BLACKPINK‘s Rosé is known for being a capable bilingual idol who is fluent in both Korean and English. Since she’s so good at both, fans have wondered which is the one she learned first.
During her birthday live broadcast, a BLINK asked if she spoke Korean when she lived in Australia, and she answered in the affirmative.
Yes, since birth.
Contrary to what some may think—including herself back in the day—her first language was actually Korean and not English.
Well, I thought my first language is English. But my first language could be Korean, in some ways.
For Rosé, knowing two languages was as natural as breathing. Since her family was a big influence on her young self, she followed their lead at all times.
My parents spoke Korean at home. It’s a bit ambiguous. Anyways, I learned languages from my parents and big sister. They all spoke Korean. You don’t go to school as soon as you were born, and my parents and sister are Korean. All of my family members are Korean, so we speak Korean at home.
She only began learning English when she entered pre-school and played with English-speaking friends. In fact, she shocked her mom when she seemed to learn the language overnight!
I learned Korean first, not English, then I went to a pre-school. When I went to the playgroup, I met my friends. So I went to them and I started [speaking]. My mom was amazed and thought I spoke English fluently. ‘She has never learned how. How come she can be so fluent?’
It turned out that she was just a great actress even as a child!
When she came closer, she found out I was just acting. I wasn’t speaking English. It was more like baby talk. I saw them speaking English, in a different language from mine, I just copied their pronunciations. But it didn’t mean anything, you know. But it looked like I was speaking fluently, in my own language.
Because she only spoke Korean in daily conversations and did not learn it in school, Rosé is now educating herself on its proper grammar and spelling.
I spoke Korean only at first, then I started learning English from school. I spoke and learned Korean since my birth. I haven’t studied the language. I’ve never studied Korean, I just learned it by speaking. Now I’m doing my best to write well in Korean, without any grammar mistakes. Spelling, too. I’m learning and fixing mistakes.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter which language came first, since, “I can speak both languages comfortably.”