I am really keen to learn the language as I want to watch these shows in Korean. I want to learn so that I can understand the shows!” laughs MD Ashique Elahi, who runs a language centre called founder iB language classes.
Elahi adds, “However, we tell them that please don’t take up the language only because of this reason. Do it if you want to learn an extra skill. It takes a lot of dedication and time and the fees are also high.”
However, these shows are seriously addicted, says Shikha Sharma, a Data Linguist from Janakpuri. “OTT platforms are a blessing for me as I am enjoying one Korean show after another. Besides the most recent one - Squid Game, I have enjoyed many more such as Cloy, Heirs, Goblin. Here’s the deal, you just cannot stop at one Korean show. Their culture, lifestyle, sentiments are so similar to what we have here in India. Owing to the interest I developed in the language, I enrolled in the course, cleared the interview and got into KCCI,” she says.
However, JK Singh, Head of marketing, IICKL, says that while people might join after watching shows, they soon develop an interest in the language which goes much beyond just watching Korean content on OTT. “This demand in enrolment is the effect of Squid Game, but people are also interested in studying in Korea as well as doing business there. Online classes is happening at the moment and we are having to add a new batch every month. People were first interested in studying in Australia, UK and Canada and now Korea has become a hot destination for students,” he says.
Banasmita Baruah, director of Arirang Korean Academy, says that the surge in demand is such that they are having to turn students away. “we have experienced a massive surge, to the extent that we have had to literally turn people away as the batches are full. Basically, Korean shows are very relatable which is why people are drawn to them,” she says.
Rishabh Kapoor, an entrepreneur from Dwarka is also looking forward to learning Korean. “So many of my friends watched Squid Game. In fact, those who used to make fun of others being addicted to Korean dramas also watched and enjoyed it. I was the last one in my group to watch the show and I am loving it. I have also learnt a few Korean words and that has got me interested in the language as well,” he says.
Author tweets @anjuri