Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

English-speaking viewers tuning into new Netflix hit Squid Games may not understand the full story because the ‘botched subtitles’ completely change the show’s meaning, Korean-speaking fans have claimed.

Korean-made Squid Game, which is the most streamed show in the US and in the UK, features grisly scenes of characters being shot in the head and organ harvesting, in the latest example of shock-tactic programming from the streaming giant. 

It has become a cult hit with fans of the slasher horror genre who have dubbed the nine-part series ‘Saw meets the Hunger Games’ and revelled in scenes of torture and mass murder, but it seems that the show could be even more shocking, depending on what language you’re watching in.  

New York-based comedian and Korean speaker Youngmi Mayer has taken to Twitter to reveal how some of the the subtitles in English are ‘so bad’ that the original meaning is often lost completely, while some sweary characters are ‘sanitised’.

Fellow viewers have noticed a difference between the English subtitles – which seem to be more accurate – and the closed caption subtitles, which contain audio description, while others claim that neither gives an accurate translation. 

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

Many of the English subtitles in teh hit Neflix show don’t match the Korean. In one scene a ‘low-class’ character tries to convince people to play the game with her, and the closed-caption subtitles read: ‘I’m not a genius, but I still got it work out.’

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

Viewers who watch with English rather than close caption subtitles will read: ‘I never bothered to study, but I’m incredibly smart’ which is closer, but still not the same as the Korean

‘Not to sound snobby but I’m fluent in Korean and I watched squid game with English subtitles and if you don’t understand Korean you didn’t really watch the same show,’ Youngmi said in a viral Twitter post.

‘Translation was so bad. The dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved.’

Following up from her tweet, in a TikTok video Youngmi shared more examples of the ‘poor’ translation.

In one scene a ‘low-class’ character Han Mi-nyeo tries to convince people to play the game with her, and the closed-caption subtitles read: ‘I’m not a genius, but I still got it worked out.’

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

English-speaking viewers tuning into new Netflix hit Squid Games may not understand the full story as the ‘botched subtitles’ completely change the show’s meaning, Korean-speaking fans have claimed

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

According to New York-based comedian and Korean speaker Youngmi Mayer the closed-caption subtitles in English are ‘so bad’ that the original meaning is often lost completely

However viewers watching with English subtitles will read: ‘I never bothered to study, but I’m incredibly smart’.

Youngmi explains the character actually says ‘I am very smart, I just never got a chance to study’.

That’s a huge trope in Korean media – the poor person that’s smart and clever and that just isn’t wealthy,’ she said. ‘That’s a huge part of her character. And almost everything she says is botched. The writers, all they want you to know about her its that. The entire character’s purpose of being in the show.’

She added: ‘Every single thing she says is f*****d up. I think it’s because she’s a “low class” character, and she’s “gangsta”. So she cusses a lot and it gets very sterilised.’ 

At another point, Han Mi-nyeo says ‘what are you looking at’ but the caption instead reads ‘go away’. 

‘It might seem arbitrary but everything she says is not really aligning and you’re missing a lot of this character and what she stands for,’ Youngmi said.   

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

Later in the same episode, during a discussion bewteen Seong Gi-hun and Oh Il-nam, the latter says ‘there is no ownership between me and you’ which translates as ‘we share everything.’ 

‘That is a huge miss. That’s the entire point of this episode. It’s a very small sentence. It doesn’t make sense. That is such a differen in ideology that the writer is trying to get across to you,’ Youngmi said. 

Youngmi added: ‘Also I want to point out that the reason this happens is because translation work is not respected and also the sheer volume of content. 

‘Translators are underpaid and overworked and it’s not their fault. It’s the fault of producers who don’t appreciate the art’. 

FEMAIL has contacted Netflix for comment.

Other users replied saying they watched Squid Game and had ‘completely different’ subtitles to the original language.   

‘Me and my flatmate both watched Squid Game on two different laptops and our English subtitles were different. The distinctions were subtle but even that made it feel like we were watching different shows,’ one user wrote.

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

Korean-made Squid Game, which is the most streamed show in the US and in the UK, features grisly scenes of characters being shot in the head and organ harvesting

Someone said it!!! Thank you!!! I also watched it in Korean and as a multi-lingual speaker with translation and subtitling experience I just noticed a lot of messy areas and it was so basic. I also (just to see what it was like) started to watch the dubbed version – it was worse,’ added another. 

Youngmi’s comments were about the closed-caption subtitles rather than the English language subtitles.

Closed captions are often automatically generated and are for people who are hard of hearing.

They include audio descriptions as well as speech – and are significantly different to the English subtitles.

Youngmi has since said that the English language subtitles are ‘substantially better’  but added they still ‘miss the metaphors – and what the writers were trying to actually say.’

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

, Squid Game’s English subtitles ‘completely change meaning of the hit Netflix show’, Nzuchi Times National News

Youngmi has since said that the English language subtitles are ‘substantially better’ but added they still ‘miss the metaphors – and what the writers were trying to actually say. Pictured a shot from the shoe

It comes as  Netflix bosses are being sued by a South Korean internet provider over the stratospheric popularity of gory survival drama Squid Game.

The show has soared in popularity worldwide since its release on Netflix last month and has been pegged to become the service’s most successful show to date.

Controversy has arisen however, as according to Reuters, a South Korean internet service provider, SK Broadband, is suing Netflix over increased traffic thanks to the streaming service’s popularity in the country.

The internet provider said in its claims that Netflix is South Korea’s second-largest traffic generator besides YouTube, and states that other streamers – Amazon, Facebook and Apple – are all paying network usage fees.