XTM Advent Calendar Day Six – Red Light, Green Light
The Korean thriller Squid Game has been a major hit for Netflix. it tells the story of people seeking to clear their debts by competing for a cash prize in a deadly series of childrens’ games. In the first game, “Red Light, Green Light”, if a giant doll catches players moving when it turns around to face them, they are shot.
Some of us would call that an incentive to avoid getting into debt, but for many Netflix viewers it’s proved to be an incentive to learn Korean. In their 2021 language report and survey published today, Duolingo revealed that Korean language learning has risen sharply, and the rise coincides with the broadcasting and skyrocketing popularity of the show.
Good news for the translation industry? Not entirely. Influential Korean commentators have taken to social media lamenting the poor quality of subtitling for Squid Game broadcasts in multiple languages. Important plot and character nuances are being lost in translation, and the reason given most often is that the streaming boom is giving an already overworked pool of suitably skilled linguists far too much to do. Just as there’s traditionally been a huge demand for English language content outside English speaking countries, there is now a huge demand for Chinese content outside China or Korean content outside Korea. Human translation resources can only be stretched so far, and the solution, thankfully, is close at hand.
Language technology is advancing to enable language service. More and more of us are speaking through technology and speaking to technology. At XTM International we’ve delivered three new releases of our flagship product, XTM Cloud, in 2021 and seven new releases of XTM Mobile. We’re enabling the accurate, persuasive translation of vast amounts of content – including highly specialized broadcasting content – to help users all over the world keep enjoying the TV shows they want to enjoy, understand the reports they want to understand and buy and sell from the websites they want to buy and sell from.
2021 has been another year when XTM International gave users the green light. Join us for more of the same in 2022.