Being faster? Does it mean quality?

Hey, everyone!

My name is Magali, nice to meet y’all. I am new around here, so please forgive me if anything wrong in this thread.
I would like to comment on something that I’ve been hearing a lot and I don’t think that’s good, at least for me who likes to contribute here.

Some time ago I started contributing to my language community and I heard some things like… “The CM asked us to be faster when translating” or “In order to stay up in this team, we, from Portuguese Community need to be faster”. I agree that sometimes we need to be fast since it’s such a disrespect to have an episode realesed but we are managing to not translate it; specially when we have time to do so. What surprised me was that this kind of comment serves to everyone in teams where CM’s have this speech. What I mean is… I bet it’s not just me who suddenly started to think about the minor communities who cannot have this agility, and I would like to share my thoughts on this because I don’t think that’s a great way to estimulate people volunteering here. I can say it for me! I do love to contribute and gain experience but… isn’t it a little bit off the track? Also, in order to be faster, we human beings, can make a lot of mistakes to archieve this “Great pace”, and this does not mean quality and enjoyment to those who’s watching. Anyway… I just decided to share this because this was bothering me a little bit lol.

Again, sorry if anything, I’m still trying to get the pace around here😅.
Kisses from Maga.


Hi, Magali.

You are definitely on point here. Quality of translation is definitely in jeopardy if Viki (via CMs) insists on fast translation.

Large language communities can translate fast, but they still edit in a slower pace. This means that the initial rough pre-edited translation can stand there for a few days or even a week.

Smaller communities don’t have the luxury of translating fast, as you well noticed. Viki doesn’t usually insist on them translating as fast as the big communities. Good CMs, however, have other rules for small languages and require constant progress, whether fast or slow, depending on the number of volunteers in the team.


Coincidentally, my co-moderator and I were briefly discussing this yesterday. It seems we have started to value speed over quality.


And that’s what I’m saying dear!

We cannot let this kind of thought prevail! We, from big languages communities we have this possibility to archieve the goal, but we cannot forget about the quality because that’s the essence of subbing here at VIKI. I know sometimes we can say that we need to be at a constancy 'cuz viewers are pushing us into insane, but that does not give us the excuse to abandon the principles of subbing. What I particularly want is that everyone on VIKI understand this, because, as I said, some of others cannot have this good feeling at contributing in a place where they have to be at a constacy, without quality, and do not forget about the fact that “we are volunteers who make this for love and because we do care about it” but on another hand we cannot be this considerate, otherwise, we’ll be delaying the process. I think that’s what y’all mean, right? I’m glad at least you talk and consider this thought 'cuz this means you still do care about this matter.

Thanks for you comment darling🤍

Yeah, definitely! It’s good to see that not just me thinks like that lol. Of course we have to consider everything; everyone has a life, has other priorities and stuff like that so… I kind understand but at the same time do not accept this kind of rule! And I think that VIKI shouldn’t support it at all, but… who am I to say something, right? Specially when I’m new around here and still needs to understand some things.

All of you, a big hug and thank you for talking to me about this matter🫶.
Kisses from Maga!


Maybe you want to look at this thread, it is old but still one of the best we ever had in here …


Yep! You’re totally right. Yes, one should be constant in terms of once one takes on a project, one should be responsible and finish said project. However, I would say that “quality” should be included in said “responsibility”, even if sometimes it takes a bit longer. At the end of the day, what’s the point of clunky sentences that a viewer won’t understand or simply wrong translations of certain jargon because the translator didn’t have enough time to research? Yes, I understand that there’s competition and Viki thinks they should match it and have the episodes ready and available at the same time as the others with certain subtitles. But… also, part of that is the quality, is it not? If the subtitles here are haphazard and clunky due to the imposed time limits, viewers might still go to another platform in search of better subtitles. Also, I would argue that just the fact that Viki has so many languages available that these other platforms might not gives them a step up in terms of competition.

I personally always try to keep a mostly constant pace when subbing, as much as I can, in terms of “I’ll dedicate some time to subbing every day or at least every two days” or however much free time I have outside of work and other engagements at that point in life. I’m sure all the other volunteers here serious about doing their volunteering do the same thing. I’ve definitely seen some wonderful translations as a viewer and you can tell how much thought went into them. But of course, some days I’ll get more subbed and some days less, depending on how much time the segments took. Sometimes when you have technical jargon, for example, you need a bit of extra time to do some research. On the other hand, when it’s a simple conversation between characters, the subbing will be much faster.

Furthermore, as you said, we are all volunteers and therefore doing this all in our free time, outside of work, because of our love for it and that should definitely be taken into consideration. Some days you have more free time and some days you have less, depending on your job, studies, and other outside engagements in life.

However, I do have to mention, in my personal experience, I come from a very small community, and so far I’ve always been a solo subber on all the dramas I’ve worked on. So, obviously, working alone, it takes me longer to sub a drama than a team of say, 10, would. All the CMs I’ve worked with so far have been super nice and organized, never pressuring me or imposing any impossible time limits, if there were any at all. It’s really motivated me and inspired me to keep volunteering and I really enjoy my work here on Viki. I’ve even introduced some viewers from my country to dramas because of those translations. My point was, I was actually quite surprised to hear that there were CMs asking for the kind of time limits you mentioned. I’m not sure, maybe it’s because of the bigger teams, so considering the number of people, they do honestly think the work is doable in that time-frame? However, just my two cents, not just as a volunteer and a linguist, but as a viewer on Viki, I’d rather wait a couple of extra days for quality subtitles than have them done haphazardly and have to guess what the characters meant to say. I always support quality over quantity.


Unfortunately, Viki lately has been putting enormous pressure on CMs on this matter. They ask not to do Translation Edit (they say it’s already done by paid subbers, but we’ve seen how well it’s been done!), they want the CMs to release episodes without English editing - of course only for translation, with the provision that the OL editing will wait until the English editing is done. But this puts the OL translators in difficulty sometimes, and augments the OL editors’ workload.

No, it’s Viki! Viki is also pressuring the Other Languages (through the CMs) to complete things quickly. I’ve been CM recently and we receive such messages from the “higher-ups”.
All because of the hateful sub-whiners, who threaten to not renew their subscriptions if subtitles are not immediately ready - and often do it.
Our world here has changed, it’s not what we were used to. And I’m not even one of the original old-timers from 2009, I only came in 2016, and already things have changed 180 degrees from what they were.


Viki is on the frontline when it comes to supporting that kind of rule. Viewers are their main/only priority and they need to be kept happy at all cost. Sadly, the viewers who complain the most seem to know/care the least about quality so speed is the answer. You can also see this trend back in all the badges. You don’t get them for the quality you deliver (admittedly, that would be hard to implement), but for the amount of contributions you make. Especially in the minor languages, where there is not much control because very few people can check the quality, lots of people get Gold QC status while their subs are mediocre or even plain bad. And even if the lack of quality is obvious, lots of people just don’t care.
Volunteers who really have the skills/talent to do a great job might still not flourish on Viki because of the ridiculous presssure that is being put on them, especially if they work on English, popular OL or segmenting. Most CMs leave minor languages in peace (though some demand high speed even from them), but there, we have more chance of lonely contributors giving up or getting absorbed by daily life.

Since several years, most of the shows on Viki arrive with English presubs (while in the past, absolutely everything was done from scratch by the volunteers). Some of those subs come from the content provider, the rest is done by paid Viki staff. The quality varies highly.
Nowadays, several shows also have presubs in Portuguese, Spanish, and French, not because those communities don’t have enough subbers, but because their viewers are the most impatient. The result is that less volunteers get a chance to work in those languages (only a moderator is needed to edit the subs) ánd that the segmenting team is not allowed to fully improve the existing segments anymore cause Viki doesn’t want the OL subs to get lost in the process, even if the subs get pasted back later on. Viewers need subs ASAP. That’s all that counts.

And it’s only getting worse. Normally, the English subs get fully edited by the English editors (translation editor(s), general editor(s), and chief editor) before OL is allowed to start translating. Nowadays, Viki insists on the most popular shows to release to OL right after the chief segmenter has checked the segments. In those cases, English editing will be done later and OL moderators have to check their team’s work again after that has been done.
Also, more and more teams get only 1 English editor and that is usually someone who is not fluent in either the source language or English, just because Viki or the CM thinks things go faster this way while in reality, even if this person has all the skills, they will do the work of 3 people by themselves and thus not only take more time but also be more prone to overlook some errors.

Volunteers who are just doing their very best to deliver quality get harrassed, shamed, kicked out, etc. by other volunteers who either don’t recognize quality or who are under too much pressure themselves.

It’s a very sad thing, but I doubt it will change. Viewers equal money, even if we are the ones doing the job. And once Viki gets rich enough, they won’t need us anymore, not because their paid staff is better than us, but because they cater to the wishes of the impatient viewer.


Ah, I see. I figured something like that might be the case, because I honestly don’t believe CMs would want to make the job harder for their subbers and even deter them from wanting to volunteer. As I said, as volunteers we’re all really here just because of our love for dramas and the work we’re doing. It’s a shame that’s happening, because I know a lot of volunteers here are really putting their heart and soul in the work they do. Personally, I was in awe when I first discovered that the subs here on Viki are done by volunteers. I’ve really seen professional level subtitles on here that I know were done by volunteers. I also know how much work the CMs put in to organize all that and to make sure everything goes smoothly. It’s a shame it’s being made harder for them to do their work properly. However, I do think this whole “speed is the goal” is still a bit counter-productive, because those same people complaining about subtitles not being fast enough will be the ones complaining about the quality of the subtitles next. There’s always someone who will find something to complain about and quality shouldn’t be sacrificed because of it as it really provides long-term results rather than just short-term results. It’s obvious that the CMs are aware of all this as I saw some of the feedback on the discussions forum when the whole thing about their being no editing before OL subbing was introduced. CMs deserve more attention as they are the ones who deal with the whole work as a whole and I think all their opinions, suggestions, and ideas on the segmenting and subbing process are very valid and there would be improvements if they were actually implemented by the platform.


If you’ve been here long enough, you surely know that Viki higher-ups … how can I put it? I will use a Greek expression: “They write us on their old shoes”. (Meaning “they couldn’t care less about us and our valid opinions”) There’s also another more colourful one, which goes “They write us there where ink doesn’t stay” (that place referring to their pair of pouchy-style nether parts, to put it elegantly)


I’m relatively new on here, so most of the stuff I know is either recent or retold to me. It’s sad to hear that, though. This platform is really made up of all the lovely volunteers here and, in my experience, the management by volunteers is really impressive. The platform wouldn’t be what it is without that aspect of it. Sometimes it’s even hard to believe that some of these lovely people on here aren’t paid for all the work they do and the management of said work. I do honestly hope those opinions get through to those in charge, because Viki wouldn’t be Viki without all the volunteers and their work. Volunteers are really the heart of this platform and definitely one of the reasons that originally drew me to it and impressed me. :heart:

P.S. Unrelated comment, but I’m definitely putting those two phrases in my little drawer of “idioms from other languages I learned”. Learning idioms from languages I don’t speak is one of my favorite past-times and I absolutely love them! Thanks for the addition! :joy:


My previous reply was meant to be a reply to this, but for some reason it didn’t show up as a reply. I might have pressed a wrong button somewhere. :grin:

No, you probably did not press the wrong button, sometimes it just doesn’t show, you can easily direct your reply, by edit and adding @annabanana128 for example.


This happens a lot on large communities not because we want, it’s because Viki puts a lot of pressure on CM’s and Mods, I agree that we all are human beings but consider that we are part of large communities where there is a lot of people who can “translate whenever needed” (even if their quality subs are poor) sorry if sounds rude but it’s true. I know some subbers who sometimes pressure you, and I even received applications saying “I want to subtitle because your subs are very slow” So whats the point on going against the rule if even subbers putting pressure on you. In Spanish Community viewers hate to wait, I even read comments when they despise our hard work and give a bad rating to the channel just because there is no subtitles in their language, they don’t care about quality. I know it’s unfair for us but viewers are Viki’s priority.


Ah, I understand. I thought I somehow kept managing to cancel the reply because it’s happened a couple times now. Thanks for the info and the tip. :blush:

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If your reply is the next message directly under the post to which you are replying, it will not show up as a reply. I have no idea why, but I realized this when I first joined. I guess since any reader of the thread will read the two messages in order, they figure it’s not confusing, so there’s no need to indicate the reply.


@my_happy_place If you’re replying to the original post, you mean? I guess that sort of makes sense since at that point it’s just the two people. Although, I’ve noticed it happen to me even when I’m replying to someone within the thread and there’s already been people replying. Maybe it glitches out sometimes. :joy: (Edit: I had to edit this post, because it did it again and didn’t put this as a reply. Hahaha!)

No, I mean, for example, that my post above was a reply to your post that was directly above it, so it does not show as a reply. Similarly, you then replied to my post and were the first comment of any kind right after it, so it also does not show as a reply. This is because those series of comments are read successively, so the flow of the conversation is not interrupted and presumably everyone understands that these comments were in response to each other. And now this comment, too, will not show as a reply, even though it is, because it just continues the chain of conversation, unbroken by any other comments.

Edit: Even though it doesn’t show in the thread, you should still receive a notification that I replied to your comment.


The higher-ups should not forget that the excellent quality of Viki’s subtitles is one of the reasons why Viki is so popular.


Ahhh, understood. Yes, I see now. Okay, yes, it does make sense why it would be this way. It’s cleared up a lot of confusion on my part. Thanks for the detailed explanation. :heart: