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Korean Language Becoming More Popular

Korean is a language spoken by over 75 million people worldwide. As the economy continues to grow and as we see an influx of Korean pop culture, it's no surprise that there has been a consistent rise in the demand for learning how to speak this beautiful language. 

Not only is it seeing a rise in language learning, but online agencies, social media companies and websites are seeing a greater demand for the need to translate their work to Korean in order to reach a larger audience.

Korean is becoming more attractive globally, with the Oxford Dictionary releasing 26 Korean words to the latest addition. We’ll discuss why it’s important to note the arrival of these words in the English language and how we can make room for them.

Rising demand in learning Korean

Korea has been becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years, and the number of people studying the language at universities is growing rapidly as well. Learning this unique language could help with your travel plans since it will allow you to communicate more effectively in a country where English is less commonly spoken. 

It’s not only travel that has inspired more people to learn Korean, but the latest Netflix series, Squid Game, has sparked a huge interest in the language. After its release, there’s been a 76% increase in learners keen on integrating this language into their studies in the UK alone. Currently, Duolingo has reported 7.9 million people using the online platform to learn this interesting language. 

Making room for Korean words in the Oxford Dictionary

Korean words are quickly making their way into the everyday English language. To acknowledge the predominance of the words, the Oxford Dictionary has added 26 commonly used Korean words to the dictionary. 

Korean words added to Oxford English Dictionary

What we experience in pop culture often translates into everyday life and culture. This is why it’s no surprise that things like Squid Game, K-Pop groups like Bangtan Boys (BTS) and Korean beauty trends have influenced our trends in language.

The Oxford Dictionary is the most trusted free online dictionary, and these are the latest additions that support the fact that the Korean language is tickling everyone’s fancy. Below you’ll find the latest additions that you add to your own dialect and to your branding in international markets.

  • Aegyo: Cuteness or charm

  • Banchan: Korean vegetable side dish

  • Bulgogi: Korean thin slices of beef or pork 

  • Chimaek: Korean-style restaurant

  • Daebak: Something lucrative or desirable

  • Dongchimi: Type of kimchi

  • Fighting: Expressing encouragement

  • Galbi: Beef short ribs

  • Hallyu: Increase in international interest in South Korea

  • Hanbok: A traditional Korean costume

  • Japchae: A Korean dish with cellophane noodles

  • K-: Forming nouns relating to South Korea (e.g K-pop)

  • K-drama: South Korean TV drama series

  • Konglish: Mixture of Korean and English

  • Korean wave: Rise of South Korean culture

  • Manhwa: A Korean genre of cartoons and comic books

  • Mukbang: A video where someone eats large amounts of food

  • Noona: A respectful address to a boy’s or man’s elder sister

  • Oppa: A respectful address to a girl’s or woman’s elder brother

  • PC bang: multiple computer terminals providing access to the internet

  • Samgyeopsal: Thinly sliced pork belly

  • Skinship: Physical contact between a parent and child

  • Tang soo do: A Korean martial art

  • Trot: A genre of Korean popular music

  • Unni: A respectful address to a girl’s or woman’s elder sister

Words we no longer need in the Oxford English Dictionary

While an online dictionary doesn’t hold the same constraints as a paperback copy, it’s not to say that we can store a collection of words no matter how redundant and intrusive they may be. 

To keep the credibility, worth, and significance of a dictionary, there are certain obsolete words we should consider removing to make room for the recent Korean words showing greater importance in culture.

  • Crapulous: Caused by the effects of alcohol

  • Snollygoster: Someone who has intelligence but is unprincipled 

  • Cockalorum: A small man with a big opinion of himself

  • Mugwump: A person who remains independent from party politics

  • Vomitorium: Entrance and exit passages in ancient Roman theatres

  • Widdershins: To go counterclockwise

  • Brouhaha: A noisy and overexcited reaction to something

  • Collywobbles: Stomach pain

  • Bumbershoot: An umbrella

  • Lollygag: Spend time aimlessly

  • Flibbertigibbet: A frivolous or excessively talkative person

  • Wabbit: Exhausted or unwell

  • Quire: Four sheets of paper folded to form eight leaves

  • Ratoon: A new shoot at the base of a crop plant

  • Yarborough: A hand of cards with no card above a nine

  • Bloviate: To talk at length in an empty way

  • Absquatulate: To leave abruptly

  • Donnybrook: A heated argument

  • Nincompoop: A foolish or stupid person

  • Bindlestiff: A tramp

  • YOLO: Acronym for “you only live once”

  • Adorbs: Cute or adorable

  • Weak sauce: Of a poor or disappointing quality

  • Doohickey: A small object or gadget

  • Jackalope: A mythical animal depicted as a hare or rabbit with horns