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The English subtitles in Squid Game are a hot mess, says viral tweet

Anyone who has a Netflix subscription (or anyone with access to it) has probably seen the current and hottest Korean Netflix show right now, which is Squid Game.

Squid Game is a 9-episode suspense Korean drama that revolves around childhood games, pot money, and fully developed characters who are desperately playing for their lives.


subtitle Squid Game

However, non-Korean speaking fans from all over the world may have been missing a lot contextually, with the botched English subtitles used in the series.

According to a TikTok user named youngmimayer, the subtitles are not accurately capturing the exact sense of the dialogues in the show. She expressed her dismay in a Twitter thread amidst the attention gained by the Korean suspense drama.

“If you don’t understand Korean you didn’t really watch the same show. The dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved. I want to do a scene breakdown on TikTok to show you what they could’ve translated to.” She said.

“I’m fluent in Korean and I had the English subtitles on and I noticed that you’re missing so much,” she added.

At this point, the TikTok user pointed the significance of the dialogues of each contestant especially Han Mi-nyeo’s. The deficiency of the English subtitles of Squid Game did not give justice to the development of her character.

“Her dialogue constantly gets botched. Every little thing she says is fucked up. I think it’s because she plays a ‘low class’ character and she’s gangster and cusses a lot.” She stated.

Youngmimayer also cited a certain scene as an example for her claim. In the part when Min Nyeo was talking to the gameshow guards, the subtitles went like this: “What are you looking at?” which is inaccurately translated to: “Go away”.

However, a more significant scenario where her lines are packed with cultural and social nuance wasn’t captured in the English subtitles:

“I’m not a genius but I can still work it out”. However, what she actually says is “I am very smart, I just never got a chance to study,” according to youngmimayer.

“That is a huge trope in Korean media, the poor person that’s smart and clever, that’s a huge part of her character, but almost everything she says is being botched,” youngmimayer disappointedly said.

A few other Twitter users also second the motion and agreed that translations missed some nuance.


Netflix hasn’t responded or commented to anything yet as of this writing. Despite this issue, Squid Game continues to be a game changer in the entertainment scene.

Let’s hope for better subtitles for (fingers crossed) the next season.


Other POP! stories you might like:

Gong Yoo surprises fans with appearance in Squid Game series

New series ‘Squid Game’ releases poster and trailer, shows truth behind deadly games

Non-binary Korean: British influencer Oli London ‘comes out’ as ethnicity

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