How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:13 am


cardinals21

Caless Student
Caless Student
Yeah I was just a little curious how good the 4 members are at speaking English. I assume they don't speak it too well.  What do you guys think?

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:08 am


Lexian

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From what I've heard and seen, the band isn't super fluent in English.
However, I believe that they do know the very basics of English and can form simple sentences or phrases.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:02 pm


HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

International Performer
International Performer
It's an interesting topic and I would like to know more about it too but I doubt we can evaluate their "real level" in english.

From what I understood, they all studied and had english class that means they have a basic knowledge about english so they must understand all the basic words/sentences "I am xx years old, my name is...".

Now I don't really know if they could have a conversation in english, especially because if you don't practice it after school it can fade away quickly. Also they probably understand it better than they are able to speak it? If you don't speak it and practice it's hard to be confident but it's doesn't mean you will no understand it.

So it means for them it's pretty simple to use some english words in the songs and they have the basics but it doesn't seem they have advanced knowledge or vocabulary.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:27 pm


lazzal

Caless Student
Caless Student
Well, SCANDAL no THEME is sung in english.... Right here has english in it and STANDARD kinda has some english in some of the songs, so their english should have some standard? (no pun intended) heh


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:31 pm


thoseguiltyeyes

Global Moderator
Global Moderator
lazzal wrote:Right here has english in it
I wouldn't count that as an example because the lyrics to "Right Here" were written by a foreign songwriter, not by them. They did, however, write the lyrics for "SCANDAL no Theme" and "STANDARD" (the lyrics for both songs are credited to the entire band) so you are correct in speculating that they do have at least a small command of English to have been able to write those lyrics.

-----------------------------------------------

Like what others have previously said, they don't speak English that well. They can construct simple sentences and the like, but anything beyond that is probably out of their range; I kind doubt they could have a full-on conversation with a native speaker.

I'll try to speculate about their skills right now, and kind of about RINA's English level in particular since she's the one that's actually written the most English and about it too.

The 15-year-old RINA wrote this about the language in an old blog from 2006:

"Since senior high school, I haven't continued studying. I didn't use English, so I forgot, you know. Being able to talk with foreigners is amazing. If you can speak English, it's cool"

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It is true that once Japanese people are out of high school they really have no need to ever really learn or use the English language again. What's not used is almost always forgotten or lost. It also doesn't help that English is a completely different language, using a different alphabet, sentence structures, etc., which can especially make it hard to learn and remember for them.

When the band went to the US for their first tour in 2008, you can see in videos that they could barely speak any English. It seems like they did their live MCs pretty much all in Japanese, even though most of the crowds didn't understand them most of what they were saying.

However, the next time they returned here in 2011 for a convention, they actually spoke all of the live MCs almost completely in English! Although they struggled a bit and some parts were naturally Engrishy, it seemed very natural and seemed like they came up with it themselves (I say this in part because most of the translators there kind of sucked, hah). Here's some of what they said during their MCs:

HARUNA: "Hello, everyone! We are SCANDAL! How are you, AM2? Yay! Let's sing and dance tonight! Let's rock tonight! Saikou no yoru ni shiyou ne (Let's make it the best night ever)!"

HARUNA: "Okay, let me introduce the members! Mazu wa (first), drums - RINA!"
RINA: "Hello, I'm RINA. You having fun? Guys? Girls? Guys? Girls? Yay. Everybody say! Everybody say! Yay! Thank you! I love you!"
HARUNA: "Next, guitar - MAMI!"
MAMI: "Hi, I'm MAMI. Yesterday I was surprised. Our fans...waiting at airport. I was so happy! Thank you!"
HARUNA: "Next, bass - TOMOMI!"
TOMOMI: "Hello! I'm TOMOMI. Ehh, last night I went to 7-11. Red Bull, Red Bull. Japanese Red Bull: [indicated a small size with her hands] kono gurai (about this size). American Red Bull [indicated a much larger size with her hands]. Big. Very surprised. Wow. Thank you."
HARUNA: "Last, vocals - HARUNA! Thank you! We have a new song tonight! New song is very, very fast. But, very, very...exciting. Okay? Okay? Okay. 'LOVE SURVIVE'!"

HARUNA: "We are really glad to be here. Very, very happy! We would like to come he--come back. Kore kara mo yoroshiku ne (Best regards from here on too)! Minna daisuki da yo (We love you guys). We have a few more songs. Okay? Mada mada raibu wa tsuzukimasu yo (The live is still continuing on). Okay? Are you ready to rock? Rock? Yay? Yay! Mou ikkai (One more time), yay! Okay, let's rock 'Shunkan Sentimental'!"

I've seen a handful of Japanese artists here when they've visited LA, and SCANDAL has been one of the only Japanese artists I've seen that actually took the effort to do most of their MCs in English (the only other being Stereopony). All of the other acts either spoke one or two words in English then defaulted to Japanese, or just spoke in all Japanese and had a translator translate for them.

Anyway, RINA sent this very Engrishy tweet after they got back to Japan:

"Thank you for Anaheim!!Thank you for I wait for 3 years and six month, and giving it.I was glad to be able to meet everybody;) Love you!!!!"

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haha Google Translate, maybe? Tongue

I can't remember if their English improved at all or stayed the same for their BABY ACTION Asia Tour two months later in September, but I do remember seeing at the end of last year when they went to Malaysia and earlier this year when they did their Asia tour that RINA's English was spot-on in her tweets. They were fairly simple sentences, but they were also well-written and accurate. I don't have links to any right now; I'll try to find some later. I think she really did study up on English (and maybe still does at times) so that she could communicate a bit better with overseas fans.

When they come back here to the US for the event in Hawaii next year, we'll see if their English/RINA's English is still up to par, or improved even more!


Edit on 1/26/2015: They barely spoke any English in Hawaii. It was kind of disappointing, but I think they'll definitely speak more of it again when they come back to the US in May and play 3 shows~



Last edited by thoseguiltyeyes on Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:51 am; edited 3 times in total


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2011.07.03 SCANDAL @ AM2 -Anaheim, CA
2012.03.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN @武道館
2012.11.03 SCANDAL HALL TOUR 2012 @愛知
2012.11.04 SCANDAL HALL TOUR
2012.11.10 SCANDAL @ Happy MUSIC Live 2012
2013.03.03 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 @大阪城ホール
2014.06.01 Honolulu Ekiden & Music 2014
2014.06.02 SCANDAL Fan Meeting
2015.04.25 SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015「HELLO WORLD」 -Paris, FR
2015.04.26「HW」-London, UK
2015.04.30「HW」-Essen, GER
2015.05.15「HW」-Chicago, IL
2015.05.20「HW」-Mexico City, MEX
2015.05.22「HW」-Los Angeles, CA
2015.05.23「HW」-Anaheim, CA
2016.01.12 SCANDAL ARENA TOUR『PERFECT WORLD』@武道館
2016.01.13 PERFECT WORLD
2016.05.21 Welcome Fan Meeting
2016.05.22 SCANDAL @ Honolulu Ekiden & Music 2016
2016.05.23 Farewell Fan Meeting
2016.08.21 SCANDAL 10th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL @泉大津フェニックス
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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:22 pm


Metal Mickey

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
At the after show meet & greet session back in 2010, I asked Rina "Please come back next year!" She said "OK!" (w/cute hand sign). She kept her promise and did another concert (2011 Asia Tour 2011) in my city! So I'm sure Rina's English is pretty good hah!

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:13 pm


HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

International Performer
International Performer
Good examples with the MCs Happy Means they clearly know basics and vocabulary but are obviously not at an advanced level. Also yeah, if you don't practice you can lose it very fast... I spoke a lot german when i was young with my grand-parents everyday and learn it at school. Now I don't use it anymore and it would be very hard for me to speak it properly even though I could survive easily in Germany ^^

And yeah next year in Hawaii could be interesting! Not sure if the whole MC will be in english but pretty sure they will try to speak english again most of the time.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:01 pm


IceT

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo wrote:Good examples with the MCs :)Means they clearly know basics and vocabulary but are obviously not at an advanced level. Also yeah, if you don't practice you can lose it very fast... I spoke a lot german when i was young with my grand-parents everyday and learn it at school. Now I don't use it anymore and it would be very hard for me to speak it properly even though I could survive easily in Germany ^^

And yeah next year in Hawaii could be interesting! Not sure if the whole MC will be in english but pretty sure they will try to speak english again most of the time.
in STANDARD you have alot of english parts, and they sound pretty good. I'm sure if they want they could.

@HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo: If you want to practice it a little bit, you could, here are some Germans :D (and a french German sounds funny, take Bruno Spengler and Cindy Allemann for example)


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:45 pm


James MacKnight

Banned
Banned
As someone from the UK, Scotland, where English is the first language, I thought they did a good job speaking English on the Standard song.

Incidentally, the musicianship and production on that song are really very impressive.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:09 am


kaitanuva

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
Probably as good as I am with Japanese.

Nani?!

Dosh de?

Gom bom wa, watashi kaitanuva

Wakaranai...

MINA! DAISUKI SCANDAL!!!


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:38 am


macdyne73

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
Just FYI on the subject of MCs, for the shows I went to in Singapore (2011) and KL (2012) IIRC they did most of their MCs in Japanese with a smattering of English and Malay (Terima kasih!) in it. They did try to speak slowly for our benefit, so that's something that we were quite grateful for Happy

The girls have on many occasions indicated a desire to improve their English, probably realizing its importance when they play overseas which, as we are all probably aware, is virtually an annual traditional for them. They do have a good reason to try and attain at least a passable ability to speak English. It will certainly help with overseas promotional activities.

I remember in one interview, Tomomi said that she is definitely going to do something about learning English this year. I remember because after that show I tweeted her and told her I would call her out if she broke her promise Tongue

(For the life of me, I can't remember what event it was. It might've been their Valentine's day special show. I have the video of the interview but it's in my home PC)

As for their current level, it's like what Jade said, it's unfortunately not very high. I doubt that they could carry an English conversation outside of the simplest of topics. I speculate that their listening and reading is probably better than their speaking ability, so if someone were to ask them a question or tweet them in English, they would probably understand it.

I have noticed one thing; their English pronounciation has gotten better over the years, so that's a plus right there.

Back to that thing Tomomi said in the video I mentioned above, due to their scheduling, regular classes are definitely out. Due to the time and effort that it takes, self-study is also out. I was thinking, if they were deadly serious about learning English, their best bet would be to have a tutor go to them or travel with them when they are on tour, for example.

Learning a language is like learning music. The key is repetition, repetition, repetition.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:30 am


tonymiller

International Performer
International Performer
@macdyne73
Yes it must be pretty hard to learn a very foreign language when you are on the road most of the time !
But I think their knowledge of English is far better than Milky from NMB48 who only knows "Cool" in English.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:34 am


harunaonoofsukyandaru71

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Caless Student
whatever they say is fine by me.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:29 pm


spacecadet

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
http://www.alphabetcityblog.com
I haven't seen them speak English too often over the years, but they seem to be doing it more now than they used to. I don't remember their early albums really having any English to speak of, and now STANDARD has whole passages written in English, and by the girls themselves. It seems like it's a conscious effort, not something that's just happening by chance or because some outside songwriter they used has an English fetish.

It wouldn't surprise me if they are doing what they can to try to learn. At some point, they are going to max out their potential audience in Japan (if they haven't already - they always seem to sell 50,000-60,000 albums and 15,000 live DVD's), and learning English probably can't hurt in trying to gain some more international fans. The few Japanese bands I can think of that have had any mainstream success internationally mostly broke through in English. (Loudness, Shonen Knife, Cibo Matto)

On the other hand, Pizzicato Five and Puffy did it in Japanese (though Puffy had help). And I think sometimes, singing in English with a thick Japanese accent can make acceptance harder than just singing in Japanese. Shonen Knife and Cibo Matto got away with it because of the type of music they sing, which is kind of kitschy to begin with. Loudness tried to bury their accents with effects. Loudness is the only one I can think of that wasn't treated as a novelty act, though.

I've been waiting to see if SCANDAL really does an international push at some point. I think they will eventually. Since they're on Epic, it wouldn't be difficult for them to release an album and tour in the US - somebody at Epic just needs to decide they'll get a return on that investment. (Though they may also need to do something to the band name here like Puffy did, since there's another Scandal in the US.) The band probably has to learn English better before that can happen.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:44 pm


James MacKnight

Banned
Banned
spacecadet wrote:And I think sometimes, singing in English with a thick Japanese accent can make acceptance harder than just singing in Japanese. 
I don't personally find their accented English disturbing.  Particularly Haruna has a very sweet voice.  When they do sing in English, it's clear.  It's very nice.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:44 pm


HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

International Performer
International Performer
He wasn't talking about SCANDAL Happy I think their english is adorable.

I hope you are right spacecadet about gaining international fans by going overseas more often and learning english. Would be great to see them more in other countries because they play a lot in Japan already so it would also be a great change for them.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:21 pm


James MacKnight

Banned
Banned
HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo wrote:He wasn't talking about SCANDAL :)I think their english is adorable.

I hope you are right spacecadet about gaining international fans by going overseas more often and learning english. Would be great to see them more in other countries because they play a lot in Japan already so it would also be a great change for them.
There's no doubt that being able to speak English would be a massive advantage in cornering an international market.  If Scandal end up being in English speaking countries and around English speaking people, it's something they could pick up quickly by osmosis.

Scandal are as good as anyone in popular music in the English speaking countries and it's very easy to envisage that if they were promoted and marketed people here would like them.  I found my way to J-rock and J-pop bands by fortune because one of my friends gave me the 2004 Casshern film to watch and I was so blown away that it made me take an interest in Japanese culture.  I would love to see more of the complex and wonderful culture from Japan coming over here.  I hope it does happen.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:55 pm


Mitchan

International Performer
International Performer
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They aren't very good at English.. but some songs are sang on English.


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:00 am


James MacKnight

Banned
Banned
Their English is a sight better than my Japanese.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:00 am


MamiSoul

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
They speak english in SCANDAL no Theme, Kagerou, Kill the Virgin,Don't Say Lazy, Namida yo Hikare, Rock n' Roll Widow, Tokyo Skyscraper,Queens are Trumps, Rock n' Roll, and more that I have forgotten UHUH!



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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:21 pm


wolonggong

Caless Student
Caless Student
I can add that I have seen interviews where they are asked questions and have answered in English. Mami has shown that she can spell in English very well, she was able to spell out Obama and Washington with no problems as her answers while the rest of the group was writing and answering in Japanese. During a radio broadcast that was also streamed they were asked to sign the wall of the studio at the end and when she signed, she signed it in English and was asked to also put her name in Japanese.

I have also heard Mami and Tomo say many times that they think English has a good flow to it so they must know more than just a little bit. There just aren't many foreigners in Japan so learning only goes so far, not speaking it will keep it limited.

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:55 am


syakmp

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
^^Yes Mami seems to have a really good grasp on english; I think she's the only member to have come up with quite complex english sentences that are completely gramatically correct in her lyrics (e.g Queens are Trumps and Namida yo Hikare)


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:08 am


razermaul

Caless Student
Caless Student
wolonggong wrote:I can add that I have seen interviews where they are asked questions and have answered in English. Mami has shown that she can spell in English very well, she was able to spell out Obama and Washington with no problems as her answers while the rest of the group was writing and answering in Japanese. During a radio broadcast that was also streamed they were asked to sign the wall of the studio at the end and when she signed, she signed it in English and was asked to also put her name in Japanese.

I have also heard Mami and Tomo say many times that they think English has a good flow to it so they must know more than just a little bit. There just aren't many foreigners in Japan so learning only goes so far, not speaking it will keep it limited.

Any idea where I would be able to find those clips of them speaking English?

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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:32 pm


HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

International Performer
International Performer
Hmm That must be a radio interview I think? I don't remember a video interview where she talks about Obama/Washington at all so maybe during a radio promo or SCAnomics?


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Re: How good are the members at speaking English?
Posted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:52 pm


wolonggong

Caless Student
Caless Student
HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo wrote:Hmm That must be a radio interview I think? I don't remember a video interview where she talks about Obama/Washington at all so maybe during a radio promo or SCAnomics?

oh man, will be fun to try to find it again. it was a video, they were on a show and all of them had large white cards on their laps. They were being asked questions by the host and they wrote their answers on the cards and held them up. I will attempt to find it for you guys and post the link. Just don't remember if it was on Youtube or scandal media.

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