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YouTubers vs Kpop Engrish

November 9, 2013

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A bunch of YouTubers came over to Korea, including Mystery Guitar Man, Final Cut King, the VFX Bro, Just Kidding Films, David Choi, indymogul, and callus, and they were all here to help promote the YouTube Music Awards! To which you might say “that’s all gravy, baby, but why is this video after the YouTube Music Awards?” and the answer to that is…wait? What? Spudgy! Let me save you from Dr. Meemersworth! Hold on.

Where was I? I forget. I could look at the paragraph above and find out where I left off but true lyrical geniuses on the mics can just freestyle stuff, so I’ll do that. Anyhow! Let’s talk more about this fun segment!

One of the main issues we have with Kpop is the awful English. We’ve heard the argument time and time again: “it’s not for English speakers, it’s for a Korean audience! Random English in songs is cool. It doesn’t matter if it’s correct.” We understand that. So our argument is this: it DOES matter to an English speaking audience, especially one not initiated in the world of Kpop. If someone who doesn’t know Kpop hears and awesome song, if there’s one Engrish line in it they’ll laugh, and won’t appreciate the song how they should. It’s a deterrent. It’s gotten in the way of them liking the song. So, if it doesn’t matter to a Korean audience if the English is right or wrong, but it does matter to an English speaking audience, what harm would it do to use proper English? It’s win-win! STOP USING BAD ENGRISH! YOU HAVE NO REASON TO!

So, we picked a bunch of songs in which the English of the song was…questionable. Here are how some of the non-initiated into the Kpop world reacted to it. We hope you liked it :D

We also did a bunch of other tests for them, including the Gender Bender test, the WTF Korea item test, and a True/False questionnaire. You can check them out on everyone’s channels linked to here, or you can view them in the playlist above. Or if you’re on a phone and it won’t play playlists, we’ve embedded all of the videos here. Yeah!

Yeah! And I know there were a bunch of songs we totally should have done, but forgot to do. If we ever do this kind of game again, we’d love a list of songs to make people decipher :D

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YouTubers vs Kpop Engrish

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  1. these videos made my day, So awesomely hilarious. Great job you guys

    3 years ago
  2. Ha! These were awesomely hilarious! Kudos on also using the graphics to spice up the “behind a desk” scene, it helped LOADS. The record one was super effective! ;)

    Cyber_3 – goes to play some vinyl……..

    3 years ago
    • Thank you! We were worried that it’s a bit too visually boring just sitting at a desk, so we did our best to spruce it up. Glad you appreciated it :D

      3 years ago
      • Heh, I really did give you a hard time about those desk scenes…….I am glad that you don’t mind my comments. A while back in one of the blogs Simon mentioned that he was frustrated that people were complaining so much about what the videos weren’t as opposed to what they were, that if people wanted to complain, then at least let it be constructive or about the video itself (I am paraphrasing here). After that I watched the comments for a while and did a little digging and realized that there while you got lots of “love it!”, or “hilarious!” or “not what I wanted!” comments, no one was really giving you helpful feedback about specifics of the videos themselves or constructive criticism. Your stats can tell you the “when” or “what” but not always the “why”. Even if I’m no expert, I have some experience so I thought that if I was going to bother to comment at all, at least I could say one (or more) things that might help you improve your videos or get an idea of what parts of the videos that people liked. I’m trying to reign in my “over-helpfulness” :P but I thought I would just let you know why my comments are as they are. I generally love all your videos and I don’t want to get into a “critic” kind of role, I just wanted to give you more than just my adoration for all the hard work that goes into the videos BESIDES the content.

        Cyber_3 – really likes those extra little bits at the ends of the videos lately, I hope everyone else does too

        3 years ago
  3. These videos are pure gold. GOLD I TELL YOU. GOLD!

    3 years ago
  4. He should have gotten another half a point for EXO, he got anonymous and no one who care about me.

    Pretty entertaining vids tho.

    3 years ago
  5. Just have them listen and try to explain the narration at the beginning of Mama by exo, it makes no sense.
    Or Block B’s Nalina with the “I’m so hot/hard, you know what I mean” part.

    I haven’t laughed so hard in awhile so thank you for making my crappy week better with these amazing videos.

    3 years ago
  6. okay who is aaron and why is he so cute

    3 years ago
  7. Forget that “There’s no f’us in this song.” There’s no cola in Ring Ding Dong?! O_O! How have I never known this?

    BTW MysteryGuitarMan gave some of the best answers. Never did I think of The Louvre is in fire XD

    3 years ago
    • Cola is there… incognito. They won’t fool me with some “rocka”.

      3 years ago
  8. LMAO the gender bender one!! I’m really good at telling the difference I got them all right. With that said I knew who they all were except the first one but hes obviously a guy. You think Koreans are hard, try Japanese androgyny… I had to deal with that first haha.
    Engrish is fun to make fun of and its a part of kpop, however it also ruins a potentially perfect song too. I have a love-hate relationship with it heh.
    I really enjoyed this, those guys were funny ^^

    3 years ago
  9. I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO POST THIS SO I’LL POST THIS HERE: I really really like this set up of the website. The fact the culture and music aspects are now one page is AWESOME. And the way every “topic” sort of switches around is awesome. I know I mentioned this a while ago, but I just want to reinforce how awesome your website is. I hope you keep this set up for a while.

    3 years ago
    • Thank you! We’re constantly trying to think of ways of sprucing up the website, and we’re open for suggestions, too!

      3 years ago
    • Simon and Martina regularly read comments on their recent posts so I am sure they will see it. I like the change as well.

      3 years ago
  10. No one understands my country… Even I don’t understand my own country

    3 years ago
  11. “Hee-nim pops up-That is a girl. There is no doubt …. wait.” PERFECT!

    3 years ago
  12. Engrish irritates me too sometimes. It’s fine when the song is light-hearted and funny anyway. (*cough joom-joom-my-heart-like-a-locket*)
    But it’s when it pops up in songs that I want to take seriously…then it bugs me.
    e.g. Day by Day by T-ara is one of my favourite songs. I love the mood, the sombre rapping, the tune, the production ( & the mv :P). Over all it’s a great, serious song.
    BUT THAT ONE DAMN LINE
    ‘Kiss me baby I’ll must be stay here day by day’
    WHAT?!
    HOW can I take a song seriously if it has a sentence like that in it!!? it slightly ruins it for me (still love it tho)

    Also, I think the longer you’ve listened to Kpop for, the more desensitised you get to the bad Engrish. 4 years ago when I got into K-pop I couldn’t listen to it without cringing but a lot of the time now I barely even notice it most of the time (except when it’s glaringly obvious)

    3 years ago
  13. The gender bender one was the best! I totally lost it when everyone would pick the wrong gender! Kpop does wonders to make you question your sexuality :D

    3 years ago
  14. That moment you realize it’s a BIGsmall world out there <3 Zach is from the same homeland of Portland as yours truly ~

    3 years ago
  15. The power you have over me! “I’m going to catch up on Big Bang Theory and not turn my computer on tonight. Wait new EYK video…more videos. Damn it my TV doesn’t do playlist mode!” *turns computer on*

    These games were hilarious. The engrish and gender bender ones have me hacking a lung. Especially poor Aaron’s “The one time!” Taemin, our lovely 70’s girl. I’d love to know Kevin and Amber’s thoughts after seeing this XD

    3 years ago
    • lol similar situation here.
      Mine was ”ok i’m switching the computer off and going to bed. It’s 2.30am. Wait! EYK new videos!” *stays on computer forevaaar*

      3 years ago
  16. Oh man, I’ve become such a part of kpop I forgot it wasn’t normal for guys to wear earrings, to have long hair, and to look feminine overall. And i forgot some Engrish is actually not normal.

    3 years ago
    • I thought it was funny how they used it as a reason for them to be girls, but Aaron had earrings in both ears too

      3 years ago
      • That and make-up. When I asked my mom she was like “Well they have extensions and makeup on to make themselves look more like girls” and I was like “No. That’s just K-pop. Everyone wears makeup. It’s not a very good mechanism for telling whether someone’s a girl or guy.”

        3 years ago
        • Male celebs wear it all the time. I remember watching some Olly Murs bio and his mother was saying something about how all the make-up that rubbed off onto his white shirt collar annoyed her all the time.

          3 years ago
    • Me too! Every time they mentioned “well this one is wearing earrings” I felt really confused why they would bring that up. It wasn’t actually until your comment that I remembered, most guys (where I’m from anyway) don’t wear earrings. Especially not in both ears. I’ve gotten so used to the kpop world now, I don’t even see the guys as looking that feminine, haha.

      3 years ago
      • Yeah! i used to think Jaejoong looked like a girl and a bunch more. I remember a few things about my pre-kpop era, most of them were about how feminine some people looked. Now, I acknowledge Jaejoong as “hot”. The only person I will never get over is Ren. Holy smokes, I still see him as a girl.

        3 years ago
        • Jaejoong is actually one who I never mistook for a woman, which is odd given what I’ve heard from most other people, including my non-kpop friends. Though, when I look at pics from when he was younger, I can see it more. Sungjong from Infinite was the first one where I was really confused. My first thought upon seeing Nothing’s Over was “oh I didn’t know they had co-ed groups in kpop, how neat!” O_o And agreed on Ren. He’s just… too damn pretty. I’m not even sure he’s real…

          3 years ago
      • Where I am from guys where earrings it is just usually not extremely common. Plugs for guys are a bit more common.

        3 years ago
  17. The gender bender was so funny, and I’m loving Simon’s sarcasm in the game show. I died when Taemin’s pic showed up and mystery guitar man was like ” that’s a beautiful girl” LOL

    3 years ago
    • That gender bender one was hilarious, but also the one I personally whiffed on the most. I think I may just need to become bi-sexual so I can say “screw it, it doesn’t matter which one it is.”

      3 years ago
    • My mom called me one day asking if I wanted Big Bang socks. I said yes then she asked if I wanted a pair of Shinee socks and that there’s a girl on them…

      Me: That’s a dude…

      Mom: That’s a guy??

      It’s Onew…

      3 years ago
    • yea but you know Taemin is used to such comments by now, poor thing. TAEMIN WHY YOU SO BEAUTIFUL WITH THE SILKY SMOOTH HAIR!!!!!

      3 years ago
    • It was the funniest challenge! LMAO
      I knew Heechul, Amber, Ren & Taemin would be there for sure but when they put that old old pic of Kevin with Simon looking “apologesticaly” into the camera… *dead*

      3 years ago
    • When Hyoyeon’s pic showed up, I was like wtf ._.
      A badly taken screen-cap = boyish/manly??
      Ouch

      3 years ago
      • Right! Unfair to us Hyoyeon worshippers – and your guests – to pick such a unflattering photo of her. I’m so sad now. You have to make it up to her and us. :D

        3 years ago
      • We did this at the very end of their test, after we thoroughly confused them. Hyoyeon is clearly a girl, but I wanted the contestants to second guess themselves. Like “wait: Ren was clearly a girl, but was a guy. This is clearly a girl. OH GOD! WHAT DO?”

        3 years ago
      • No no no, the point of Hyo was to confuse them. Hyo is my favourite SNSD member! She’s gorgeous! I thought that pic was pretty.

        But the thing is; after seeing so many beautiful guys, when they see a photo of a beautiful girl, they’re just not sure anymore…..y’know? :)

        Oh right, S&M posted this on YouTube:
        For those who are upset that we put in Hyoyeon, she was last on the list, after everyone had their realities shattered. It’s obvious she’s a girl, but we wanted them to second guess themselves :D

        So, it’s not that she’s manly or anything ^^;

        3 years ago
  18. I’m annoyed I missed two of the gender benders, although my instincts told me the right answer I second guessed myself. I even recognized one and knew it was a girl. Although Amber really looks like a girl with short hair, seriously.

    3 years ago
    • I missed two as well, the same way you did! I basically got it right, but talked myself out of the right answer at the last second >.< — I think I did pretty well though, since I only knew a couple of them beforehand

      3 years ago
  19. Aww you didn’t use the ‘don’t deny my r squared pi’
    somewhere out there AJ is crying…

    3 years ago
  20. Am I the only one that loves the Engrish? I personally think that is part of the Kpop charm. My all time favourite Kpop song line is “Everyday I shock shock!”

    3 years ago
    • Omg I’ve been singing that non stop for the last week. I’m studying for my exams, and it’s super boring, all about hypovolaemic shock, cardiogenic shock, mechanical shock, septic shock, etc….and everytime ‘shock’ comes up in my notes, I yell;

      EVERYDAY I SHOCK SHOCK! EVERYNIGHT I SHOCK SHOCK!!

      Wakes me up instantly xD

      3 years ago
    • Technically that one isn’t wrong except for the repetition.

      3 years ago
      • I guess technically ‘shock’ can be used as a verb but it still doesn’t make any sense.
        If you actually read the lyrics of the rest of the song, it seems like what they ought to be saying is ‘Everyday I’m shocked’ and still that makes very little sense within the context of the Korean lyrics.

        The important thing to remember is to sneak up on people while whispering ‘everyday I shock’ and then shout ‘SHOCK!’ loudly in their ears. That’s what me and my friends learnt from this song and that is the moral of the story.

        3 years ago
      • To me it sounds like a sentence fragment. I’m not entirely sure what “Everyday I shock” means.

        3 years ago
  21. Aaaahhhhh the gender bender… i feel so sad… i was like yeah i’m gonna nail this woot woot… first one… yes totally easy… 2nd ohhh… that was harder, but got it right (lucky guess)… 3rd… right!!… 4th… right!!… 5th… right… wrong… wrong… right… right… wrong… i thought with all my drama watching and kpop videos would have gotten more right… 7/10 at least i beat them… yes i will look at the bright side… atleast i beat them… *insert Napoleon Dynamite quiet fist pump “yesss”*

    3 years ago
  22. You guys don’t understand how much I laughed while watching all of these challenge videos!! Thank you so much for the laughs guys!!!

    “obelisk, obelisk” … I can’t

    3 years ago
  23. when Bilasa came on…Martina’s face was all trolololol :P

    3 years ago
  24. I was slightly disappointed that Purple line by TVXQ wasn’t in there. That clearly has some wonderful and extremly questionable engrish.

    3 years ago
  25. I feel obligated to tell you that you are keeping me from doing my very boring homework for English 2000, and I would like to express my gratitude. Thanks!

    3 years ago
  26. Oh my gosh, that was like a year’s worth of hilarity contained in four videos. The Engrish and genderbend games…. I lost it laughing. And then I coughed a lot because I have a cold. :P

    3 years ago
  27. The VFX Bro. Damn, I pity him.

    3 years ago
  28. lol wow all of these look like so much fun ..

    PS….I might be procrastinating
    ~(≖ ‿ ≖~) ~(≖ ‿ ≖)~ (~≖ ‿ ≖)~

    3 years ago
  29. Love this, you forget how messed up the Engrish is until you listen to another song for the first time. I still say joom joom my heart like a locket. This is super smart and oh god starting the other two. The gender bender one is gonna be horrible and it is. You two put Kevin and Amber in their on purpose didn’t you?

    3 years ago
  30. I LOST MY MIND AT THE BEGINNING OF ‘MAMA’ Oh my god. PRICELESS REACTIONS! I am so mad now I didn’t record my friends reactions when they stumbled upon this while we were having lunch one day.

    3 years ago
  31. Oh my god this just nearly killed me xD SO funny^^

    And seriously I just can’t seem to remember the freaking words of the ‘Mama’ intro^^ (though I always google them because it irritates me every single time and still I forget them :P)
    The Gender Bender was great and I think I got all of them correct to which I say YAY^^ (yes I still get confused some times :P)

    3 years ago
  32. Wow, that was fantastic. My mom actually stopped her work to come watch because she was laughing so much. They both said that’s the best game show they’ve seen in ages.

    Because the English is soooo obvious for us, but for people who aren’t used to it – LMAO xD
    My dad tried to guess the genders too, but got most of them wrong :p

    I feel sorry for Aaron, was it? He lost everything :p He was a good sport though. Took all those punishments Like A Man!! ^^b

    3 years ago
    • obvious? what are you talking about? I have to look up lyrics all the time lol

      3 years ago
    • I felt sorry for Aaron to but I was laughing too hard because of it by the third game show challenge.

      3 years ago
  33. I LOVE that you guys are know the Talk to me in Korean people! I love them!

    3 years ago
  34. Okay, loved the Gender game! I let out an evil laugh when I saw Martina coming with the barley soda. Muwahaha!

    3 years ago
  35. ‘How do you laugh?’
    ‘Ha ha ha’
    ‘Death death death?’

    I’m finished. I can’t take anymore…

    3 years ago
  36. omg that was the funniest thing ever! the whole time i was like “come on guys THIS one is SOOOO easy”. i guess i am too use to engrish. poor guys

    3 years ago
  37. Yay! They used the mustache shot glasses that I sent a few month ago! Really funny videos! I really like Joe!

    3 years ago
  38. haha Awesome. “Shopping list… Shopping list, We need to get the Shopping list.”

    3 years ago
  39. ‘Are you sure that’s not latin?’

    I AM WEAK!!!

    OH GAWD! SHOPPING LIST!! MAKE IT STAHPPPPPPPPP!!! I AM DYING!!!

    3 years ago
    • I knew no one would get Ren. My older brother is forever confused about his sexual orientation because of him.

      3 years ago
  40. FIRST!! :D Hah! You haven’t even tweeted it yet! Epic win! Yeah!

    ……….okay I’ll stop now

    3 years ago