To be able to debut as a K-pop idol, you need to be fluent in Korean. This said, most foreign idols have advanced Korean skills. These idols, however,
To be able to debut as a K-pop idol, you need to be fluent in Korean. This said, most foreign idols have advanced Korean skills. These idols, however, take it to the next level, with most people confusing them as Korean natives due to how fluent they are in the language!
1. NCT’s Yuta
(Photo : BEAUTIFUL SOUL)
Yuta is NCT’s only Japanese member, born and raised in Osaka. He started training under SM Entertainment in 2012 and was introduced as a member of SM Rookies a year after. He made his official debut with NCT 127 in 2016, meaning he trained for four years. His Korean skills are the best from the foreign line of the group, with member Mark (who is ethnically Korean but born and raised in Canda) saying Yuta is better in Korean than him! Yuta is so good at Korean, he was the Japanese representative for the show “Abnormal Summit” prior to his debut, a show where foreigners who are fluent in Korea come together to talk about world issues.
2. BLACKPINK’s Lisa
(Photo : SWEET CRUSH)
Lisa was born and raised in Thailand. She auditioned for YG Entertainment in 2010 and moved to South Korea to train in the spring of 2010. During her time in YG Entertainment, a rule was implemented in which no one could speak to her in English and Thai, which forced her to pick up Korean quickly. YG Entertainment only debuts idols who speak Korean fluently, which proves Lisa’s skills in the language.
3. 2PM’s Nichkhun
(Photo : InStyle)
Nichkhun was born in California and raised in Thailand to Thai-Chinese parents. He has lived in the United States, Thailand, and New Zealand. He became a JYP Entertainment trainee in 2006 and debuted with 2PM in 2009. During his trainee years, he was forced to not only attend Korena language classes, but Japanese and Chinese classes as well, meaning Nichkhun speaks five languages!
4. TWICE’s Sana
(Photo : COTTON CANDY)
Sana was born and raised in Osaka and is 1/3 of the group’s Japanese line. She auditioned for JYP Entertainment in 2011 and moved to South Korea to train in 2012 alongside member Momo. She trained for three years and six months before debuting with TWICE. From all of the foreign members, Sana has been raised the most for her fluency in Korean. She has even stated herself that she has gotten so accustomed to speaking Korean that she often speaks Korean to her fellow Japanese members! She is also praised for her Korean calligraphy skills.
5. CLC’s Sorn
(Photo : Cube Entertainment)
Sorn was born and raised in Thailand. She joined the industry by joining the first season of K-Pop Star Hunt in 2011, which allowed her to be a CUBE Entertainment trainee in 2013. After training for two years, she debuted in 2015. From what fans can see, she has studied the language hard, as she has no issues understanding her members and having deep conversations in Korean.
6. (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi
(Photo : Fairytale)
Yuqi was born and raised in Beijing, China. She auditioned for CUBE Entertainment in 2014 and moved to South Korea in 2015. She trained for three years and debuted with (G)I-DLE in 2018. Yuqi has been praised for her fluency in Korean and is often hailed as the best speaker from the foreign line. She often acts as a translator for member Shuhua, who is Taiwanese.
7. Kyulkyung (former I.O.I and PRISTIN)
(Photo : LOVE KNOT)
Kyulkyung was born and raised in Zhejiang, China. She was scouted by a PLEDIS Entertainment representative in 2010 and became a trainee. She trained for five years and five months prior to her appearance on “Produce 101”, but she herself stated that she trained for that long because she would study in China and return in the summer to train in South Korea. During her appearance on “Abnormal Summit”, she revealed she achieved fluency in Korean by always asking questions to pick up vocabulary.
8. f(x)’s Victoria
(Photo : @Valextra_Official on Weibo)
Victoria was born and raised in Shandong, China. She was scouted by an SM Entertainment representative in a Beijing Dance Competition in 2007 and became a trainee under the label. She trained for two years and debuted with f(x) in 2009. Her Korean language skills are so good, she can do Korean tongue twisters without messing up!
9. Luhan (former EXO)
(Photo : @FashionWeek on Weibo)
Though no longer a K-pop idol, Luhan was known as the best in Korean from all the Chinese members during his time with the group. Luhan moved to Seoul in 2009 or 2010 to study at Yonsei University as an exchange student. In 2010, he was scouted by an SM Entertainment representative and debuted with EXO two years later. Since he was already learning Korean prior to becoming a trainee, the EXO members said they thought Luhan was Korean when they first met him due to how fluent he is!
10. GOT7’s Jackson
(Photo : My Spring Sunshine)
Jackson was born and raised in Hong Kong. He was scouted to be a JYP Entertainment trainee in 2010 and moved to South Korea to become a trainee in 2011. He debuted with GOT7 in 2014 after three years of training. All of the foreign members are fluent in Korean, but Jackson is known as the best, promoting on numerous variety shows and speaking Korean without a hitch.
Jackson has revealed that he learned Korean quickly by… dating! He said that you can only learn so much from lessons and studying, but his Korean skills exploded when he started dating. However, he clarified that he did this when he was a trainee, revealing it was hard for the company to monitor if a trainee was dating because of how many trainees there are. After his debut, he says he is too busy to even find time to date.