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Amber Liu of f(x) looks into the camera, not smiling.

K-Pop Idol Amber Liu Partners With Drops To Increase Korean Literacy 

Instagram | ajol_llama
By Kristin Myers

K-pop has become an Internet phenomenon. Starting in South Korea, K-pop is a musical style that draws its influence from a wide range of genres, including rock, hip hop, reggae, country, and jazz, seamlessly blended with its traditional Korean musical roots. 

With the increased interest in Korean pop music, more fans are trying to learn how to speak and understand Korean to help them sing along to the songs they love so much. 

Partnering with a language learning app, K-pop celebrity Amber Liu of f(x) is now working to help her fans achieve a unique learning experience through Drops. 

One Drop At A Time

Amber Liu of f(x) poses at the bottom of an empty pool with other members of her K-pop group.
Instagram | ajol_llama

Drops is a new up-and-coming language app that has over five million downloads on the Google Play app. Promising to help you learn a new language in just 5 minutes a day, Drops offers a variety of word games to help you match a word to its visual image, as well as matching sounds and words to increase cognition. 

Including over 35 languages and widely spoken dialects, Drops offers language speaking options that many apps don't, such as Hawaiian, Maori, and Ainu.  

Celebrity Partnership

Amber Liu of f(x) performs an ollie on her skateboard in the middle of an empty street.
Instagram | ajol_llama

Despite the vast selection of possible candidates, the brand ultimately chose Liu to begin their first celebrity partnership due to her own multicultural upbringing. 

Born in Los Angeles to Taiwanese parents, Liu, 28, found herself in the position of needing to learn Korean quickly after she was selected to join the K-pop group (f)x after a global audition in 2009. 

“I was always stressed out learning Korean,” Liu described. “I did do a couple of months in a Korean school, but most of my Korean was learned on the job.”

A Global Influencer 

Amber Liu of f(x) pretends to eat berries off of a tree.
Instagram | ajol_llama

Acting as the group's rapper and sub-vocalist, Liu has already become a trendsetter. Her tomboyish looks and eccentric style have become a new “beauty standard” in South Korea. 

Hoping to inspire a similar audience by helping her fans learn Korean, Liu talked about how she can relate to the struggle of learning a new language. 

“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?’” the singer described

She continued, “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.”

Future Partnerships 

Amber Liu of f(x) hugs a giant Stitch plushie in the Disney Store.
Instagram | ajol_llama

Daniel Farkas, Drops co-founder and CEO, says that K-pop's draw was what inspired them to follow through with the collaboration: “One of the biggest motivations for our Korean learners was actually K-pop, and we wanted to capitalize on that.” 

He continued, “If this works, I can see this celebrity approach scaled up to other languages. Just imagine the Icelandic language narrated by Björk.” 

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