Although he has never studied in a foreign country, the actor is pretty fluent in English. In fact, he even had a radio show when he was serving in the army, where he taught basic conversational English through scenario-based lessons. He even nailed a full BBC interview in English, impressing everyone.
Lee Byung Hun
The actor revealed in a previous interview that he started learning English when he was younger because of his relatives in America. He started sprucing up on his skills when he made his Hollywood debut. He told the Korean media at the press conference for G.I. Joe: Retaliation that acting in English was difficult and different from speaking English. He added that when one of the staff pointed out a mispronunciation, he ended up focusing on pronunciation instead of acting.
Judging from how fluent he is, you would have thought the BTS leader has lived in an English-speaking country for at least a few years, but in fact, he picked up the language just by watching Friends! He told Yahoo Music, “The show is really good. It’s kind of like the show of my life. Firstly, I had no interest, because I cannot understand a word. But [my mom] thankfully let me watch it in Korean, like, subtitled. So as I watched the show, and I was so into the show – the characters, the love stories. She bought the DVDs, 1 to 10 Seasons, and I repeated it like a dozen times. I think that’s why [I learned English so well]. Their speech is clear and easy to understand.”
When Rain enjoyed explosive popularity in Asia, he was offered a leading role in a Hollywood production, Ninja Assassin. But unlike most actors who broke into Hollywood, he wasn’t fluent in the language. In fact, he honestly admitted that he had only started learning the language, but his performance in the movie impressed moviegoers. His secret to picking up a new language? He revealed that he practised by talking to himself – he would sit at a coffee shop, ask himself questions and answer them himself.
Although Key was in America for only six weeks for an exchange programme, he continued to learn the language until he became proficient in conversational English. He sometimes uses English in his Instagram captions to communicate with his international fans.
Yeon Jung Hoon
In his first year of junior high, the actor moved to America to live with his aunt and studied in California. He attended high school there before returning to South Korea for university. He revealed in an interview that his fluency in English was one of the reasons his now-wife actress Han Ga In was attracted to him. He said that she had overheard him talking to his cousin, who lives in the US, on the phone and though he looked charming while speaking the foreign language.
Super Junior’s Siwon
The Super Junior member is often the appointed speaker whenever the K-pop group visits an English-speaking country. His fellow members revealed in a variety show that Siwon tends to slip in English words whenever he’s angry.
Song Seung Heon
Although he’s native Korean and didn’t study abroad, the actor reportedly speaks English fluently. He showed off a bit of his linguistic abilities when he greeted the media in English when he was in Singapore earlier this year. Another testament of his fluency: he communicates with Chinese actress girlfriend Liu Yi Fei in English.
Taecyeon studied in America from middle school through high school, hence it’s not surprising that he’s fluent in English, and even speaks with an American accent. He revealed on a variety show that sometimes his agency’s staff would enlist his help to check English lyrics to make sure they’re grammatically sound.
Kang Dong Won
When the actor was in Singapore, he impressed the press with his fluency in the language. He told The Straits Times, “I've been learning English for the past five years. I wanted to travel by myself and wanted to communicate without the help of a translator. I hope to get a chance to work abroad one day.”
Lee Seung Gi
Not a lot of people know that Lee Seung Gi is fluent in English until he filmed Sisters Over Flowers, where he expertly navigated Istanbul, Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik while leading a group of veteran actresses. After he received praises from netizens, his company revealed that he has been regularly picking up English, but that he’s more fluent in Japanese—apparently, he speaks Japanese like a native!
Lee Seo Jin
You might recognise the actor from variety shows such as Grandpas Over Flowers, Three Meals A Day and Youn’s Kitchen. He graduated from New York University Stern School of Business, which explains why he is fluent in English. In Grandpa Over Flowers and Youn’s Kitchen, he was tasked with interacting with the locals because of his fluency in the language.