In recent weeks The Squid Game – 100% has become a sensation among viewers, proof of this is the remarkable impact on social networks and the fact that it is already becoming the most successful Netflix show. The series brings to the table a style that has been seen before, where games are the protagonists, although its objective is not necessarily to have fun. At first it is not as direct as Saw: The Macabre Game – 48% where you immediately know that things are wrong.
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In this case, the protagonists are recruited by mysterious characters when they know that they are facing economic conflicts, so they are invited to participate in a series of challenges that includes children’s games and the winner will be credited with a significant amount of money, which the would get out of your problem. Things change their tune when they discover that it is not about winning or losing, but about winning or dying.
So far it seems that everything is perfectly clear in the plot, just by seeing the scenes you can understand what is happening, but what about the characters and their development? The Squid Game It is originally spoken in Korean, but thanks to the magic of translation, we can understand what is happening, or at least that is what we have been led to believe. According to a fluent Korean TikTok user, the English translation (and perhaps therefore the Spanish translation as well) is completely wrong, and this changes the meaning of many things.
Youngmi mayer analyzed only about ten minutes of an episode to show that we haven’t seen what the writers actually wanted to show about each character through their dialogue.
I don’t want to sound snobby, but I am fluent in Korean and I watched The Squid Game with English subtitles and if you don’t understand Korean, you didn’t actually watch the same show. The translation was so bad. The dialogue was so well written and nothing was preserved.
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. translation was so bad. the dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved
– youngmi mayer (@ymmayer) September 30, 2021
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Below, you can watch the video where he translates each dialogue and explains the Netflix translation error.
ok i made this really fast so it’s not very good but these are the small examples i could find in ten mins pic.twitter.com/5kIsrlWDjq
– youngmi mayer (@ymmayer) September 30, 2021
According to Youngmi, Han Mi-nyeo’s character played by Kim Joo-Ryoung, he lost a lot of weight due to the dialogues in English that do not allow to know who he really is and ends up saying confusing or nonsensical things. An example of this is a scene where he faces one of the characters in a red suit; While the English subtitles say “Go away,” she actually says “What are you looking at?” In another scene, Han herself is asking someone to play with her, her dialogue in English translates as “I’m not a genius, but I’ll still make it.”
This scene was fundamental because of what this character represents, which goes unnoticed by using the wrong words and meaning. What it actually says is “I’m very intelligent, I never had the opportunity to study”, echoing something that has already become traditional on Korean television, where characters who are poor, but with remarkable intelligence, are posed. Mayer pointed out that those lines are everything to the character, it’s the only thing the writers wanted to know about her, and for those who don’t speak Korean, she’s totally lost.
Finally there is another of the dialogues that completely changes direction between one version and another, and it is the conversation between Oh Il-nam and Seong Gi-hun discussing their friendship. In English they put the line “We share everything”, when in reality they say “There is no property between you and me”.
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That’s the point of this damn episode. It’s a very small sentence, but now it doesn’t even make sense. That is such an ideological difference that the writer is trying to make you understand.
Finally, the tiktoker clarified that this is not the direct fault of the translators, but of the company, since they are very poorly paid and must do the work by volume. So not enough attention is paid to what they are writing or if it is consistent with the context of the scene.
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