Squid Game: How did the translation help make this series go viral?

squid game translation

Don’t worry if you haven’t seen Squid Game on Netflix yet: there’s no spoilers here. And we’ve got nothing to say about the red hair – why? Why?
And you can think again if you think Squid Game is “just” another fiction series. The knock-on effects of this South Korean show have been brutal and on a global scale. For an idea of what we mean, so far Squid Game has been viewed by 112 million people in more than 90 countries!
– The online language learning platform, Duolingo had a 70% increase in the number of users interested in learning Korean;
– The Korean confectionary brand featured in the show saw its sales increase by 250%;
– Sales of the VANS shoes shown on the programme rose by 97%;
– The number of the lead actor’s Instagram followers increased from 400,000 to 20 million;
– And much more!

Squid Game is a rare organic viral phenomena. And that’s mainly because nobody was expecting it! Of course, Netflix was looking for a hit, but it’s fair to say they weren’t expecting something this big and this quickly!

One of the things that helped Squid Game go viral was Netflix’s commitment to local content with which audiences in other countries and cultures can identify. So language and content translation is essential.
Translation and interpreting can help overcome language barriers and create this phenomenon. Yes, because we are talking about a massive global phenomenon.
Whether it’s through posts, tweets, Tiktoks, images, games, etc., people all over the world feel a part of this community. And this is only possible because the message was shared and understood.

Squid Game may be a Korean series created in Seoul and with clear references to that country’s problems and realities. However, because of translation, it is a series we are all talking about as a metaphor for real life. Translation allows the message of that narrative to be passed on, making it more accessible and relevant to audiences in North America, Portugal, Australia or Egypt.