In recent years, the Korean pop culture, including music, movies and TV dramas, have experienced new-found popularity in the West. Consequentially, there has been an increased interest towards the Korean language itself, with more than 10 000 people enrolling at the King Sejong institutes- Korean language institutes operating overseas. The increased demand has prompted the government to open 16 new institutes in 13 countries around the world, aiming to “spread the Korean language and the heritage of our nation all around the world”, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. With the language’s growing popularity and with foreigners’ increased interest, language service providers are at an advantageous position to utilise their skills and help improve the future relations between Korea and the West:
New Job Opportunities
With many South Korean companies entering the global market, new job opportunities have been created for the local population. Almost 12 000 Korean companies have established their presence overseas at the end of 2016, hiring 3.8 million foreign workers in countries such as China and Vietnam. The increased number of foreign workers has been a prerequisite for the growing number of applicants seeking to take the Test of Proficiency in Korean, to improve their employability skills and better understand the Korean culture. Additionally, the new job opportunities by Korean companies are creating new prospects for language translators and interpreters, since adequate translation to and from Korean has become an integral part of leading efficient business negotiations. Language service providers can therefore facilitate the efficient communication between foreign markets and help Korean businesses integrate within international markets.
Enhanced Political Communication
With the EU’s firm stance on providing support towards the peaceful reunification between North and South Korea, Korean language translation has become vital for initiating efficient political communication. Reliable translation is essential when it comes to the European Union’s incentive to reduce the tensions on the Peninsula and promote open communication. With political dialogue between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the EU being held over 14 times since 1998, translators have gained an important role in maintaining mutual understanding and smooth negotiations.
Development of the IT and software sectors
South Korea’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, creating new opportunities for trade and export. Having ranked first on the latest ICT Development Index, South Korea experiences a demand for skilled workforce and industrial software solutions in the electronic, machinery and automotive sectors. A proficient use of the Korean language is therefore essential for Western businesses looking to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Korean market. Translators and interpreters can play an important part in the future trade negotiations between countries from the West and Korea.
Culture and Tourism
The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has directed its efforts towards developing a culture inspiring change and growth through widening the global market reach and promoting equal opportunities and competition. While the government has put an emphasis on providing resources for non-Korean speakers, a country’s culture and heritage can be best understood and experienced through its language. Korea has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years and, making the services of professional translators highly sought after.
The increased popularity and the cultural and economic impact of the Korean language bring exciting opportunities for language service providers around the world. The future relations between Western businesses and Korean companies expanding overseas depend on the services of skilled translators, whose knowledge and experience with the language can enable the successful interaction between cultures. Whether you are a business owner or an investor, excited ahead of the opportunities provided by the Korean market, trusting a translation company to handle your marketing campaign and official communication channels overseas is the right step forward.