안녕하십니까 (Annyeonghaseyo) everyone! Today, let’s talk about Korean.
Korean counts 75 million speakers, of whom 48 million live in South Korea and 24 million in North Korea.
There are Korean speakers also in China, the United States and Japan. It is an increasingly important language. This is because of Korea’s powerful economy, geopolitical importance, and growing presence in the Asian pop culture.
Let’s think about the Korean Ban Ki Moon for example, who has been the UN’s eighth Secretary General, bringing Korea in the center of the political arena. Korea is also one of the US’s most loyal allies.
And as Korea starts becoming more and more influential, its culture and language are also growing.
- Korea is 10th on the list of the World’s top economies. It was to being projected by the UK’s Center for Economics & Business Research (CEBR) to be in the top 8 economies in the world by 2032. Despite the slowdown of the past years, it still has great potential. This means that creating content targeted to reach Korean speakers and tailor made for the Korean market could only be beneficial.
- According to a recent study internet usage rate in South Korea grew at an incredible fast rate. The high number of internet users is a result of governmental regulations that caused a fast extension of the internet in the country. The internet users in South Korea are now 46.8 million. This is a great opportunity for brands that want to expand to the Korean market.
- To create a stronger and deeper connection with your target audience it is always best to communicate in their own language. This will increase your company’s credibility and will attract more customers resulting in a good ROI.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The origin of Korean is a bit of a mystery. Evidence suggests that it belongs to the Altaic family, but many still believe that it emerged from a single cultural source. This is a bit unrealistic and just as Korean people did not descend from a single race, their language did not develop from a single language. Korean emerged as a language in the 15th century making it one of the youngest languages. Its alphabet and writing system, hangul, was created during the reign of King Sejong. This invention is one of the greatest achievements of the Korean culture.
1. The shape of the letters mimic your tongue
When you look at the shape of the letters, they mimic what your tongue is doing to pronounce them.
2. There is a national holiday in honour of the Korean language
There is actually one thing that both North and South Korea can agree on; they love their language so much, they created a national holiday to honour it. In both countries.
3. The South Korean language was designed to unify
Koreans often say “our” or “we” , in Korean, “uri”, instead of “my” or “me.” The reason can be found in their culture and values. “Korean people use ‘uri’ when something is shared by a group or community, or when many members in a group or community possess the same or similar kind of thing,” said Beom Lee, a Korean language professor at Columbia University in an interview for bbc. It originates on their collectivist culture.
Interested in the opportunities that Korean can bring? Get in touch!