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Korea's English-Singing Baby

I’ve noticed that around the site, members sometimes refer to themselves as “English babies,” which is funny because that wasn’t the intention of the brand at all. But if we were to have some sort of diapered mascot, I think this would be him.

This video is at the top of the viral video charts, and a big part of what’s so endearing about it is that the child (named Hero Ha) clearly doesn’t know English, yet manages to make the song pretty intelligible and deliver it with passion. Entertainment is how a lot of the world learns its first English words, and the amount Hero has been able to absorb from music makes him a linguistic prodigy. But interestingly, most other bloggers and commenters on the video seem to regard him as a musical prodigy. One Korean television show even compares him to Mozart.

Now, call me jaded, but for as much charisma as Hero has, he doesn’t seem to have as much skill as a musician or performer as the other kids who appeared with him on this Korean show.

Folks have suggested that Hero is the next Michael Jackson or a reincarnation of John Lennon, and time will tell, but I’d peg him as a linguist, because his ability to learn English pronunciation just by listening to music is what is most remarkable about him. I mean, I have a CD of Cambodian rock songs that I listen to all the time, but every time I try to sing along, it just doesn’t work. There’s no way I could sing one of those songs from memory like Hero does with the Beatles.

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