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Squid Game Subtitles Accused Of ‘Botched Translation’

by : Julia Banim on :
Squid Game Subtitles Accused Of ‘Botched Translation’Netflix

A TikTok user has revealed that the subtitles on the smash-hit Netflix show Squid Game are ‘so wrong’, giving examples of what they regard as a ‘botched translation’.

Directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk (The Fortress), the nine-episode Korean dystopian drama currently holds the number one spot on Netflix UK and has received widespread critical acclaim.

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The show has earned an impressive 96% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, and viewers at home can’t stop talking about the various twists and turns. However, it seems as though some aspects may be getting lost in translation.

Squid Game. (Netflix)Netflix

In a video uploaded to their popular TikTok channel, comedian @youngmimayer – who speaks fluent Korean – claimed Netflix has ‘botched’ some of the subtitles, starting things off by focusing on the dialogue of Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryoung), aka Player 212.

According to @youngmimayer, ‘her dialogue constantly gets botched’, adding, ‘every little thing she says gets f*cked up’. They believe this is because she is portrayed as a ‘low-class character’ who ‘cusses a lot’, meaning her dialogue gets ‘very sterilised’.

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Check it out below:

@youngmimayer##squidgame translations are sooo wrong here’s a little example♬ original sound – youngmi

Giving one example, @youngmimayer points to a scene where Mi-nyeo asks ‘what are you looking at?’ which is translated as ‘go away’ in the subtitles. Even if such translations work within the story, it would appear we aren’t getting the dialogue as it was originally intended, taking away from important themes.

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As explained by @youngmimayer, this mistranslation means we aren’t getting the character of Mi-nyeo in her entirety. For instance, in one scene where she is trying to convince others to play the game with her, Mi-nyeo says, ‘I am very smart, I just never got the chance to study’.

This ends up getting translated as, ‘I’m not a genius, but I still got it worked out’, completely changing the tone of the scene and taking away a telling piece of character development.

According to @youngmimayer:

That is a huge trope in Korean media. The poor person that’s smart and clever and just isn’t wealthy. That’s a huge part of her character.

[…] The writers, all they want you to know about her is that. It seems so small, but it’s the character’s entire purpose of being in the f*cking show!

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Find out more here.

You can watch Squid Game on Netflix now.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Netflix, Squid Game

Credits

youngmi/TikTok
  1. youngmi/TikTok

    @youngmimayer