Inky binches, do I have some bad news for you — it turns out the English subtitles for Netflix’s new smash hit Squid Game have been incredibly botched, almost creating an entirely different show.

If you’ve become obsessed with Squid Game recently, I don’t blame you. The show is fkn incredible, and has some of the best cinematography, tension, music and characterisation I’ve seen in a television show.

The thing is though, the characters that we’ve grown to love are entirely different to how they were meant to be. Thanks to misleading and rather inaccurate translations, we’ve been reading the characters in a different way to how they were intended to be written. Fuck.

Comedian and writer Youngmi Mayer, who is fluent in Korean, sparked the conversation on Twitter and TikTok, where she shared her thoughts about Squid Game‘s English subtitles.

“I watched Squid Game with English subtitles, and if you don’t understand Korean you didn’t really watch the same show. The translation was so bad. The dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved,” she wrote.

According to Mayer, the reason this happens is that translators are so often overworked and underpaid, and it leads to a rough translation of the material instead of a more accurate and nuanced one.

Mayer even made a TikTok to give us some example scenes with poor translation, saying that she’d happily make more videos like this in future.

One example she uses in the vid is the character Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryoung), whose entire point in the show is apparently reduced to nothing thanks to subtitles.

“Her dialogue constantly gets botched. Every little thing she says is fucked up,” she says in her TikTok.

“The translation says, ‘Oh I’m not a genius but I can work it out.’ What she actually said was, “I am very smart. I just never got the chance to study.’

“That’s a huge trope in Korean media, the poor person that’s smart and
clever and just isn’t wealthy. That’s a huge part of her character… it seems so small but it’s the entire character’s purpose of being in the show.”

@youngmimayer

#squidgame translations are sooo wrong here’s a little example

♬ original sound – youngmi

Also, did you know that Saebyeok (HoYeon Jung) hides her North Korean accent unless she’s with her brother?

I’m crying right now.