Netflix's 'Squid Game' Leaves Korean Speakers Fuming About 'Subtitles' That Change Meaning Of The Show

Netflix's 'Squid Game' Leaves Korean Speakers Fuming About 'Subtitles' That Change Meaning Of The Show

Netflix Inc’s NFLX popular Korean-language drama “Squid Game” is drawing the ire of some viewers, who are complaining that subtitles and closed-captions change the meaning of the well-scripted show.

What Happened: A viewer, Youngmi Mayer, said on Twitter that she is fluent in Korean and watched the show with "English subtitles."

“If you don’t understand korean you didn’t really watch the same show. translation was so bad. the dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved,” read the tweet, first noted on BBC. 

Mayer shared a TikTok video were she went through several examples of the supposedly poor translation.

Mayer attributed the situation to underpaid translators and the “sheer volume” of work they have to undertake. “ It’s the fault of producers who don’t appreciate the art.”

“I want to make one more point before muting this.. how stupid is it that in this country the media run by and large by white people get to criticize art? they don’t even know what we are saying. this is language but same goes for food art music etc…”

However, some people who responded to Mayer pointed out that she was reacting to closed captions rather than subtitles.

Why It Matters: Closed captions are for those who are hearing impaired and include audio descriptions and sound effects, as well as speech. These are often automatically generated, noted BBC.

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Squid Game, released Sept. 17, is poised to become Netflix’s biggest “non-English-language show in the world,” as per the streaming giant’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos, NBC News reported.

“It's only been out for nine days, and it's a very good chance it's going to be our biggest show ever,” Sarandos said earlier, as per NBC.

The show is so popular in South Korea that the country’s major telecom firm SK Telecom Co. Ltd SKM countersued Netflix, stating that the latter caused heavy traffic on its ISP network.

Netflix has filed an appeal against the South Korean firm after a judge at a Seoul court ruled against it in the matter.

Price Action: On Tuesday, Netflix shares closed nearly 5.2% higher at $634.81 in the regular session and rose another 0.5% in the after-hours trading.

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