Squid Game viewers have claimed that viewers are missing out on dialogue due to ‘botched’ subtitles.
The Korean drama thriller has taken Netflix and the world by storm, with the series becoming the most watched show globally on the streaming platform and on track to become Netflix’s biggest show ever.
However, those of us who can’t understand Korean may be missing out on key parts of character backstories, due to the translated subtitles.
Viewers can watch Squid Game either in Korean with English subtitles (or other languages), or dubbed in English, and it has been claimed that the closed-captioning subtitles are more matched to the English dubbing than the actual Korean script.
Comedian Youngmi Mayer, who speaks fluent Korean, shared her frustration on TikTok as she realised that the meaning of dialogue was slightly changed by the subtitles.
Focusing on the character of Han Mi-nyeo, played by Kim Joo-Ryoung, Mayer said: ‘Her dialogue constantly gets botched – every little thing she says is f***ed up and I think it’s because she plays a low-class character and she’s kind of gangster so she cusses a lot and it gets very sterilised.’
In one scene, Mi-neyo says in Korean: ‘What are you looking at?’, but the subtitles read: ‘Go away.’
In another scene, where she attempts to convince other players to team up with her, the entire meaning of what she says is altered, Mayer claims.
Mayer explained: ‘The translation says “I’m not a genius but I can work it out.”
‘What she actually said was, “I am very smart — I just never got a chance to study.” 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 entire character’s purpose for being in the f***ing show!’
Mayer said that it wasn’t the translators’ fault, instead blaming the producers: ‘Translators are underpaid and overworked and it’s not their fault. it’s the fault of producers who don’t appreciate the art.’
Storyboard artist Andrew Minghee Kim also took his criticism to social media, arguing that Sang-woo’s mother said in one scene: ‘You don’t need to buy me anything, just take care of yourself’, while the subtitles read: ‘I’m just worried that you might get me, you know, something that’s really way too expensive.’
Squid Game follows a man Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) who is approached by a man who offers him a chance to relieve his debts by playing a game.
He finds himself as the 456th player in a tournament where participants play childhood games in the race for a cash prize – but elimination from a game means a bloody death.
The show has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and is a bit of a social media sensation, with the honeycomb cookie game being reborn as an internet challenge.
Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.