Being able to speak another language is an incredibly valuable skill in general, but it’s extra useful if you happen to be a member of an incredibly popular music group. JYP Entertainment and Sony Music pop group NiziU is well versed in more than just their native Japanese, even though nearly everyone in the group is from Japan, so we will provide a full breakdown here. Among members Mako, Rio, Maya, Riku, Ayaka, Mayuka, Rima, Miihi, and Nina, here is the complete answer to who speaks what languages in NiziU, including Japanese, English, and Korean (and potentially French).
NiziU Members Speak a Few Languages: Japanese, English, and Korean
To begin with, everyone in NiziU is fluent in Japanese because everyone except Nina Hillman is originally from Japan. Nina was born in Seattle, Washington and is half-Japanese, with her mother being Japanese. When Nina moved to Japan (which occurred approximately two years prior to her trying out for Nizi Project in 2019), she did not speak Japanese. However, she quickly became fluent out of a desire to be able to better communicate with those around her.
Rima and Nina speak fluent English for NiziU, and they speak the most languages in the group in general. According to Rima, she went to an international school in Japan from the extremely young age of 2, where she effectively learned native English. Indeed, she speaks English with no accent and largely correct grammar, and she even told J.Y. Park during Nizi Project that she actually felt slightly more comfortable speaking English than Japanese. Likewise, Nina is of course a native English speaker, having grown up in the United States. There are several compilation videos available online of Rima and Nina speaking English together. The other members of NiziU have seemingly demonstrated little English ability to date, mostly speaking essential phrases. (Of course, they have also sung in English across several NiziU music videos.) Should this change with time, this space shall be updated accordingly.
Notably, prior to Nizi Project, Nina had been part of Japanese entertainment conglomerate Amuse, which had published a bio of Nina when she performed under the name “Makino Nina.” This bio claimed that Nina speaks English, Japanese, and French. However, to date, there is little evidence that Nina actually speaks French with any fluency, and this may have been a case of embellishment by Amuse of one of its artists. Thus, claims that Nina can speak French for NiziU should probably be treated with suspicion unless future video evidence becomes available to the contrary.
Finally, while it is difficult to measure individual members’ full fluency, it does appear that all of the NiziU members speak Korean now, after having studied it for years at JYP Entertainment. Indeed, since Mako, Rima, and Miihi were already JYP trainees prior to Nizi Project, they had already studied Korean at JYP for a time. Rima and Miihi particularly impressed JYP founder J.Y. Park with their Korean at the audition, and then during Nizi Project Part 2, the whole group apparently began studying Korean and demonstrated some understanding of Korean during that part of the series. By the time that NiziU officially debuted in South Korea in October 2023, the entire group was demonstrating Korean proficiency, as seen in, for example, their first Korean show appearance, on Complaint Manager HUR with KARA’s Youngji.
In a video published on January 30, 2023 on NiziU YouTube, Rima and Nina discussed the pros and cons of having an international background, and Rima mentioned in passing that they each speak three languages now — Japanese, English, and Korean. (Incidentally, this further discredits the notion that Nina speaks French.) This more so bolsters the idea that NiziU members spent significant time learning the Korean language at JYP.
So to summarize who speaks what languages among NiziU members, everyone speaks Japanese, Rima and Nina speak native English, and the members have learned fluent Korean since joining JYP Entertainment. There was a past claim that Nina can speak French, but to date, this appears to have been either incorrect or an exaggeration.
For more about the group, check out how old the NiziU members currently are, who their ace of a leader is, and when they originally debuted. Or for another JYP girl group that is not actually from South Korea, check out the many languages that VCHA members speak!