Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #KpopEnglishProject

Most recents (6)

Revisiting “Puzzle,” SF9 (2023). The plot (concerning the pronunciation of “scenario” in SF9’s “Puzzle”) thickens: I just discovered the SF9 song “Scenario” and learned that they pronounce it just fine there.


#KpopEnglishProject #SF9 #Puzzle #Scenario #kpop #kpep #lyrics

By my count, they pronounce it right 11 out of 13 times in the song. (A respectable score of 85%.) They pronounce it like “see-NARE-ee-oh,” which is close enough to the American English “suh-NARE-ee-oh.” So, what does this tell us?

Does this mean that the weird pronunciation in “Puzzle” (“see-nuh-ree-OH”) was intentional? If there was no problem pronouncing it correctly in “Scenario,” was the pronunciation in “Puzzle” a choice? No, I don’t think so. I think all it really tells us is that…
Read 7 tweets
“flipp!ng a coin,” Billlie (2021). First off, I think Billlie’s great. They can tackle any concept, they’re talented and charming, and they never shy away from the unconventional. But this song…


#KpopEnglishProject #Billlie #flipping_a_coin #Belllieve #kpop #kpep #lyrics

This song gives us some stuff that’s a bit hard to process. Part of this might be that Billlie often leans into their lore, and that can put uninformed listeners at a disadvantage. At least, that’s what I assume is going on with this line:

“매일 난 [Every day, I] make a blue dia”

I mean, what is a “blue dia” (pronounced die-uh)? Should we know? Can we know? Does it matter? When I hear English, I immediately—reflexively—try to parse it. This is how it works for everyone.
Read 7 tweets
“Nxde,” (G)I-DLE (2022). This song is frustrating. That’s because the English lyrics throughout are just so unsatisfying. In the very first line, Soyeon sings this:

“Why you think that ’bout nude?”


#KpopEnglishProject #GIDLE #Nxde #Neverland #kpop #kpep #lyrics

Why do you think that about nude? That is not a well-formed English sentence. And I’m not talking about the nonstandard grammar (“Why you think?”). I’m talking about the rest of it. Yes, “nude” can be a noun (we’ll get to that), but not like this, it can’t.

“Why do you think that about… me?” A question like that works. “Why do you think that about… sex?” That works. But “nude”—even if we interpret it as a noun—doesn’t work without a determiner, like “a” or “that” or “her.” Count nouns can’t occur all alone.
Read 11 tweets
“Trigger” (2022), CRAXY. There’s something funny going on in CRAXY’s latest single. And by “funny,” I mean not so good. You know by now that this not-so-good English is going to crop up in the chorus. Let’s take a look:


#KpopEnglishProject #CRAXY #Trigger #kpop #lyrics

“Pull the trigger like you loaded”

What’s wrong with that? Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear “loaded” in that line, I think of two things:

Pull the trigger like you’re drunk

and then

Pull the trigger like you’re rich.

Clearly, neither one is the intended meaning.

Then again, the intended meaning is a bit of a stretch. Because what they mean is something like “Pull the trigger as though you, yourself, are a weapon” or “Pull the trigger as though you are powerful.” As it is, the line makes me laugh.

How to fix it? I have some ideas.
Read 8 tweets
“Close” (2021), AB6IX. One recurring English phrase in this stylish and propulsive song threatens to gum everything up. Well, no, it’s not that big a problem. But it is a really bad line.

It shows up in the chorus:


#KpopEnglishProject #AB6IX #Close #ABNEW #kpop #lyrics

“And close your eyes
눈을 감아 그냥 내게 맡겨 널 [Close your eyes, just leave it to me]
Like a blind
불빛 하나 없는 [No light at all]”

And it shows up here (and in a similar context):

“Close your eyes
그냥 날 믿고 [Just trust me] like a blind”

“Like a blind” doesn’t work at all. “A blind” doesn’t mean “a blind person.” And even if it did, would the line work? Don’t know. But I do know that, as written, it’s a no-go. It’s the kind of not-quite-there English lyric that English-speaking K-pop fans learn to ignore.
Read 7 tweets
Some thoughts on the recording of “Queendom” (2021), Red Velvet. This behind-the-scenes video is interesting because (maybe) it reveals something about the way K-pop companies and singers think about English lyrics.


#KpopEnglishProject #RedVelvet #Queendom #Wendy #Irene

The video is the standard compilation of candid clips of the recording process. There are three places in it where Wendy (a fluent English speaker who spent part of her childhood in Canada) gives Irene some pointers about her English pronunciation:

“We are queens in the RED castle”

“Don’t need crowns, 타고났지 [born to] DAZZLE”

“모일수록 아름답게 [The more we’re together, the more beautifully we’re] shining BLING-BLING”

But isn’t that good? Isn’t it good if Wendy (who has this stuff down) coaches Irene? Of course!
Read 6 tweets

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