Blackpink is one of the most famous and successful K-pop groups of all time, and one of the reasons why is their ability to speak English to international fans and press. Many K-pop groups are lucky if even one member speaks fluent English, and some companies make a concerted effort to ensure there is at least one native English speaker in a group. For instance, at DSP Media, KARA had Korean American member Nicole and KARD has Korean American member BM. However, YG Entertainment’s Blackpink has three members who speak fluent English: Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa, and here is how they learned it.
How Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa Learned to Speak English in Blackpink
Rosé is in fact a native English speaker, having been born in New Zealand, though she is ethnically Korean and her parents had emigrated there from South Korea. Meanwhile, Jennie was born and raised in South Korea, but she learned fluent English from a period spent living and studying in New Zealand as a child. Coincidentally, Jennie’s time in New Zealand learning English was even recorded briefly in a Korean documentary, Yeongeo, Byeonheya Sanda (in English, “English, Must Change to Survive,”), which aired on June 7, 2006 on MBC when Jennie was 10 years old.
Lastly, Lisa was born in Thailand, where she lived until she moved to South Korea to become a trainee at YG Entertainment. So naturally, she speaks Thai natively, but during middle school, she also learned to speak English. Lisa explained how she learned English in a May 2022 interview with Rolling Stone: “I went to a full Thai school until sixth grade. Since middle school I went to a bilingual school — well, not bilingual; they had an English program where you learn every subject in English. I have a little Thai accent when I speak English, so people can tell, ‘Oh, you’re not from here.'”
That leaves Jisoo as the only member of the group who does not speak fluent English. She does understand a considerable amount of English as a result of living among three other English-speaking members, but she openly jokes about being unskilled at speaking English herself. In an April 2023 episode of Park Myung-soo’s YouTube series, she said that she does speak basic English, but she prefers not to because the other three members of Blackpink can already do so skillfully. She went so far as to say that she uses Papago, a popular translation app in South Korea, to help her order food in English at restaurants.
To summarize, in Blackpink, it is Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa who speak fluent English. Rosé knows English natively, while Jennie learned it while studying in New Zealand, and Lisa learned it in a middle school in Thailand that had a special English program. Jisoo cannot speak fluent English and apparently does not care to learn it.
If you want to learn more about K-pop groups who speak English, check out the English fluency of Fifty Fifty or who speaks English in BabyMonster or Aespa. Or if you want to learn more about Blackpink, here is how old the members are currently and why the group has no leader. We also maintain a complete archive and list of all of the Blackpink music videos, to make it easy and convenient to watch everything in one spot!