SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) – The Korean government announced on Wednesday that South Korea has added more than 30 new institutes for the Korean language in an effort to promote the national language as an aid to the global spread of culture.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the opening of 34 King Sejong institutes in 30 countries in Asia, Europe, America and Africa. Countries include Laos, Vietnam, Denmark, Russia, France, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Uganda.
Of the 30 countries, half of them, including Jordan, Slovakia, Ukraine and Madagascar, will open the first official institute of King Sejong funded by the South Korean government.
Institutes spread all over the world and were named after the king of Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) who invented the Korean alphabet, or “Hangeul”, and offer language education programs to teach Korean as a second language. They currently number 213 centers in 76 countries around the world.
The King Sejong Institute Foundation, run by the ministry, manages its program by funding locally-initiated Korean language programs around the world, such as those run by universities. The Foundation receives the applications and certifies the institutions accepted, such as the King Sejong Institute.
Culture Minister Park Yang Woo said it is time to promote “Hangeul” to create momentum for a new phase of “Hallyu”, referring to the popularity of cultural content such as K-pop and South Korean soap operas.