“Squid Game” could inspire a new wave of Korean language learners

It seems like everyone is talking about Squid Game lately, especially Duolingo learners. Following the launch of the wildly popular Netflix show in early September, we noticed something interesting happening in our Korean courses:

Graph of new US learners studying Korean on Duolingo in 2021

Though it’s still early, that’s a pretty steep spike compared to what we saw last year around this time:

Graph of new US learners studying Korean on Duolingo in 2021

We went ahead and did the math for you: Our data shows a roughly 40% growth in new learners studying Korean compared to last year, when the trend was fairly flat. Could this be a wave of Squid Game-inspired studying? We’re not 100% sure, but the numbers and the tweets seem to suggest that’s what’s happening:

Are you learning Korean, or any other language, alongside a new TV show? The experts say that’s actually a great way to practice and improve your pronunciation as well as comprehension. Whether it’s learning French to keep up with Lupin, or Korean to better understand Squid Game, knowing the language will deepen your appreciation of your new favorite show.

Tweet us at Duolingo and let us know what you’re learning! And keep an eye out for this year’s Duolingo Language Report, which will showcase more fascinating language trends.