Korean celebrities

Photo: Blossom Entertainment, Super Junior / Facebook

The Hallyu wave has made picking up languages more important than ever among celebrities. Of course, which language they pick up is dependent on which market they have set their eyes on – the TVXQ members, who promoted in Japan for a few years, are very fluent in Japanese; some celebrities pick up English so they can communicate with fans from English-speaking countries whether they’re going on tour or through social media. And then there are celebrities who pick up one of the world’s hardest language, Mandarin.

Here are some Korean male celebs you didn’t know could speak the language.

Song Joong Ki

Song Joong Ki

Photo: Blossom Entertainment / Facebook

The Descendants of the Sun actor revealed during a press conference that Mandarin was a familiar language to him because his older brother had studied in Beijing for eight years.

He said, “Influenced by him, I picked up Mandarin too.”

We need to hear him speak in the language more often!




EXO’s Sehun 

EXO Sehun

Photo: EXO / Facebook

EXO may have a Chinese member, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the members have given up on learning the language and relying on Lay as their spokesperson.

Sehun, in particular, has put in immense effort to learn the language and can even deliver a thank-you speech in Mandarin.

He has also worked on Chinese productions, though the release dates of the works have yet to be determined due THAAD-related tension between China and South Korea. 


Super Junior’s Choi Siwon

Super Junior Siwon

Photo: Super Junior / Facebook

Prior to debut, the singer-actor was sent by SM Entertainment to learn Mandarin, alongside Seohyun.

After becoming a part of Super Junior, he also joined their sub-unit, Super Junior-M, which promotes in Chinese countries.

In more than a decade in the industry, he demonstrated his Mandarin-speaking talent by not only singing in Mandarin, but also acting in Chinese productions.


Big Bang’s Seungri

Big Bang Seungri

Photo: Seungri / Facebook

Big Bang’s resident linguist never fails to show off his Mandarin skills whenever he performs in China.

In fact, he even greeted fans in Mandarin when he was in Singapore! 

He revealed the reason why he put in a lot of effort in picking up languages on a recent episode of Knowing Brother: “When you look at the Big Bang members, they’re all good at a lot of things. So I thought, how do I survive in this group? I needed to be good at something too. Then I realised the members were bad at foreign languages!” 


Super Junior’s Donghae

Super Junior Donghae

Photo: Super Junior / Facebook

Donghae may seem blur most of the time and his fellow Super Junior members have claimed that he can’t even speak proper Korean, but it seems he has a pretty good grasp of the Chinese language.

He displayed his linguistic abilities during a quiz show that was part of Super Junior’s variety show, Super TV. 

Seven years ago, he acted in a Taiwanese TV drama, Skip Beat!, alongside fellow member Siwon.

This article was originally published in CLEO.