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We often hear 'plus alpha' here in Japan.
Something like "You have to have some plus alpha
to become a commentator."
Is it English? Should it be 'something extra'?

Thank you.
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possible connection: an "alpha male" is a dominant male, thus you must show leadership and fighting spirit in order to become an anchorperson/commentator

also, there seems to be a game

Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha
We have the same phrase here in Korea as well.

ex. We need A and "plus alpha" (meaning something extra.)

In Korea, we call these phrases that derive from English words, but aren't really English, "Konglish."

Alpha is the mathemtic term, like beta.

It's interesting to know you have the same phrase in Japan!
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this is interesting:

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alpha

4 : first in order of brightness -- used of a star in a constellation

Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged.
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It's clearly Japanese English. "That little something extra."
It means a little more than usual
this is per jwpcedictionary
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It's Japanese-English. "Something extra" or "X-factor" would be a decent translation, though there is no exact translation. Japanese if full of these types of unique English usages. http://tencolors.com/Ten Colors/TC+Alpha_Group.html
"Something special" would be a closer approximation in English.

"You have to have something special to become..."

It means "+ something extra/special", a widely used "wasei-eigo" (和製英語) meaning "English made in Japan") like a lot of other words.

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