About courtesy and subbing norms

Hi there!

I just joined Viki, and I’ve been dying to contribute to the community. I’m particularly interested in translating and subbing in Norwegian.

I went through the subtitle tutorials, found a show on the Project Finder but then realized there was a Team assigned to the show, and a cold chill ran down my spine. It dawned on me that I was not a member of said team. Was I out of line?

I’d already added a few subs when I figured this out, but I immediately contacted the person in charge of the team. Unfortunately it looks like they’ve been inactive for a while. It’s been a year since the show was finished, and the only Norwegian sub was the title of the show.

What I really want to ask - could someone please tell me about the societal norms in this community? What’s the courtesy for subbers? If it’s an old project and no one has subbed in your language, how do you contact the person in charge? Is it considered bad to start subbing without asking for permission?

I really don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I’ve tried to find a good guide for this, but all I find is subbing/segmenting tutorials.

Thanks for reading!


Well, sometimes even if the Channel Manager is not an active Volunteer, could still be on Viki as a spectator, and used the account, if the Channel Manager don’t give you a reply in a few days, I think that you could contact an English Moderator and explain her/him what is happening so the English Moderator could add you to the team as an Norwegian subtitler. I’m not sure, but I think that you are referring to ‘’Seonam girls high school investigators.’’ The English Moderators seems active.

Maybe this information could be useful:
Is the Subbing Guide of Ninja Academy.


Oooh, this subbing guide looks perfect! Just the thing I was looking for. Thank you very much for replying.

I’ll definitely contact the English Moderators if the CM doesn’t reply. And I’ll study the guide carefully so I don’t mess up again. Thank you so much for the help!


A pleasure to help, I think that this information could be useful too:

I really like this Guides that the Volunteers in Ninja Academy have made. When I was new those helped me a lot.


I’d never even heard about Ninja Academy before! It’s great to compile information like this for newbies. I wish it was stickied somewhere for easier access. Maybe it’s just me who’s bad at finding stuff, but still!

Yes, I think that it’s really useful, you could have more information about NSSA here: https://www.viki.com/tv/1863c-ninja-segging-subbing-academy
Well, is one of the Academies that we have on Viki, to learned who to segment(NSSA teach who to subtitle too), the other is Seg 101(https://www.viki.com/tv/723c-the-segmenter-101-project)

They were created by volunteers and managed by them ^^


If CM or language mod has been inactive for 6 months or longer contact viki directly. Viki will basically put you in charge.



While Ninja subbing Academy has their own guidelines, they are not 100%-effective rules and cannot be applied to every project. The official Viki community guidelines, found here, are much less specific, but they give you the right gist.

I want to make sure that everybody reading this understands that what I’m about to say next refers only to the old projects.

If you contacted the Norwegian moderator on the project, and she/he hasn’t responded for two weeks, contact the channel manager (CM). If the CM does not respond, I suggest you contact the Viki Help Center, as @sophie2you said, and ask for moderator rights, attaching the screenshots of your sent messages to the current Norwegian moderator and CM.

What that will do is it’s going to allow you to lock the translations, once you are done with an episode, so that nobody can mess with your subs.

IN THE MEANTIME… sub. Like, just go for it and don’t worry about it. I know so many experienced subbers who have the policy to finish other people’s projects if nothing has been done for a year.

The reason is that Viki licences its dramas for a specific amount of time, after which who knows if the licence gets renewed. Therefore, it is much more productive to finish a project and allow the viewers to see it until the end, than to dillydally, on the off chance that the person, who abandoned the project a long time ago, suddenly returns to Viki and gets their precious pride hurt.



Thank you so much for your reply! I don’t think the show in question has a Norwegian moderator. Does that mean I should contact the “all languages moderator” instead?

I’m also glad to hear that you think I can start subbing. I originally thought it would be okay since no one had subbed in my language, but then I started reading all sorts of posts about abusers and guidelines and it kind of deterred me. I definitely understand that it’s different with shows that are currently airing, and that you should always contact the CM and the relevant language moderator. I’ll do that from now on! But it feels a bit sad to have old projects with no Norwegian subtitles (even if it’s not the most common language).

Thanks to everyone for replying to my thread! I feel like I have a better grasp of how things work around here now. I’m relieved to see that asking questions is a-okay too.


For me, I’d contact the Channel Manager. But for confirmation, you can read the Channel’s page for the rules. They usually list who to contact for which roles you want to have. If there is no rules stated, then just contact the CM :smile:


all languages mod is also called “chief” @memour (might help you in knowing who to contact)

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We usually consider people to be abusers if they

  1. Use Google translate or similar translation engines
  2. Write subs in a wrong language on purpose
  3. Write incomprehensible subs

I wouldn’t say barging into a very active and fresh project is an abuse, since it usually happens due to lack of information about community’s customs. It’s annoying, especially if you’re around for a long time and have seen your share of this sort of issues. But it’s no biggie, really, because it gets solved quickly by sending a message to the user and explaining the rules of that particular project.

It’s important to stress that Viki has been built and still runs on an open community policy. This means that any person who wants to contribute to the site must not be in any way or form deterred from contributing. Although issues with fresh seggers and subbers may be a nuisance sometimes, it’s far more productive than people think.

Happy subbing! Lykke til :smile:


Speaking of which… is there any way to get the NSSA guidelines to be more visible before volunteering? I mean the one little seg video is useful somewhat but it’s much MORE useful to teach people how to sub and how the community works etc.

But i’m not sure how to do this effectively.

Yes, you are right that the Ninja Guides cannot give you 100% answers when you are segmenting a drama, but they prepare you, guide you and help you become a good segmenter. Who would you choose – a person who has just read about something or a person who has been guided in a more thorough subtiling guidelines that Ninja Academy provides. So, yes, your are correct, you can learn the basics from viki guideline, or you can get other a more complete guideline that ninja volunteers made to help you not make mistakes such as these. Plus it is free to all because viki isn’t the easiest place to be when you are new. New people make lots of mistakes. If they were to read the viki guidelines and the more complete Ninja subtiling/editing guidelines they would make less mistakes upsetting the Channel Managers. I would like to see that all vikians who volunteer would be required to at least read the viki guidelines. That in itself would help a new person find their way around the vastly confusing viki.

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I think this is something that viki staff has to do. But here is the Ninja Academy home page with lots of useful tips on finding your way around viki:



The channel roles will help you understand what all the different volunteer jobs are when preparing to volunteer. I hope this is helpful.


lol… I’ve learned by running at the wall (2 month old babe right now). So far translation editor of 3 shows regularly part-time at like 6???
I also sub historicals (Flower in Prison, Jackpot, and Gaekju)

But! Yeah I’m really glad I wasn’t named an abuser!!! I didn’t know how to get into Korean so… I put Korean under English subtitles and subbed over them in my first project. It threw off the seg calculator and confused viewers. Other mistakes include not obeying the 4 line rule (didn’t know it existed) and wanting a seg for everything.

I think I kindof have a handle of things. Just wish I had enough time to start being in NSSA!

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I believe we are mixing three things here - segging, subbing and working as part of the team.

The thread started with the last one. The suggestions of teamwork NSSA writes about are good in its essence, but are not firmly established rules on the Viki site. They are merely community norms.

As far as subbing goes, the NS(S)A rules concern translation to the English language. For the large majority of languages on Viki they cannot be applied. Yes, general parts perhaps could be useful, but there is so much stuff missing there. Additionally, teaching someone to sub takes a bit more flexibility and it has to come from a mentor speaking the same language.

Segging is an universal work, independent of any language, so it’s nice to have some organized support in learning for beginners. But I see that there is a waiting list to complete certain levels there, and more importantly I’m sometimes afraid this would deter a willing and often very able new volunteer from segging. On the other hand, from what I hear, finding willing segmenters is never a problem. Rather, it’s the subtitlers who are the bottleneck of the project.


I think things like this is a bit tricky… first off all when it’s an older channel just go ahead and sub unless you see the team is still busy working on it (you can check that in the Team Discussion or activities which you will find when you enter the subbing editor or seg timer). If you cannot get in touch with the CM or any of the English mods write to Viki. There are some channels that are abandoned by the CM/team due whatever reason. I saw many people come and o during my years on Viki so far.

Also there is this ongoing struggle of what is best and with the community growing and more people to demand stuff it’s hard to keep everyone happy.
You add only seggers who had some training in NSSA or Seg101 -> Others feel left out because they are not given a chance when they want to.
You just add seggers without any training experience -> Yes they can surprise you at how good they are but it’s more likely they will mess up giving others more work and viewers have to wait much longer.

As for subbers I sometimes have newbie subbers in my teams who are really awesome. As for segging, it’s the most important thing, if that isn’t done properly all else fails no matter how good the subbers are.

Yes Viki doesn’t want anyone to be excluded from volunteering BUT they also want good quality so they can sell their product better and negotiate with content owners better. Because Viki’s community came up with those extra unofficial rules there is a certain standard and made sure the quality is good. If they where not there the subs and segs might be all over the place and the content owner might think “nah let’s not give Viki a license, look at the mess. Let’s look for an other company who can deliver the quality we are looking for.”


lol agreed. The unofficial community guidelines definitely grew out of the problems posed to the community. ^-^ For the most part they make sense. Certain things we’re still working with (supply vs. demand problem). In a capitalist market we usually “buy” what we need. But that doesn’t exactly work in this context per say.

I think the rules for the most part make sense. As a lurker from 2006, I was kindof put off by the idea that teams managed everything because it seemed like you HAD to commit and then you were forced to put on the IDENTITY of the TEAM. It was my misguided prejudice.

I do realize that… during viikii one of the problems I always had was slow internet connection made everything real slow and bad and didn’t know how to create segments!!! I remember we did everything ourselves.

Oh and during driveby subbing I was really annoyed that I couldn’t fix things or that my stuff would be changed. I’m glad we have a lock feature.

It was a bit much that I was like pass! Too hard!! Next!! I was also quite illiterate (different matter).

Joining I realize the “team” is quite temporary. It’s a team as long as the show’s running! Of course you’ll find friends there and might want to tag along a certain editor or CM. But NO STRINGS ATTACHED. I was pleasantly surprised. Because… I thought these teams were set up for everything always. ^-^

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Lots of really informative replies on my thread here, I see! Thanks for continuing the discussion.

I really enjoyed reading the NSSA guidelines, but I also found myself wishing this in-depth guide was from Viki itself. I understand that these guidelines were probably born out of the volunteers’ wish for a more thorough and united effort. I get that, because as a completely fresh member of this community, I found Viki’s official guides and information to be lacking. I agree with @bozoli , though. It could be a problem to treat NSSA’s rules as something universal that concerns every team. And yes - the focus on translation only to English isn’t all that helpful for other language subbers.

I guess the problem is that Viki has to strive to appeal to everyone - if they were to dump lots of rules and courtesy norms on newbies, they would probably run for the exit.

Regarding the whole “team” outlook - that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling too @sophie2you ! It felt a bit like I was intruding on other people’s projects, when all I wanted was to try my hand at subbing. It’s hard when you’re new and want to test the waters before you commit to something. Thanks for your input about teams being temporary, though! Gave me a whole new perspective.