Viki

Beginners & project finder message system


#1

How are your experiences with the (new?) project finder feature?

I didn’t use it by myself and I rarely see other people using it but if they use it, it seems just a waste of time for those who got a message via this ‘feature’.

First off, people don’t even consider writing a message in the language they want to translate to (that is a very bad start imo because if you want to translate to a certain language as a beginner you should give some example of your expression/style and not writing a unmeaning English message - or maybe it’s not even self written but pre-written by VIKI?)

Secondly, if even though the message is meaningless and you take the time to reply to this user you may waste your time because the person doesn’t even answer and joins another project instead - probably because it is just a click to apply for several projects via the app instead of taking care for which project one wants to translate, writing a personal individual message and communicate with each other.

So I think in the future I’ll just ignore any message that is sent by this ‘feature’ because it just causes lost time.

At this point I have to say when so many beginners behave like those who recently joined VIKI during and because of corona boredom it’s no wonder that those who’re already volunteering for longer often don’t reply or don’t give beginners a chance because it’s stressful, frustrating and useless time loss that one could spend in a better way.

So if you’re a beginner who wants to join the VIKI community you should behave appropriate, realizing that VIKI’s translating community is not a sloppy one in which anyone could join, leave, do whatever one wants…

Those who’re volunteering here take it usually serious! They spend lots of time and effort to provide subtitles in many different languages for a world wide audience what wouldn’t be possible if the majority of volunteers here would behave in such a thoughtless way as many beginners recently did.

Although I know that many long term volunteers only take very few to no beginners for new/on air projects I’ve been always open to give everyone a chance because everyone was new at some point but the bad experiences I made during this recent corona lockdown time changed my mind in the way that I think those volunteers (moderators) who do not want beginners in their teams are right. It is just like a roulette and I also start thinking that there’s no use in giving unknown beginners a chance because in the end they’ll just cause trouble and delay for those who take the work here serious.


Looking for a project to subtitle
#2

I sometimes get like 4 messages in a row of someone and then I wonder: How do you plan working on 4 projects at once? Before I add them I sometimes ask if they want to sub the whole drama or just that ep. Some only want to sub that one episode. And what’s also annoying is that the whole message is in English except for the language. Sometimes I’m like what language is that. And it happened a few times I did add people for the wrong one.

Ohh and when I ask if they want to sub the whole drama or just the ep. Most people don’t even respond back or sometimes months later.


#3

Yes, I don’t really understand it’s purpose. How is it useful for a mod to get a message with ‘Hey I want to sub episode X in language Y’? Do the other episodes not need subs? I went to Project Finder to see how one would send a message (didn’t send it) and I saw you can easily change the message to make it more personal and tell more about yourself. At the other hand, I also understand that many newcomers are inexperienced about how Viki works and might think this has been the normal process of applying for a long time.

I got a subtitle request via Project Finder a few days ago and yesterday I replied like this:

(I did reply in Dutch, but I’ll write it in English here)

Hey, I’m glad you’re interested in this drama, but I’m using it for Dutch Subbing Academy, so I won’t open it for other people for the time being.
I know Viki made it in such a way you can easily contact moderators, but personally I don’t like receiving messages like this because it doesn’t say anything about the person behind it. And if you write you want to sub ep. 21, I immediately wonder why just that episode and not the other ones? But I know it’s more because of Viki than because of you.
What you should do is looking for a drama that you’re interested in subbing. Good genres for beginners can be for example: family, school, romance and society. Then click on the drama and scrol down to the volunteer page. Check if there is a Dutch mod and if there is one send a message in proper Dutch so you will sound professional and convincing. Tell some useful info about yourself, like how often you can help, if you have any background knowledge that could be helpful for the drama etc. Also suggest you do a translation test before being accepted, since you haven’t done any subs yet. That might convince mods to give you a chance. Good luck!

And I got a message back in which she thanked me and said she would try it in that way. I hope for her she finds a project to work on.


Want to subtitle? Let people know!
#4

I think most beginners don’t really understand that there is a whole system to the volunteering community, so they just go to Project Finder, click on their language and write away. I do get weird messages from it sometimes, but I agree it’s more of the Project Finder’s fault. It’s organized by individual episodes, so when even episode 1 hasn’t been started on yet, it automatically writes for example “I would like to translate ep 25.” This isn’t much of a problem, but it does lead on to some more issues.
I remember as a beginner (and that was before the new one came out) I used the Project Finder once, and I was looking for Chinese to English or Chinese Learn Mode projects to work on. And the result? Nothing. Not even one project popped up even though I later found out there were many, many shows that didn’t have Chinese captions. So I agree.
Recently I got a message from the Project Finder too and I accepted it since it was my first time being a moderator and I was in desperate need of subbers, but that person hasn’t replied or done anything since. I’m not sure if that person was just randomly clicking on projects or what but they should translate the message into the language they want to translate into especially if it’s their first time volunteering…


#5

I am one who usually doesn’t take complete beginners on on-air projects. But there are so many completed (non on-air) projects, and the newbies can work there until they learn the ropes. What’s wrong with that? Why they cannot be content with non on-air dramas? They are not inferior in any way, it’s just that there is not so much stress because of time constraints and viewers whining for subs.
We do have to renew the ranks of the subtitlers, because people come and go, they won’t be here forever, they may have issues and stay out of Viki for a few months, or they may not be available when you want them. So you should always be on the lookout for new talents to replace those who will be gone.
Moreover, we have all been beginners once, haven’t we? Everybody deserves a chance (in a safe, guided environment like an older drama). There may be people with lots of potential out there.
A couple of months ago I met a new subber here in Discussions. I saw she was fluent both in English and in Italian and seemed to be a smart thinker and responsible person. I took the chance and offered her to be on a drama I was working on at the time. Long story short, now I’m training her to be an editor!


#6

Hi, I’m a beginner, but I absolutely understand what you mean! I have a friend that translates for another plataform and I know the hell she’s been through because of uninformed and unconsiderate people.I’d like to sugest you try to have a long conversation with the ones that send you messages. You could prepare a list of questions for them to answer before hand, and send it to everyone that volunteers (did I wrote this right?). I haven’t check the new project finder, will do that now. xoxo


#7

Most new volunteers reply back so I watch what kinds of subtitles they’re making before I completely trust them and I help them if they have any questions, but some don’t even message me back at all. They click asking to help on the project but don’t come back again. I know everyone starts from the ground at some point, but if there’s no opportunity for conversation and I have no idea what their level of Chinese(or any other language) is, then there’s no way for me to help or accept them on the team.


#8

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and ideas! :cherry_blossom:

@oriya

That’s a good idea. I probably should write some kind of standard reply as well to give people who are really interested a chance/some tips and not writing individual messages all the time even when some don’t read/reply at all.

I also got messages for subtitling sometimes for new on air shows that only had few released episodes or none episode at all in other languages but the text says something like: Hi I want to translate episode 42 (so the last episode or almost last episode) what doesn’t make sense but I think that is the project finder message system’s fault in a way (and if that means the person did watch almost or all episodes it would be a plus because then translating would be easier for them compared to someone who wants to translate but doesn’t know anything about the story/characters and did not want to watch it at all).

@helenawang5717_57

Some informative description as a popup window while using the project finder might help or also some kind of guideline when one hits that ‘join the community’-button. For beginners it can be hard to find the information they need because some don’t find the forums and the main page is not well designed for volunteers but only for viewers, sadly.
So a info box could include aspects like oriya mentioned for the messafes she writes to beginners. I always feel that there is too less easy to find information available for potential volunteers/beginners.

@irmar

Some beginners I met are great as person and also as volunteer, some are a catastrophe that I’d call Zeitfresser. If you just meet 2-3 new people at once it’s not such a big deal but since corona lockdown I got in touch with over 10 beginners and only few take volunteering seriously and are able to communicate so I lost most of my patience and nerves during the past weeks.

This year I also took an older project as a moderator to give beginners the chance to gain some experience and work without deadlines/time pressure. I think it is a good way, it’s fine for beginners but blocked by VIKI because only full QC are allowed to work on it (beginners cannot even work on it when they have a paid VIKIpass!!!).
So in the end I had to take them for new on air shows.
It’s frustrating since now I have a project I only took as possibility for beginners that I cannot use for this purpose; full QC volunteers are busy with new/on air projects (what I can understand), some of them also wouldn’t work on it because you can just watch it on amazon and it makes not so much sense to work on it here while there are many shows on VIKI that are new and only available here… so yeah… I either have to abandon the project as moderator, translate it by myself (what I can’t do right now because of the other new on air projects) or wait (hope) that VIKI might open it at some point for beginners/non QC volunteers for training.

It was not clear/visible that this project is full QC only. I cannot know - in case I’d take another older project for training purposes - if a project is QC only or not. So in the end I probably stick to new projects which are interesting for full QC volunteers so the project will be finished in a certain amount of time (and ironically the new/on air projects are usually open for anyone no matter if the person has VIKIpass or not and no matter if the person has QC or not… - I’m talking about Cdramas).

VIKI as a company lives from the volunteering community but there are too many obstacles that make it difficult for those who want to become a part of the volunteer community or are already part of the volunteer community.

VIKI should open/tag certain projects as training projects so e.g. if a moderator is willing to help/guide beginners and takes such a show people could see this is a training project and when it is unfinished it is not because this moderator doesn’t take care for a project.

Beginners could also see then in which channels/projects they should gain experience without deadlines/time pressure.

The project finder should get a filter with ‘beginner projects’ so people who are interested could directly find a fitting show…

This would also avoid new/on air projects/teams too be influenced by certain aspects that could happen, because with training projects a moderator could say, okay when you translated ~3 parts and it’s fine and you’re able to handle deadlines you can participate on a new/on air show (and when it is a training project there would be also no need to edit/retranslate the wrong parts in case someone didn’t do it right… you could give feedback then so the person could make progress step by step but when it is a new/on air show you cannot let more or less wrong parts without editing them fast because the quality would suffer too much and the viewers would be disappointed).

The training shows could also have some kind of ‘subtitle overlay’ in the way that moderators see it and can give feedback but viewers wouldn’t see it (in case there is already a full version of subtitling for a certain language).

Of course that means more effort and IT work for the VIKI company but I think they should invest ressources for the volunteering community as well.

@procrastinadorass2

Thank you for your post! :sunflower:


#9

I go to the URL of the project from another browser, where my username and password are not saved, so that I can visit as an “average visitor from my country”.

That’s an excellent idea, I’ve already asked but so far there is no response.

I’ll tell you what I do. I have a Google sheet for each new subber, titled with her name. I go to Subtitle Editor and put an asterisk before every sub that has a problem and needs to be changed. Then I go to Bulk Editor and I copy the subs (English AND the Other Language) then I paste them on the Google Sheet (using right click, Paste Special - Values only)
Then, with CTRL+F I find all the subs with asterisks and I put a creamy-yellow background, so that the subber and I can immediately spot them.
Now there are two options. Either the subber is okay with Skype (voice only, shared screen), and we can edit together and discuss. Or she’s not okay with Skyping, and I have to write down my comments on the column to the right of the subtitles.
The first time I say exactly what’s wrong and why. Then the next time I just highlight the error and have the subber guess what is wrong. When everything is done, the subber corrects the sub on their own. Then I go after her and edit some more.
Etc. So there’s no need for Viki to create an invisible space for notes and comments.
If the viewers happen to see a little asterisk, they won’t mind too much.

There was a drama I translated in Italian two years ago, “I Am Not a Robot”. Suddenly, this winter, Viki announced that they will air the “Special episode”. Now, I had watched this one on a pirate site. Half of it, I couldn’t even finish it. It had aired before the drama, it was just silly interviews with the actors talking a bit about their characters and “please support our drama”. You know, one hour of boring stuff like that.
Okay, it’s been like four months Viki has announced this Special and it’s not coming. But since the first day I must have had at least TWENTY messages from project finder saying they want to translate it. Most of them are complete newbies with zero subs.
I have a reply message saved, which I send to all of them with minimal changes (I go to their profile first to find out their name and whether they have already done any subs). I tell them that if and when this Special comes it will probably be translated by the original team. I go on to direct them to useful resources like my “How to start on Viki” and “Guidelines for Italian subbers” Google sheets, and how to find projects by writing to moderators rather than using Project Finder. I also let them know about the training course I have started last April. Of all those people, only half have replied. But copy-pasting a readymade message wasn’t too much work, and maybe some of them, using my resources, are now navigating Viki more easily.


#10

1. Wrong Projects in Subtitler Column
Adding on to what @sonmachinima said, the problems I found were about the right projects not being on the Project Finder, and I believe some of these were caused by how it is organized–by episode. Because the Project Finder is organized this way, we have projects that already have a full team of subbers on there. They are there because they are on air and at least one episode(the most recent episodes) are not subbed. We also have many projects missing per language as well, and why? Because there is no moderator for the show, which brings me to my second point.

2. No Moderator Column?
I noticed there is a segmenter, subtitler, and channel manager column in the Finder, but why is there no Moderator? Adding a Moderator column would help solve so many problems. If viki does consider adding it, I would suggest putting shows that are 0% subbed in all episodes, and putting them there so moderators know which shows need their language’s help.

3. How to Solve Problem Presented in One?
Finally, going back to my first point, since the subtitler column is such a mess, how can this problem be fixed? I suggest not having anything there at all, but allowing moderators to be able to put shows in their language there. What I mean is that if, for example, a Chinese moderator needs subbers for a certain show, they should be allowed to add the show for translating Chinese to Chinese
in that column. This makes everything more efficient, and shows that actually need subbers are on the Project Finder. I know there’s a Volunteer Finder, but I don’t think anyone actually uses it.


#11

I went to Community Resources and I saw something strange under the list of Top 50 Volunteers. There was this banner with:
Start now to qualify for QC status and get amazing perks!

And I clicked on it a got to this window:

First I thought maybe I was logged out by accident and I just didn’t know (My profile picture was still there in the right corner, so I refreshed the page), but I was indeed logged in.

They ask you what languages you can speak and you have three choices:
Korean/English
Chinese/English
Other (you can’t say which language)

Anyway I filled in the form to see what will come out of it, because right now I have no idea.


#12

Okay, I already got a reply messages and it’s just a standard welcoming mail:

Hello oriya,

We are thrilled to hear that you’re interested in joining our Viki Community! Whether you’re learning a new language or have moderate expertise in a 2nd (or 3rd!) language, we’re excited to have you on board!

We recommend you to watch this quick tutorial video on How to subtitle .

You can also learn How to Segment (splitting videos into parts to prep them for subtitles). We also welcome you to check out the Ninja Academy, a fan-driven academy offering a training program for new members to get familiar with the segmenting process. Spots are limited, so request to join the academy today!

Once you’ve become familiarized with all the basics, you’re ready to join a Channel Team:

We also encourage you to explore the following links:

We’ll be here to assist in any way we can. Please feel free to reach out to us directly by writing to qc@viki.com.

Welcome to the Viki Community!

The Viki Community Team


#13

Are you already a volunteer?


#14

Yes, I have 124,000 + subtitles.


#15

I don’t think its anything strange because it happens to me and I already am one too.


#16

Yeah, well I was just curious what would happen and now we know :slight_smile:


#17

Now I wonder if Viki can build in a system that people can only send a finder message once if they already applied. I have a person now who did send me 3 totally the same messages within 15 minutes. I hate it when people are so impatient so I’m leaning towards not adding that person now.


#18

I really like this welcoming email. It has many useful links and prevents you from getting lost, while navigating the social and professional waters at Viki.


#19

Maybe there should be a limit to the amount of messages you can send per day.

Let’s say the limit is three in total and one per contributor to whom the message is sent (moderator/CM).


#20

That’s a bad idea for CM’s, moderators and people who help others get started on Viki.