K-pop idol Amber Liu wants you to learn Korean with her via language learning app Drops
The wave of Korean culture, or “hallyu,” has sparked a surge in people wanting to learn Korean. And Drops and K-pop idol Amber Liu are here to help.
According to the Korea Foundation, the wave of Korean culture, also known as hallyu, increased its global fanbase by 11% in 2019—and leading the charge has been K-pop.
Groups such as BTS and Blackpink have not only dominated charts worldwide—they’ve also sparked a surge in demand to learn the Korean language, according to Korea Foundation president Lee Geun.
Picking up on the intersection of this particular trend is the language learning app Drops and its new program featuring K-pop idol Amber Liu.
Available starting Tuesday, October 6, the “Study with Amber” category will feature a curriculum personally curated by Liu across 40 topics ranging from Korean food to music and more. Drops already offers Korean, and cofounder and CEO Daniel Farkas says that because of hallyu, it’s actually become the app’s most popular language.
“One of the biggest motivations for our Korean learners was actually K-pop, and we wanted to capitalize on that,” Farkas says of the app’s first celebrity partnership, with Liu.
Farkas says they had a few K-pop idols in mind, but Liu stood out not only because of her multicultural background—she was born in Los Angeles to Taiwanese parents—but because of her own journey learning Korean from scratch in just three months after being selected to join the K-pop group f(x) in 2009.
“I was always stressed out learning Korean,” Liu says. “I did do a couple of months in a Korean school, but most of my Korean was learned on the job.”
What appealed to Liu about the offer to partner with Drops is the app’s approach to learning a language.
“It’s like a game. You can actually have fun learning,” Liu says. “I put a lot of pressure on myself, like ‘why can’t I remember this word? Why can’t I like get the simplest things?’ I think the reason why I was able to learn Korean so fast was because me and my friends who were not native Korean speakers started making it fun. It became something that was easier to retain rather than studying whole list of words.”
Farkas says something such as “Study with Amber” is an experiment, but he’s willing to scale it depending on well it’s received.
“If this works, I can see this celebrity approach scaled up to other languages,” he says. “Just imagine the Icelandic language narrated by Björk.”
SM Entertainment announced that they have prepared a space for fans to pay their respects to Sulli.
Below is the agency’s full statement:
This is SM Entertainment.
Sulli has left our side.
We are filled with grief to have to share this unfortunate news with fans.
In accordance with her family’s thoughts, we have prepared the following space for fans, who have always given [her] generous support, to give their warm goodbyes to Sulli.
Fans can pay their respects [to Sulli] in Hall No. 7 (floor B1) of the Yonsei Funeral Hall on October 15 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and October 16 from noon to 9 p.m. KST.
Once again, we express our sincere condolences.
f(x) member and actress Krystal will be appearing in her first commercial film!
It was reported on October 5 that Krystal will be appearing in the film “Sweet and Sour” (literal translation). A source from SM Entertainment responded to the reports and said, “It’s true that Krystal will be appearing in the film.”
“Sweet and Sour” will be the new project helmed by director Lee Gye Byuk, who has led hits like “Lucky” and “Cheer Up, Mr. Lee.” The film will tell the story of a couple who fall in love but grow further apart in both body and mind when they start working new jobs. Jang Ki Yong and Chae Soo Bin are currently in talks to appear in the film as leading roles. Krystal will be playing a character who connects with the leading male character after they land jobs together.
This will be Krystal’s first appearance in a commercial film, and she is currently also preparing for a leading role in her first independent film “Shouts of a Father” (literal translation).
Sulli will be hosting a brand-new JTBC variety program!
On May 24, JTBC2 confirmed that the former f(x) member would be serving as an MC for its new variety show “Night of Hate Comments” (literal translation). “Night of Hate Comments” is described a a new talk show in which celebrities will face malicious comments head-on by reading them out loud and responding to them directly.
Shin Dong Yup, Kim Sook, and Kim Jong Min will also be appearing on the show as hosts alongside Sulli. In addition to the four MCs, a new guest will appear on the show each week.
The program, which will mark Sulli’s very first time hosting a talk show as a fixed MC, will be helmed by producing director (PD) Lee Na Ra, who recently oversaw JTBC’s “LAN Cable Life.”
“Night of Hate Comments” is scheduled to premiere on June 21 at 8 p.m. KST.
f(x)’s Luna has released new details about her upcoming solo digital single “Even So”!
The digital single is set to be released at noon KST on January 4, 2019. There will be three new songs that showcase Luna’s skills has a singer-songwriter as she will be participating in composing and writing lyrics for her new music.
Title track “Even So” will be a medium tempo R&B pop track with a groovy bass, funky guitar instrumental, and warm synth sounds. The lyrics hold a message of hope based on Luna’s diary entries. B-side track “Do You Love Me” will be a PB R&B track with a chill vibe and lyrics talking about getting to know someone. “Bye Bye” will be a minimalist track with a Bossa Nova rhythm that highlight’s Luna’s vocal talents.