Korean folktale webtoon launched for foreigners

Korean folktale webtoon launched for foreigners
The King Sejong Institute’s Korean folktale webtoon series (King Sejong Institute Foundation).

The King Sejong Institute Foundation, a government entity promoting Korean language and culture overseas, has produced a webtoon series to help foreigners better understand Korean traditional culture, in five languages.

Twenty-four folktales, including "Kyunwoo and Jiknyo" and "The Sun and the Moon," will be published as a weekly webtoon series ― digital cartoons regularly released through portal sites ― on the foundation's website in Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.

"While the number of foreigners interested in Korean culture and language increases every year, due to the popularity of Korean drama, films and music, the number of quality institutions to teach the language and culture are still insufficient," said Song Hyang-geun, the president of the foundation, at a press conference in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, on Monday.

"We developed a webtoon series, with content that is unique to Korea, and other language learning content, for those who want to learn the language more easily and freely," said Song.

The foundation, which marked its second anniversary on Oct. 24, operates Korean language courses at 130 King Sejong Institutes in 54 different countries. The foundation expects to increase the number of institutes and Korean teachers in the following years.

Song noted that most of the students of the institute study the language for pleasure: "They want to learn and understand the culture just because they love it rather than for academic reasons."

That is why the institute puts emphasis on creating interesting and fun content that will help them learn the language.

The foundation has also produced a cartoon series, "Poppopping Korean-Conversation," for foreigners to study Korean online. The cartoon is five minutes long, will have 40 episodes and will be released once a week.

For those who are interested in reading the webtoon series and other content, visit the foundation's website, www.sejonghakdang.org.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)

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