About "use old dramas to practice subtitling"

What? Of course not! Plus… you never asked to be part of the Italian team of “Good Casting”, from what I know. :wink:

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Thank you! It helped a lot :smiley: :heart:

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No, I have a CM that I always work with, and I only do English editing. Sorry, I couldn’t reply earlier because my account wouldn’t open.

I think it’s a fantastic idea to give a test to discover a volunteer’s proficiency! However, I found that I was nervous at first, and afraid to drastically change bad subtitles. I gained confidence as I went along, due to the positive encouragement of my marvelous CM. Can any of us claim we were top notch right when we began volunteering? Can any of us claim we never make mistakes?

I always do my uttermost. Yet I can never claim perfection. I constantly live with perfectionistic tendencies :blush: such as:

  1. Fear of making mistakes
  2. Overthinking
  3. All or nothing blind spots
  4. Duty rather than enjoyment
  5. Unrealistic expectations of myself.

Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband who helps me enforce boundaries so I still get enough sleep and relaxation. I have to say, I do enjoy volunteering on Viki. At first, I felt guilty for just watching everyone else’s hard work on the dramas. I can feel like I make my contribution now to this fabulous community :relaxed:


Of course we learn something more every day, and of course we all make mistakes! This morning I went through the editing of an episode I had “completed” last night and I changed maybe 1 out of 4 of my edits to make them better. You know, “Why on earth didn’t I think of that the first time?”
Plus I made many more edits which were not obvious last night but now jumped in front of my eyes. And I am sure that if I were to look at it a third time, I’d find some more. Maybe not as many, but there will still be some. (I won’t do a third pass, though. I think it’s good enough. There are limits to how thorough you can be in an unpaid job).
And I am often in awe of the genius ideas of some of my subbers, and think “Heck, I would never have thought of that!” That’s why, in this kind of situation, teamwork is fantastic!

The test I do is more for assessment, not necessarily for excluding anybody - unless their understanding of English is really inadequate. But until now I haven’t had to refuse anyone. A few left on their own after the test, without me telling them anything. They wrote to me “I thought my level of English was good enough for translating, but now I see it is not so”.
With my first group, we have now have reached the “Catch the error” phase. Exercises where they are asked to look at a bad translation and spot what’s wrong and give a better version. For that, I very often use real (crappy) subtitles from a collection of preposterous ones I’ve been keeping on file during the years.
When we discuss the results of the exercises all together, we brainstorm on different ways of translating, to really stress the fact that there isn’t only one correct version.


I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who is never completely satisfied with her own subs. Perfection does not exist.

I’m always thinking how can I translate something simpler, more fluently, more intuitively, with more wit etc. Perhaps that’s the reason why I would never watch a show with my own translation. Even watching translation of others to my language is hard, because I’m correcting or modifying their translations. In other words I’m editing myself and I’m editing others. My brain just won’t let go!


Back in highschool that used to be my favourite kind of homework for Dutch classes. :rofl:

Not even for editing purposes?

Haha, I do that too. By now I even find myself giving serious thought to the subtitles on tv. Sometimes in a critical way, but sometimes also sympathizing, since it can be a hard job, after all.


No, I edit in the Subtitle Editor. I don’t watch it in the video player

I’m always amazed how they translate only half of the stuff said and with as little gusto as possible, and still get away with it.

I heard that they’re supposed to keep the subtitles short and therefore are expected to do that.


I know. It has to be read by slower readers. But sometimes they kick out the most interesting part of what someone said. More often than not, the depth of the true meaning is lost. Or they skip something in the first half of the movie and refer to it in the second part, forgetting they didn’t mention it all thus far. And so I feel sorry for the folks who have only those subs to rely on to tell the story.

Luckily, with internet streaming, this is no longer an absolute prerequisite.


I totally agree!

That’s always an issue, even with edited on air dramas…

Latest example I saw is this one:

English subs: Why has Buddha left his Temple today?

origin sentence: She never leaves the house. Why is she here today?

Using a religious term when it is just a simple: Why is she here today? for a story without any spiritual/religious context is just terrible… especially since it changes the atmosphere… and Chinese figures in dramas do not carelessly speak about religions as lame metaphors; they’re usually only talking about Buddha/spiritual metaphors when it is either a fantasy or old mythic story so for whatever reason the English team just changed the content and gives a wrong expression within a modern age story.


As an English editor, I would ask the origin translator to clarify if that’s the proper meaning. When something makes no sense and seems inserted or planted out of the blue, I have a hard time just letting that go when it’s my task. Fortunately, I volunteer with people who are as careful as I try to be.

When I find myself editing a drama I’m watching, I use positive self-talk to my critical mind:
Just breathe, relax and enjoy the show.
It’s okay. Nobody’s perfect.
Let go and let the universe’s Higher Power be in control.
All you have is now. Live in this moment.
You can’t always work. It’s time to play :hugs:

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I really hope that those subtitles were eventually corrected, if the shows are still on Viki :open_mouth:

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Sometimes it is necessary to not want everything to be ‘perfect’ otherwise you’ll never be able to finish something :slight_smile:

When I see something like that I’m always unsure if I should contact the English team or not bc some may get angry when an ‘outsider’ says that the English line is not what’s said in the origin language.

So when my native language’s subbers ask me if they have to stick to the English sentences even when they know the origin language says something different I tell them they should translate from the origin language if they’re able to understand it and know it’s wrong.


I choose to be humble and teachable so if you ever see that on something I have edited, please bring it to my attention. Thanks! :smile:
My self-talk goes like this: How can I love until I’m 100% lovable? How can I do the job until I have all qualifications in the world? Be kind to yourself when you fall. Most people spend their life still in the nest, choosing to dull their wings until they forget how to fly. If you had COURAGE to leap, hooray! You tried, and there is always a next time. As long as we’re alive, there’s another chance! The only job where you start at the top is digging a hole.

Golf balls were made smooth, then they found after a ball had been roughed up, you could get more distance from it. So they made them dimpled! It takes rough spots to go farthest! Touching down after 211 days in space, two cosmonauts had dizziness, high pulse rates, heart palpitations, couldn’t walk for a week. In 30 days, they still needed therapy for atrophied muscles and weakened hearts. At zero gravity, body muscles waste away from NO resistance. Soviets invented a “penguin suit” laced with elastic bands to resist every move the cosmonauts make, forcing them to use muscles. We long for days without difficulty, but stamina and strength grows from use!

Harold Wilson — ‘He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.’
I believe we all live and learn :relaxed:


I love your philosophy! :slight_smile:

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The ones where I was the editor, yes.
Nowadays they are all in shows where I am also in the team, since you cannot visit S.E. anymore if you’re not part of the team.
But sometimes I am English editor and I happen to see what the Italian team is doing or the French, or the Greek. I tend to avoid this, because it makes me angry.

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I wish you lived near me and that we could be friends in real life.

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I have a question
It’s about 14 years that korean drama Yeon Gaesomun aired by SBS, but there’s no English subs for this great drama after this one and half a decade. Why?
I just learned some Korean just by watching dramas (mostly historical) and I can read, but my vocabulary and grammar is lacking a lot since I have not been taught regularly and academic.
But I can edit some subtitles, segmenting,…as I did for Jumong subtitles that weren’t made for the Netflix ripped version I downloaded from AvistaZ. 5 years ago a member of Viki said to me: be patient, we will sub Yeon Gaesomun, but I came a week ago and and still no news about the subs and that QC member doesn’t exist anymore.
Please do a lot of people a favor by subbing Yeon Gaesomun by an expert team in Korean sageuk dramas. Because I remember there were some talking that Queen Insoo subtitles needs to be edited.

I searched Yeon Gaesomun and it is no longer on Viki. The best I can recommend is that you request the show on Viki using this form:

If Viki would license it, then a new team would be assigned to subtitle.