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The success of Netflix’s “Squid Game” has fueled an online debate about the accuracy of English subtitles and translations.

Oct 12 2021

The success of Netflix’s Squid Game has fueled an online debate about the accuracy of English subtitles and translations. YPulse’s Borderless Culture trend report found that 51% of 13-36-year-olds like to learn about other cultures through their entertainment media, and we recently told you about the phenomenon of Netflix’s Squid Game and how TikTokers were reenacting scenes from the show—but according to some bilingual and multilingual Korean viewers, the English subtitles and closed captions don’t convey all aspects of the characters and storyline. Youngmi Mayer (a.k.a @youngmi) recently went viral on TikTok and racked up millions of views after sharing a video where she vented frustrations about how some of the dialogue was “botched” and “sterilized.” Mayer’s videos have spurred an online debate about translation, subtitles, and dubbing, with some followers “echoing the same concerns” accusing Netflix of “cutting out swear words and suggestive language from subtitles and condensing dialogue in ways that can change the meaning of the scene.” While many other Korean-language speakers have pointed out that they don’t necessarily agree with Mayer’s translations, some experts say that translation is an “art form” that is often underappreciated, underpaid, and limited by industry practices. (NBC News)