September 02, 2020 12:09
The government has allocated a record sum to popularizing the Korean language or hangeul around the world next year.
Korea hopes to tap into the soaring popularity of K-pop acts like Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS, and Black Pink to increase its soft power worldwide.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism unveiled its 2021 budget on Tuesday, which sets aside W89.4 billion for the promotion of the language, up W24.9 billion from this year (US$1=W1,185).
The ministry's entire budget for next year is W6.83 trillion.
The money will be spent broadly in two areas -- the dissemination of Korean abroad and improving its popular use. That includes opening another 22 King Sejong Institutes around the world, bringing the total to 235.
The ministry aims to translate language-learning primers into 25 languages. At present, Korean-language learning texts are only available in Chinese, Vietnamese and English. The ministry also wants to publish textbooks targeting different age groups.
Online learning materials and translators who can subtitle Korean movies, dramas, webtoons and other cultural content will also be given a boost.
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