Anyone knows?

Is there any way you can protect yourself from people who say they know a language and they really don’t?

Its so hard to find people in other language and although I know 2 language, here at viki site the most popular one’s korean/Chinese/others,.are hard to find help with.

I had the bad experience of requesting help and the she/he saying they know the language, but when checking there are too many incorrect translations.

Any pointers, please? Thanks in advance.

Ah, you’re not the only one!
Asking around, asking people you trust is the only way.

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That’s what hurts me the most, I really trusted this person but was so deceived, and had to delete almost 80% of what they subbed. I guess it will be one more incomplete project here at viki site…:frowning:

Oh dear! That’s awful!

Actually, there is. If you apply the test method, you can detect who knows and who doesn’t. For example, you can upload a short video on youtube and prepare the script. I mean, just one minute or even less is enough to know. You give the test to the person who’s asking to join, and there you know. You know if it’s google translated or not, and you’ll know if the person really knows the language or not. And it’s pretty simple as well, right? Just a suggestion!

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Thank you so much, it’s a great idea. A little more work, but worth it, since I won’t run the risk of having bad subtitles, that will have to get deleted anyway.

Wait, what? I don’t get what the test is.
But okay, suppose you give them a test, whatever test, and they take it. I also make them translate a part of a show here at viki as a test. So far so good. But how do you, who doesn’t understand the language, know whether the person is good or not? You may only check whether it’s google translated, and if there is proper punctuation and formatting, but other than that… how?

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I guess you have moderators you have been working with, right? Those mods know the language, so they can help correct the test in their language. Viki could also have a number of mods in different languages to review those tests. Those mods could even be some of the oldest but active translators into the different languages, or QCs with several contributions. There are ways!

This has been discussed a lot in the past months, but of course I do realize it would take a lot of scrolling for you to find the threads.
I’ll try to summarize saying that many of the oldest and most active translators/moderators, with several hundred contributions, are TERRIBLE translators, their subtitles suck: not only they don’t know good English and they translate idioms word by word, but they lack basic grammar skills in their native language, skills taught in primary school. Quantity does not necessarily mean quality, as you seem to imply. Neither does enthusiasm, being active. Most people who are bad don’t even know how bad they are.

Viki could choose the mods who review the tests? Why? Who is viki? A magical polyglot being? It’s made of people who are of a certain nationality, and maybe the know another 1,2, maximum 3 languages.
Especially in languages other than the 5-6 main ones, there is absolutely no way that viki can judge who is good and who is not.

Unfortunately, my friend, it’s much more difficult than it seems.

  1. People are bad but think they are good, the best.
  2. People know other people are bad but don’t say so because they are friends.
  3. People know other people are good but don’t say so because they want them out, and want to take their place.
  4. People may be very active and enthusiastic, but still be bad translators.
  5. People may be good translators but bad moderators.


It was just a suggestion. I guess mods know which translators are good or not, so they could choose a pool of translators in every language to check the tests. I wasn’t implying that quantity means quality, but since mods tends to review the subs, or at least I thought they did, I just supposed they know when a subber si good or nor, right? Hence, they give those many segments to translate, or at least that’s what I think. Now, if that’s not the case, my bad. In any case, mods know which segments are good and which ones are not, and they can choose among those subbers they consider good subbers. Now, if the mods are also not perfect in the language they moderate, and neither are the admins, that leaves me with just one choice. That viki hire people to take the tests (which is meaningless, since they obviously don’t want to spend money in translations, thus the QC system) or that viki hire translators (which is also meaningless fore the above reason).

SO, that leaves me with a last option, which is very complicated, BUT admins/mods can turn to the forum and require certified translators or translators with experience in companies (cause it’s the most mmm certain way of known that the translator passed a test for a subbing company, which would show that they actually know the language and are not complete disasters) and use THOSE to check the tests, AT LEAST in the most common languages.

There are ways, they are just complicated. I wouldn’t mind checking tests for English-Spanish subs, for instance.

yeah… I can only check and confirm if they are using a translator for the subs. Making the test will require someone fluent in Korean and English, and of course, I’m not lol

I think this site is not supportive enough with the volunteers so, I only do what I can do. I requested some help a while back, and they send me a list of ‘’ volunteer people,’’ who knew every other language, except Korean. When I went to check their page most were inactive here at viki for months, and some even 3 years. Who does that?

They send me a message today to give them my address to send me a gift for my contribution. I hope they read my message and follow it through: I wrote, they can give ‘‘my gift’’ to someone else. I’m done with this drama. I’ll finish what I have now and move on. This site will never be what it used to be, great in so many ways, never so disappointing like it is now.

Actually, korean and chinese subs into english shouldn’t be a problem, cause viki actually hires paid translators for this, which is sort of an insult for the rest of us who work voluntarily. So there shouldn’t be any problems with those. Now, it seems like they are not getting those translators cause admins and mods are still looking for them in the forum. I just don’t get viki at all.

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I know you’re trying your best to find a way. And I don’t want to be negative, or put a cold blanket on the fire of your good will. I’m just sharing my experience. Anyone can become a moderator in a minor language, the CMs give out the position without knowing and they base themselves on how many projects that person has taken so far. And with each CM who gives them a place, the richer their viki “CV”, so more chances to take on more projects.
That’s why there are so many awfully incompetent mods out there. If you just see the translation of the shows’ titles, you understand!
Subber or mod, it makes no difference, the title is not a guarantee of their skill.
I’ll go even further: if you watch Greek TV you will see many stupid mistakes even by so-called “professional” translators.
I’ll go even further - yes, there is further.
My kids’ English teacher at school. Her own students corrected her, and she got angry, but sometimes they knew better than her. My daughter kept a list of her mistakes to show me at home and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. We parents made a petition at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (our school depended from it) but it took so long to bring a new teacher, and she was not “that” better.

I feel that culture is declining. Kids and young adults prefer to play online games and browse the internet instead of reading books. But the language level used on the internet is very low (because of people for whom English is not the first language, because of very young people, because…). It cannot be compared to reading good literature.

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I have to agree with you on that regard. I am from Argentina, and yes, language level has declined even in out native language, Spanish. So we have little to hope for English. We were just talking about that with some friends, how people write so badly cause of the social media. You should read Facebook posts in Spanish. You want to die right there. Sometime we have difficulty in understanding our own language.

As regards mods and admins, I also have to agree with you. I didn’t think about that, my bad. But if mods and admins just get the show without full understanding, well then, it’s going to become an issue to try and improve the subs.

I know that looking for certified translators is no guarantee. I have seen it myself in the field. Not only when subtitling, but also when translating in general. I have read translations of important documents and they were disastrous. And you may think, how did this happen? But it happens. So I totally agree with you. It’s just that if this is difficult with pros, imagine with non-pros in translation, period. Not talking about subbing at all, just translation.

So, either viki takes a chance and hires paid translators, and the chances of good subtitles increase, but yet again, it doesn’t mean you get perfect subs; unfortunate but true. Or they develop a sort of test for volunteers.

Reagrding the titles, yes, I have seen the translations into Spanish, and I always turn my config into English cause I don’t like them like at all. So literal, but well, can’t do nothing about that.

To cap it all, I know my suggestion is extremely difficult to accomplish. And I totally understand your point (your experience with the English teacher, ugh, how did she or he get to teach in those conditions? Same happens in Arg, mind you, (sigh)). But if viki keeps up like this, speed and everything, quality is gonna go down the drain. And i remember good old viki, the subs were like the best. Really the best.

In any case, it’s always good to debate with you :smile:


@rochis86 I don’t know why this site has declined so much, and it makes no sense at all. I hope they come back to their senses before is too late.
Loved reading both (imar and you) viewpoints, and the fact that was kept so sweet and respectful. Thank you!


Sorry? Viki also hires paid translators?

The notice doesn’t say it clearly, but I suppose, paid translators don’t do the same job as we volunteers, do they?

I am kind of frustrated because as first I think Viki is a fan-powered community for learning and sharing.



Angelight, guess they went over the top and started not caring anymore about certain things. For example, it is about time they correct the but that does not allow lines to be broken in smart tvs. Netflix and dramafever have CC option, and the subs break just fine.

Laura, apparently they do hire for chinese and korean. It is in the careers section, you can check it out yourself. I doubt they hire volunteers there, cause they would be hiring for all languages. It’s just that I am used to looking into the careers sections in every website and came across that. And yes, it is an insult, cause they do get paid, even if as part timers, when the rest is just using up so much time coordinating, correcting, just doing everything for then for free. Not fair.

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Hi rochis86,

Yes, I also saw it on the “Working For Us” link page. Fortunately, the most paid stuff wanted are engineering and marketing stuff. Only two positions for paid translators.

It would be an interesting question:
Will Viki attracts more nice translators (fans or not) or will Viki breaks the hearts of non-paid translators?

All in all, one of the reason is probably that there aren’t as many Chinese and Korean Translators as other languages. In order to guarantee the progress of subbing, Viki has no other choice but look for paid translators.

I love Viki a lot. It is a great fan-powered platform. I can watch dramas as well as train my translating skills here and also I met a lot of friends.



They have to hire when there are not enough volunteers.

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How could they know there are not enough volunteers?

Do channel managers or moderators tell Viki staff about it?

Just curious.

Thank you~