Beware of Unsupported Claims of Fluency!

To Novice Channel Managers and Moderators:
Yesterday I received two applications for subbing from Korean to English. While we rarely have the privilege of doing subbing from Korean to English at viki, we still are sometimes allowed to edit pre-subbed dramas and movies. In one application, the person claimed to be fluent in 20 languages! The note had a few sentences written in Hangul, the language of Korea, but I have no idea whether they were generated by GT or some other machine translator. In the second application, the person claimed to have taken TOPIK, the language test administered by the Korean government for any non native speaker of Korean who wishes to work in Korea. Again, there were a few sentences in Hangul. The person described her performance on TOPIK in a way which made me doubt she actually took the test. I am posting this note because even though we can’t sub from Korean to English, these people may apply to be editors.


20??? really? wow, people are just weird.


Sounds like a person we know


You’re right, but in this case, what does “beware” mean? Let’s say we are skeptical and don’t trust anyone who can just say they know something. So far so good. But how can we assess whether the claims are true or not? Even you, who are proficient in Korean, seem not to be 100% sure about those two people, so what can we, who don’t even know the language, know?
Sample videos help, of course. As well as sample translations of a part you give them to translate. You show the sample to someone who does know the language. I cannot think of any other way.


@irmar My instinct for both of the applicants was to not believe both claims of fluency. My point is that if a channel manager or moderator doesn’t have an independent test, don’t accept a claim which is too good to be true (fluency in 20 languages) or an incredible score on TOPIK. If something is too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true.
If we were able to sub the project they were applying for, I would have tested their ability and not accepted any sample they submitted because I wouldn’t know if the translation was their own or copied from some other source.


Well, nowadays one doesn’t need to copy, one just gives it to one’s AI friend to do, LOL. So I hope the sample test you give them is loaded with traps, so that the AI falls into them - although they are becoming smarter by the day.
Otherwise, the only really fool-proof way is to physically look over their shoulder like a school teacher while they are doing the job in front of you - which of course in our case isn’t possible.


Sometimes when I sent my videos to test a subbing applicant, they would have the gall to ask me for the Hangul script of the video as though I were born yesterday.


Ha ha ha!
Even if they didn’t mean to use an automatic translator and they were sincere, it wouldn’t do! At Viki most of the time the translation from the original language into English is done by ear, the script is not always immediately available, especially for on-air shows.

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Recently most of the dramas have scripts, or maybe that’s just my luck :smiley: (I sometimes like to check something in the original)

Except for Thai dramas (and recently also Jdramas), Viki is usually able to get the scripts from the content providers, but for Kdramas that might take some time (sometimes longer than it takes to edit an episode).

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@irmar Exactly what I tell them.