Netflix' erroneous Spanish subtitle for East Sea triggers anger among Koreans

By Park Ung Posted : June 5, 2024, 14:28 Updated : June 5, 2024, 14:48
This captured image from Netflix shows a scene from Korean thriller "The 8 Show."

SEOUL, June 5 (AJU PRESS) - Netflix's latest Korean hit series caused a stir by erroneously referring the East Sea as the "Sea of Japan" in its Spanish subtitle, reigniting patriotic Koreans' sentiments about the geographical name.

"The 8 Show," which has been popular since its release last month, used the "unproper" exonym for Koreans in a scene where one male character sings Korea's national anthem.

The erroneous description quickly raised controversy in Korea, as the name surrounding the sea between Korea and Japan has long been a thorny issue between the two countries, amid Tokyo's repeated territorial claims over Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

"Many Koreans [who watched the series] told me about Netflix's erroneous subtitle," said academic activist Seo Kyoung-duk of Sungshin Women's University, known for promoting Korean culture around the world. "I immediately requested Netflix to rectify that."

Amid the outcry, its Spanish title has been now changed to the Korean eponym.

According to the UN Resolution on the Standardization of Geographical Names, if a geographical feature is shared by two or more countries, the designation is generally standardized through consultations among the countries concerned. If the effort to standardize fails, each name can be used concurrently.

"The 8 Show," based on Korean webtoons "Money Game" and "Pie Game," is about eight people who are trapped inside a building and thrown into a game with their reward growing with each passing minute.

Since its release on May 17, the eight-episode black comedy has remained in the top 10 on Netflix's chart for non-English TV shows for three weeks, boasting 19.30 million hours viewed and 2.8 million views last week.

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