I started being interested in Korean in 2008 and really started studying it in 2009. Back then, in France, nobody really cared for South Korea, its language or culture.
After I really became addicted to Korean in 2010 especially, I kept on being asked the below question:
Why even learn Korean? There’s no point in it.
I had to reply all the time that I didn’t care for how popular, useful or whatever it was. I just enjoyed it and always wanted to spend more time on it.
This is why I really laughed a lot in 2012 when Gangnam Style came out and people started knowing more about Korea. The following years just kept on making Korea a bigger player in the entertainment industry. Nowadays, Korean dramas (TV-Shows), movies, music are all around us, whether you live in Japan, France, the US or anywhere else.
As a matter of fact, after 2012, I started seeing more and more people learning Korean. The popularity of the Korean entertainment industry was starting to show.
Most people started learning it in the hope of being able to listen to music or watch dramas while understanding those. Many gave up quickly but some lasted, among which a portion is most certainly better at Korean than me.
I have looked down upon those people for years, considering that the only reason they got interested in it was its popularity.
But then I realized that, among the reasons why I started Korean in the first place, the originality of it played a part too.
The result is here though: I started more than 10 years ago and I am still going at it. Some people who started in 2012 or after are certainly still going at it too.
So in the end, whether it was Originality or Popularity doesn’t really matter. Whatever brings you to start a learning process is good enough.
What really matters is whether the main reason that pushed you to do so was strong enough to go for the long haul.
If it did, great. Share it and ignore the people looking down upon you. You did you and it got you were you are now.
Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. And then keep on with your goals.