The dystopian thriller follows a group of characters who have agreed to take part in a mysterious set of challenges, in order to change their fortunes.
Main character Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon) is taking part in order to get the money to rescue her mother from prison in North Korea, where she escaped from to South Korea, and also to get her younger brother out of a children’s home.
Korean-speaking fans have now noticed a key detail in the way Sae-byeok speaks, which adds to the depth of the character.
They’ve pointed out that Sae-byeok speaks with a North Korean accent, but switches to a South Korean one when around the other players.
“In the scene where Sae-byeok talks to her younger brother, she initially talks in the standard Seoul dialect, but immediately switches to the North Korean accent when her brother starts becoming distressed,” one fan explained.
Another said: “I watched it with my bf who’s Korean and he pointed out Sae-byeok has a North Korean accent, but non-Korean viewers would have no clue!”
Korean fans of the show also picked up on how the character was treated differently because she hails from the North.
When everyone watching with me was like “why does everyone know she’s North Korean.” We can hear it 😭 https://t.co/l2lYjcW3Y1
— 🍙Lyddie🌸🇰🇷 (@lyddiemoon) October 1, 2021
Grace Kim, for Nextshark, wrote: “While most of what he says doesn’t represent the average Korean with basic human decency, it does speak some truth to the discrimination faced by defectors in South Korean society.
“North Korean defectors in most cases are protected as citizens in South Korea due to the countries’ shared origins, but 70 years of separation have made them almost entirely foreign to one another.”
Since its release last month, Squid Game has become a cultural phenomenon and Netflix’s highest rated show in several countries.
Read more about the show here.