Everything You Need to Know About BTS Members’ English Speaking Abilities!
Due to their big name, BTS members have been invited to attend shows and interviews not only in South Korea, but in all countries. They are mostly interviewed in countries where the entertainment industry is highly concentrated, namely the USA and the UK.
You know that both countries have English as the most spoken language. That means, that BTS members have to speak in English for all (or most) of their foreign interviews.
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Since the members have attended so many English interviews, you may wonder if the members are fluent in English. So, are BTS members really fluent in English? In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with information about BTS members’ English proficiency, and how well they speak during interviews.
Not All BTS Members Can Speak English Fluently
Even though BTS members speak English during interviews, all the members can’t speak English fluently, except for RM. However, all the members seem to be able to understand English well enough. Their good understanding of English is clearly shown through their interviews. Although not all questions can be understood correctly by the members, at least they can predict roughly what the interviewer is asking.
In the next headlines, we will go deeper into their English skills. We will also provide some evidence of their eloquence, mostly from their most popular foreign interviews.
BTS’s RM’s English Speaking Ability
For a long time, the leader RM has been known by ARMYs (BTS’s fan base) as someone who has exceptional English skills. When BTS were invited to The Ellen Show, RM revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that he had been studying English since he was young. RM first explained that he often watched Friends. He watched the American sitcom with or without subtitles, and through the sitcom, he learned so many English words.
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RM’s English skills were further honed when he studied in New Zealand in his teens. After studying for approx. 6 months, he admitted that his English was much better. He first proved his English skills by taking the TEPS (Test of English Proficiency) in 2010, when he was 15. He scored 797 out of 990, with the highest score in the listening section.
According to the TEPS scoring system, his score was categorized as “Advanced” or “Near-Native” level. This is such a good score, especially for speakers whose native languages have very different structures from English.
Shortly after, RM took another English exam, namely TOEIC (The Test of English for International Communications). He scored very well too, 850 out of 990. He even got almost perfect score in the listening section! According to the TOEIC grading system, his score was categorized as “Working Proficiency Plus”.
Ten years later (2020), RM informed ARMYs through his Weverse live stream that he would be taking the TOEIC exam again. He then finally got his chance to take the real TOEIC test, and his score has improved a lot!
He scored 915 out of 990, and was categorized as the highest level of proficiency, namely “International Professional Proficiency”. The funniest thing is, when RM was asked by ARMYs about the purpose behind taking this test, RM said that he took the test just for fun. That reason was just unbelievable, considering that most people want to take the TOEIC test for work or education purposes only, not for fun.
For his three-time tests, RM always got the highest score in the listening sections. However, that doesn’t mean that RM is bad in other sections, especially in the speaking section. From his outstanding scores, we can say that his speaking skill is very good too. Apart from his speaking section scores, we can see some evidence of how good RM’s speaking ability is through his interviews and his public speeches.
ARMYs may still remember that BTS were once invited by the United Nations (UN) on September 24th, 2018. At that time, RM gave a speech about self-love. In his speech, RM was seen bringing a script. Even so, he was able to emphasize each word precisely, and pronounced them correctly.
In addition to his UN speeches, RM can also speak fluently in interviews. In some of BTS’s Western interviews, RM was also able to give very detailed answers. While most of his answers aren’t lengthy-and-full-of-analysis answers, RM’s answers are well-spoken and relate to the question the interviewer is asking.
Other BTS Members’ English Speaking Abilities
Apart from RM, the other BTS members have very limited English speaking skills. They can mostly understand the interviewers’ questions, as previously written, but they can only answer the questions in simple sentences. Although all other members have very limited speaking skills, their English fluency is slightly different from each other. Each member has their own strengths and weaknesses in speaking English.
Overall, four of the six members (besides RM) have good confidence in speaking English. Of these four members, Jin has the most confidence. The two unconfident members are Suga and Jimin, with Jimin having the least confidence.
The most confident member Jin seems so relaxed when answering questions. His vocabulary is quite rich, but his structure is not really good. He still often gets confused in grammar, and he can’t place nouns, verbs, and other words correctly.
J-Hope‘s confidence stems largely from his rapid progress in English. He is also one of the members who often speak English. J-Hope’s confidence deserves a thumbs up. However, his vocabulary is not good enough.
V’s vocabulary is also quite decent, and his pronunciation has improved a lot. His speaking skills aren’t only good in casual speaking, but also in singing. When he released his English song titled Winter Bear, the song was well-pronounced, even though it was a recorded version.
Jungkook has the second-best pronunciation after RM. The maknae also has a very high interest in learning and practicing English. His confidence and skills are not really high though, but in some interviews, he can pronounce some words and phrases clearly. Even though he’s not very fluent, it’s clear that he’s trying so hard to say a few words.
In terms of speaking, Suga’s speaking skill isn’t too bad. His structure and his pronunciation are quite good. His vocabulary is even better than J-Hope’s! He is BTS’s second spokesperson for interviews, so he often helps RM answer questions. However, he feels that his English is not that good, so he often feels insecure when speaking the language.
The member who is least confident in speaking English is Jimin. Actually, he’s confident enough in speaking English, but he’s only confident when he repeats the same phrases. When he speaks different and unfamiliar words, he really stutters and can’t speak the words properly at all.
That’s all you need to know about the English fluency of BTS members. So, what do you think about their English speaking abilities? Do you think the members can further improve their English skills in the future?