Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham AFC with the ambition of transforming the club

British viewers baffled by hilarious US translation of Welsh accents in Wrexham football documentary

‘I love that the locals need subtitles!’ British viewers are baffled by hilarious US translation of Welsh accents in Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ documentary charting football club’s takeover

  • A new documentary follows National League team Wrexham in north Wales 
  • The show has been heaped with praise, but some fans questioned the subtitles
  • Welsh and Scouse accents have been translated for an American audience 
  • Some accents were so indecipherable they were simply captioned with ‘???’ 

British sports fans have been left baffled by the unorthodox subtitles of Welsh accents in a new documentary on the football team bought by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

The pair bought third-oldest football club in the world Wrexham AFC in north Wales in 2020 as part of an ambitious bid to transform the club.

Welcome To Wrexham, a new show on Disney+, follows the club, its team and its fans following Reynolds and McElhenney’s takeover as the side tries to win promotion after 15 consecutive years in the National League. 

The documentary, heavily geared towards an American audience, has raised a few eyebrows among British football fans for its subtitles of regional accents and the celebrity owners’ limited knowledge of football.

The American subtitle writer at Disney+ has had to contend with packaging broad North Walian, Scouse, Brummie and Mancunian accents for US viewers – with some fans even being captioned when the subtitles aren’t turned on. 

Inevitably with some of the accents were lost in translation to Americanese. 

One Wrexham fan saying ‘doesn’t matter’ somehow ended up being translated into ‘at the moment’ in the subtitles.

Elsewhere, phrases not familiar to American ears were replaced altogether. Team goalkeeper Rob Lainton slapping his biceps and saying ‘I’m in good nick’ is subtitled as ‘I think I look good’.

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham AFC with the ambition of transforming the club 

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney pictured at Wembley last season, where the team narrowly lost the FA Trophy final to Bromley

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney pictured at Wembley last season, where the team narrowly lost the FA Trophy final to Bromley 

The team were knocked out of the League 2 play-off semi-final last season and will be searching for promotion again this year

The team were knocked out of the League 2 play-off semi-final last season and will be searching for promotion again this year

Wrexham's passionate supporters have adopted Reynolds' Deadpool character (bottom) into their traditional Welsh red, white and green

Wrexham’s passionate supporters have adopted Reynolds’ Deadpool character (bottom) into their traditional Welsh red, white and green

Fans reacted warmly to the show online, and enjoyed the American translation of regional accents

Fans reacted warmly to the show online, and enjoyed the American translation of regional accents 

Alcohol-fuelled football fans were clearly a bridge too far, with the enthusiastic ravings of one fan simply captioned ‘???’.

Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney and the American audience are also treated to explations of football jargon including ‘nil-nil’ and ‘absolute chocker’ – as one fan pointed out.

Lost in translation: A guide for Americans

‘I’m in good nick – I think I look good

‘Absolute chocker’ – Packed 

Reynolds, explaining a red card in one of Wrexham’s matches says: ‘He got the red card which means he is immediately ejected from the game.’

The first two episodes of the show were released yesterday (August 24), with six more to come.

Football fans have reacted warmly to the documentary and Wrexham’s new owners, with the clubs fans praising their clear passion for their new team’s success.

Many also poked fun at the way Scouse and Welsh accents to help translate for the American audience.

One fan said: ‘I love the fact that the locals need subtitles.’

Another added: ‘Welcome to Wrexham. Absolutely fantastic bit of telly. And I know less than nothing about football.

‘Funny seeing phrases like “nil-nil” and “absolutely chocker” explained for American audiences tooo.’

One viewer said: ‘Welcome to Wrexham is one of the best pieces of TV this year. Not only is it funny thanks to Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, but it shows the power and love that comes from the biggest sport in the world: soccer [football].

‘It’s not just about the team, it’s also about the supporters.’ 

The pair didn't know each other before going into business together. McElhenney was frank about why he approached Reynolds, a much bigger star: 'I had TV money, but I needed superhero movie money'

The pair didn’t know each other before going into business together. McElhenney was frank about why he approached Reynolds, a much bigger star: ‘I had TV money, but I needed superhero movie money’

The new documentary is largely focused on the club's member and supporters, as well as its celebrity owners

The new documentary is largely focused on the club’s member and supporters, as well as its celebrity owners 

Although Wrexham is the third-oldest football club in the world, it has been a non-league side for years. McElhenney and Reynolds have suggested they want to take the club all the way to the Premier League

Although Wrexham is the third-oldest football club in the world, it has been a non-league side for years. McElhenney and Reynolds have suggested they want to take the club all the way to the Premier League

The documentary has been greeted with rave reviews from Wrexham fans and TV viewers alike

The documentary has been greeted with rave reviews from Wrexham fans and TV viewers alike 

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