Channel Managers -- Do Occasional checking of other languages!

This is a message to Channel Managers.
**Very very occasionally take a few minutes to look at the “other language” subs on your channels. You might be in for a surprise. **
Today I was asked by a new subber if she could join as a subber so before I added her, I went to the channel to see how much had been completed in the language she wants to sub in so I could tell her which episode to start. I discovered on just one 90 minute episode with 1172 subtitles, over 1000 were filled in by another subber with one or two random alphabets like a, or jj. At least 1000 lines in just one episode. I then checked another episode where I found several hundred. I did further checking and found the person has done that on another channel. There seemed to be some legitimate subbing by her (although I don’t know her language at all) but that does not excuse over 1000 of nonsense lines.
As a channel manager, I very rarely look at the subs in “other” languages because I wouldn’t know if they were right or wrong. I can only read three languages.
I do remember years ago checking because one volunteer seemed to want to sub in more than one less common language and I discovered that person was just putting the English into Google translate and copying and pasting into the sub editor – I couldn’t read the characters but I could see they were exactly what Google translate had. She had been doing it for perhaps months or even years, had earned QC status and she was even appointed to be a channel manager by viki staff.
I was also alerted once by a Slavic language moderator that another moderator for another Slavic language was merely copying the subs of the other language. Otherwise, I would never have compared the two sets of subtitles and noticed they were exactly the same. (Not even Cyrillic and Roman alphabets but both Roman alphabets!)
And I have seen someone supposedly subbing in Catalan but merely copying all the Spanish subs or Latin and copying all the Spanish subs.
On another issue – how do you feel about

  1. subbers merely putting in the music note or other mark for the OST even though the English lyrics are available?
  2. or someone puts a period or other mark into places where the English was blank to falsely show 100% completion?

There are always lots of problems with subbing because Viki is a community-based platform.

However, I do want to say(I’m sorry if this is not related) that translating songs is a HUGE headache. You can’t just transliterate, you have to translate the lyrics so it becomes meaningful, otherwise, it’s total nonsense. I’m pretty fluent in my language, but some of the OSTs are SOOOOO picturesque and poetic that I spend almost an hour on just a few lines, writing and rewriting because literal translation makes no sense.
In short, I think translating songs are a real waste of time.


That reminds me I need to PM some mods :slight_smile:

1 Like

Bummer! How many things should a poor CM do, especially AFTER a show is done in most languages? But yes, I suppose spot checking is necessary.

As for putting fake subs of any kind, be it notes or punctuation marks, I don’t approve at all. It makes me angry.


I always find it a bit hard to point someone elses how to call it? Lack of progress as we all do this in our free time. But now I asked some mods how many eps they plan to have fully subbed by the end of next week and work from there.

And yes I already do check other languages from time to time to see if there are no fake subs as far as i could tell.


@vivi_1485 In K Drama and C drama the OST are especially written for the drama and are integrated with the dialogue. Occasionally the director and screenwriter feel the background music is so important that in the post-production Korean script they will annotate every piece of music with title, artist, and year.
The OST are intended to express the emotions felt by the characters and I feel they are an integral part of telling the story. I mean, how boring would it be for the leads to be saying “I love you” for four minutes straight as opposed to hearing the emotions set to music? Once the OST is published, I upload my English translation into Team Notes and I’m pretty sure the larger teams of subbers also have google drive or other shared files with the OST lyrics in their own languages so if the OST is repeated in the series it is a minimal effort for the subbers to insert the OST. If you generally sub alone, I can imagine that a song lyric may seem an extra burden to you – but say an episode is 700 lines, a song lyric may take up only 20 or 30 lines so in the scheme of things they are not that many lines of work.
If you feel that you cannot understand the OST, then please do write to the appropriate person on the English team for clarification.


I don’t know how other CMs work it out, but for the very few channels where I’ve managed:

● to subbers accepted without moderator:
I give all info from the first welcoming message + a mini-guide I wrote (with the definition of “abuser” I think?) + googlesheet template they can use + nssa guidelines

This is the welcoming message:

"Thanks for your reply and welcome to the team!

A few rules to explain you:

  • All ep can be subtitled in “aaa language” in order.

  • Vocabulary, ost, characters, translation guides in team notes (4th tab in subtitle editor).
    Please, note down on a document and use the same translations for songs, specific terms and names all throughout the drama.
    You can write them on an googlesheet or googledocument to remember them and to copy paste the lyrics.

  • guidelines to help you (5-10 min to read!)

  • formatting (click on formatting “shortcuts”), punctuation and grammar: review your subtitles once you have finished translating a part or an episode.

  • please, pay attention to formal / informal speech between characters and keep the same for all the drama. Same with familiar vs. formal terms, old vs. modern words depending on the drama’s atmosphere and era.

  • please, don’t overwrite on another subber’s subtitles, don’t steal others’ subtitles and don’t translate in another language.

  • please, look up in a dictionary if you don’t know a term, but don’t use translation programs.

Feel free to ask me questions if you have any. Once you finish translating one episode, just ring my bell please :smiley:

Wishing you good luck and thank you!"

(If someone is thinking of something we could add, he is welcome).

(- Why I tell them to look at Team Notes in the welcoming message: because we made them so anyone, including new subbers, mods, editors, could use them, with all the vocabulary and songs.

Ex of our team notes:

Menu with guides, clickable:


Characters + googlesheet with these photos so they can use it for them:


All vocab by categories with the Asian/English translation:


Menu for songs, clickable:


Songs (even 5 lines in a lambda ep with the n° of ep + timing), they just have to copy all songs and translate them in one shot:


For one, I did a googlesheet with a synopsis for almost every episode and a map of characters by sects with their name/title because it was about 50 characters to remember:


The vocabulary sheet by categories, available in Team Notes so anyone could make a copy, add a column to add their translation (it is about 550 words of vocabulary, special terms throughout the drama):


This was all done during the drama was aired and during edition, so when S2 came, I just sent this sheet to new CMs.

  • after sending the welcoming message to subbers without mod: they send me a message when the ep is translated.
    I check what they did with Google Translation and Deepl, I can compare with other similar languages, I check they translated lyrics (some let them in English, I tell them to translate them and keep a copy to copy paste), I tell them to fill in holes until it’s 100 % subbed. I don’t accept dots or musical notes as subtitles, I tell them to translate. The reason is simple:
    It is impossible we have dots or holes or music notes in English subs of dramas I managed, I have watched them all, so in other languages, they shouldn’t have them, or if they have, I will tell them to translate them and check they did so.

Once they are done, they tell me, I check again and lock the ep.

Next ep, we continue again, but they are mostly more attentive and know what we want.

  • I sometimes check thanks to the cover page: all subbers without mod are written there so I click on their profile to see how the person I just recruited is translating or since how long she didn’t contribute.

I also save the cover page on a document, we never know.

  • when a subber has completed all the drama; he tells me, I check once more really quickly and lock.

● to moderators: a few months after the drama is finished, I tell them a deadline to complete it.
I suggest extra time to moderators who ask for it because of personal reasons or if they are alone.

This time, the deadline is the end of summer 2020. Most dramas I had already got their 1st anniversary on Viki, so the deadline is not so strict.

I also suggest if the moderator doesn’t think he can complete it on time to stay as a subtitler or to tell me if he wants to continue as a moderator.

Some moderators decline at this step or don’t answer.

But 1 month before the deadline, I remind mods again that after this deadline, I have to change moderators.

It happens that after 1 year:

  • the 1st ep or no ep is subtitled
  • no edition
  • no recruiting
  • a few messages from subbers who couldn’t reach the mod.
  • the timed comments: I had to delete for other languages as well because they didn’t do it.
  • they let ep with holes (97% or 99% subbed): I message them to complete them. Most of the time it happens when we made corrections after the English release, that is why I was strict with English editors, otherwise other languages won’t make corrections.

I have watched and reviewed all the dramas I managed from ep 1 until the end. This is useful when a new subtitler without mod asks us questions about the drama, at least I know the story and have a chance to answer.
I have bothered all English editors on dramas I managed with a list of subtitles to look at.
I have moderated all the timed comments.
I have checked all the segging except 1 drama.

Once it is done, we would never take another look at it.

Since CM don’t have a board to have a general look on the channel, I had to do my own sheet for all languages with links of my last messages to them.


A list of complete languages and not complete languages.
Locked/ not locked.
Messages where they had holes in subs.

When a new subber enters, I check at what ep he can continue subtitling thanks to that sheet:


I had both problems with mods and subbers without mods, but mostly with mods.
Subbers without mods: holes, not translating lyrics, formatting.
A very few times (<5), I had to remove the subtitler because of abusing and report the profile.

Mods: they don’t moderate the channel.

Overall, I think that a great part of managing a channel is checking what people we recruited are doing, have done and that begins with watching as a viewer the drama you manage to see the quality they put into the drama.

I think it is heavy work, and I would update this list every quarter or semester.

… the only thing I haven’t done yet is checking what all mods have put, I have checked for some, but not all the team. I would probably discover interesting things, but mods should also be responsible, I can’t be behind everyone.

There are also other mods who tell us when the mod we picked is not doing his job or is doing really strange translations, I tell them I’m going to ask and if it’s something related to abusive contributions, I say you can contact Viki if you see it is necessary.

● new mods: I send them a mini-guide I wrote for moderating + nssa guidelines + ask them to recruit, do a cover page (even minimalist). The mini-guide for mods with explanation on what, where, how:
I also check their progress on the drama.
But now, I mostly don’t recruit mods for rare languages, I ask them to subtitle first and if they did at least 10 ep or half of the drama, fine, they are enough motivated.


Moderators should reserve the right to choose whether they want to translate songs or not. This applies in general for that series or on spot occasions if one feels the song clashes too much with the dialogue. Not every English editor is good at estimating when it’s the right time to give the song a rest.

Furthermore, not all OSTs are meaningful and appropriate. There are entire shows (usually the cheap and fluffy kind) which have songs with the stupidest meanings, especially when the entire song is in English and was translated badly in meaning and badly from a grammatical point of view.

Finally, not only do volunteers find it hard to come into agreement over this issue, but even our viewers have placed themselves in two different camps of preferences.

If we are talking about a show where English translation has been completed over a year ago, and it still has empty segments, chances of those segments going away are little better than zero.

I had recently checked an old completed project which for some reason popped up in the project finder. One of the episodes was at 89% because some segments were in the meantime added, but more importantly for this topic, it had previously had about 5-6% of empty segments. While fixing the subs in the newly introduced segments, I made a point to also fill in the old empty segments, which the segmenter who was recently editing didn’t bother to delete. And probably never will.

I won’t even start talking about the old shows where for example someone abused the segment timer and introduced 20-30 new segments in a span of 5 minutes.

Basically, there is some upstream nonsense that OL mods have to deal with. So, absolutely banning filling the empty segments is too much.

Of course, abusing it by placing a dot instead of a full fledged sub is out of the question.


There actually are languages which have words consisting of only one letter, e.g. Swedish ö means island (ø in Danish, but in Norwegian it has two letters: øy), и or i means “and” in many Slavic languages (same goes for а, but with different grammatical use), etc. Dutch doesn’t have one-letter-words, but we could for example shorten the word het (it) to 't or ik (I) to 'k, though only in informal speech.

Even in English you could get something like:

segment 1: He was eating
segment 2: a
segment 3: banana.

However, no language consists of only one-letter-words, so if they do it all the time it’s obviously fake. Of course there’s still the possibility of getting disconnected in the middle of typing or accidentally hitting the Q instead of TAB, but I would think most people would fix that as soon as possible.

What I don’t get is how they can get away with just typing letters and symbols. I mean, everything is out there for all to see on our profiles, right? Sure we don’t notice all the deeper language mistakes of languages we don’t know (well enough), but random fillings would stand out on any profile.

If the song clashes into the dialogue, it means it’s in the same segment, I suppose, and then you can just leave it out if you really want to, without adding music notes. I think @cgwm808 was referring to segments which only had a song line in them, no dialogue, which not everyone cares to translate.

As long as I get the complete lyrics of a song, I translate them in a separate document at some point and fill them in as I come across them or sometimes later on.
But sometimes you get random lines of songs of which the complete lyrics are not available, of which you don’t know title or artist and which, if out there at all, are very hard to find. Still, when you first encounter them you never know if/when they will come back at some point, so you have to make sure to stock those random lines in your documents as well.


I sub Hindi as I am a native and sometimes Japanese as I am almost fluent ( to the point where I can describe how my day was or comfortably talk with a little stammering here and there), I have always worked under a moderator in Japanese except one drama and I leave the lyrics to the moderator 'cause she is native and not I.
But for Hindi, I can say that it is correct for me to simply copy paste the English lyrics (I wonder if anybody is talking about copy pasting or not). The subtitles are Hindi using the DEVNAGARI script and not the Latin or romanizing Hindi ( not lyrics). I know the people in my country and I know, we prefer English over Hindi. Even while talking to my teammates I use English and watching dramas, I watch them in English even our social media is all Hindi using English letters or sometimes entirely in English.
As an example; if I am introducing myself to a native in writing, I’ll say " Mera naam Kaori hai" rather than “मेरा नाम काओरी है।”

I consider it all absolutely fine if I copy paste English lyrics rather than translating them because we understand English more better than Hindi.

And as for the puting a and jj in subs, without a doubt I’ll report the person if it’s the entire episode and not a sub here and there.

1 Like

Things are not that simple. Example below.

sub 1:

sub 2:

sub 3:

sub 4:

sub 5:

In absolutely no subtitle in this example should a lyric be introduced. Because it interferes with the dialogue even when not being in the same sub as the dialogue. Pauses are extremely important for viewing experience. Much more than copy-pasting lyrics that the viewer has had or will have a chance to enjoy in another part of the series.

It doesn’t do justice to the script and it doesn’t do justice to the music.

Exactly my point. If you only get flashes of lyrics here and there, not only there is more chance that i initially they’ll be translated wrongly as you say, but also the lyrics are pointless for the plot and in the way.


Does “naam” mean “name”? “Naam” is also the Dutch word for name! :thinking::smiley:


Normally, the segmenters, Chief segmenter, subtitler, editors or Chief Editor have already spot instances like talking + songs (it is about 6 people who went by them or even 7 people if the CM is reviewing later).

Normally, when we check segments, we avoid letting segments looking like they’re being butchered.

The final decision to leave lyrics + talking belongs to the Chief Editor for English subs.
For OL subs, it depends on the moderator or final editor. It’s not the same people or the same pov from English to another language.

I personally prefer to have lyrics if we have time to read them with the dialogue, or else, I feel it’s lacking.
In some teams I’ve been, we mostly put lyrics on the second line if it doesn’t take too much of the screen. The viewer just has to read the first line and ignore the second line.

Lyrics are the hardest to translate for me, but I feel it would be like avoiding the challenge or take a shortcut by not translating them because they are difficult to convey. It is an art to translate lyrics.

All in all, it’s just lyrics, so I’m already happy to have correct subtitles to watch.


Awesome job, piranna.
Of course the sad thing is that when you give such resources to people they will mostly be too lazy to use them. I know a lot of well-known moderators with hundreds of thousands of subtitles who don’t even bother to make a list with character names and their office titles and who speaks informally to whom. You’d be amazed if I told you the names of those mods, they get all the dramas!
And of course Korean-English subbers: 95% of them never bother to read even the condensed version of the subbing guidelines we put on the Team Notes. That’s why I’m so happy when I get to work with the other 5%!

“At this time, Channel Titles, Episode Titles and Channel Descriptions in English and the following (8) languages will be provided by Viki and cannot be edited by Channel Moderators: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. All other languages will still be able to be edited by Channel Moderators”

Sadly Italian cannot be changed either.

If Channel Moderators would like to suggest translation edits for any of the above 8 languages, please submit them through the Help Center.

Yeah, sure! Never had a reply on this nor has anybody I know.

You may need to correct this too. Sadly those pages do not exist anymore.


Oh I have the feeling some languages don’t edit or use translation programs. It is their problem after all, until someone reports them with evidence.
Some reports have results, though it is rare.

It is fine with me if new subbers don’t read materials, so when I give them my feedback, they can’t say anything but do it :yum: and they know I will take a look, so they’d better review their subs in future eps.

But mostly, new subbers without mods seem more serious than most mods when I give them feedback, they just review their ep again. That is a surprise for me.
I’ve met 4 subbers who did all the drama by themselves without a mod and they were telling me: could you reopen the ep so I can change what I wrote in previous ep or so I can check what I wrote?

Like where do they come from??

As for moderators, even Anna knows how much I’m bothering them. I told her, if you don’t do the corrections we made on the drama after the releasing, I might click by error on your name on the list of moderators (you know, the cross).

Then she told me, you can check, I did all the changes already.

It is our way of talking or dark humor. She knows how much it was hard for us on this particular drama.
Finally, it shows what? Only the ones who care will care enough to correct or read.

But with my feedback, I tell them to care.
I also think it is not the same thing when it is the channel manager and the recruiter who sent you a bunch of materials who tells you to care.
I also send multiple times so clearly, it will be better for them to avoid my spamming.

All in all, I prefer to send everything to people than having surprises and them telling me I didn’t explain them anything.

It is also a way to protect yourself as a CM and tell the subber: see, I sent the materials. If there’s a problem, he can only ask himself why he didn’t read it.

Thanks for reading it, if you have anything to add, just tell me so I can make a better one.
I will update it later.

Btw, have you tried the new design of Viki? I want to know your reaction, it might be epic. My friend sent me pics. More clicks!

Btw this deadline thingie and checking mods have been useful a few times. When Viki sent me a message about some mods, I had to explain I already checked on them, they told me this and that. Also when other mods tell me this and that, I tell them, I already gave a deadline to all mods. Later, if they don’t respect it, they can’t go back on their words and they know they will be removed. The periodic checking makes me aware of mods who don’t fulfill their duty and I would avoid them.

The bad thing would be removing without telling them the conditions or without giving them 2 chances already with time to complete.

Deadline and checking are also good, because some mods appear again on the drama to complete it. I saw it happen. Pretty cool.

But the message for all this is:
You’re responsible for your own choice, not the CM.
The choice of not reading materials despite them being sent, not translating it despite knowing the time you had, not giving their turn to someone with more time. We push them to do their best while giving them all materials + remind them. If they don’t use them to their advantage, mediocrity is their own choice, not ours.


@bozoli @kaorikazehaya and any other subber or moderator who prefers not to have lyrics in the subtitles.
While I understand your point of view and that we are all entitled to our personal preferences, I would like to explain my philosophy as Chief Editor for English for over 250 completed K dramas and movies. I know for 99.99% of our subtitlers in other languages, the subtitles are going to be written as translations of the English subtitles.
First of all, Segmenting of song lyrics: We all know that probably over 95% of our segmenters do not understand Korean but segment K drama, K variety and K movies every day. Because they don’t understand the language, segmenters are taught to segment anything which might be a word and might need a subtitle. So segments are cut for OST lyrics.
Second, subtitling: In creating the English subtitles my intent which is consonant with the viki goal " to remove the language and cultural barriers which stand between great entertainment and fans ,” is to give the English speaking viewer as much of the same experience watching as a native speaker of Korean would have. So when an OST is sung, the native speaker hears and understands the lyrics.
While I understand the importance of a dramatic pause within dialogue, the native speaker doesn’t hear silence when there is audible OST between dialogue – the native speaker hears a song lyric which he/she comprehends. There is no dramatic pause in meaningful verbalizations if there are both dialogue and song lyrics. So subbing the OST intermittently is our attempt in the English subs to reproduce the entire experience without pre-censoring by either segmenter or English subbers.
While I can understand the attitude that the personal preference of the moderator should govern what is subbed or not subbed, I would like you to consider what I tell new segmenters. “If you cut a few unneeded segments, it is very easy to delete the segments. If you fail to cut a segment for some meaningful verbalization, then the subber is not going to have an opportunity to subtitle that verbalization and viewers will also miss out.”
In the same way, if a viewer doesn’t care for OST lyrics, he/she can always fast forward or skip the lyrics. But the viewer who does like knowing what the lyrics are saying will be forever deprived of the lyrics which are not subtitled due to pre-filtering in the creation of the subtitles due to the personal preference of a language moderator, a subber, or a segmenter.

Third: my personal point of view about using music notes, punctuation or other fillers instead of song lyrics. This is my response to the question I posed at the beginning of the thread. If you persist with the personal preference that lyrics are not necessary and your channel manager agrees with you, than you should leave the segment completely blank. It is deceptive to put anything in the blank so that the unsuspecting viewer believes the episode is 100% subtitled, because it clearly is not. Furthermore, even though most moderators have a high contribution count, it is deceptively padding the contribution count to put something which is not meaningful in the blanks rather than the lyrics.
Fourth: I think the channel manager has the final authority to decide whether song lyrics should be subtitled in the “other languages”. The viki guidelines state that the CM has the main leadership role on the channel. An explicit task of the channel manager is to assist the viki goal to remove the language and cultural barriers which stand between great entertainment and fans ,
It seems to me that not subtitling song lyrics is deliberately leaving a language barrier between great entertainment and fans. When I look at comments under music videos for OST on Youtube, I often see a comment like “I like the sound of this song. I wish I knew what it meant.”
Fifth: I understand very well that there may be lots of people, perhaps even a majority of viewers and subbers who don’t want to read song lyrics. May I suggest that the solution is to simply fast forward rather than to permanently deprive those viewers who want the song lyrics to be subtitled.


Being a fairly new TE, it is sad for me to hear that some volunteers who work on subtitles just use Google translate and directly input it into the segment as a subtitle. This is really cheating! A lot of the times Google translate doesn’t even make sense! When I edit, when a sentence doesn’t make sense at all, I would research and try to find the most suitable word to best express the original meaning of the sentence.

For OST lyrics, I personally like to see the lyrics as it makes the drama more meaningful understanding what is written in the original lyrics. However, it is up to the moderator and CM to decide if they would like it translated in that particular language as song lyrics cannot be directly translated.


Whenever I translate, I always leave the lyrics and credits blank and tell the moderator that I left those segments empty. I think most, if not all, of the time they fill those in because when I go back to check on the episode, it is completed and locked.

On a personal note, I do find that when the lyrics and the dialogue are playing at the same time, it’s distracting. However, there are other times when I would like to know the name of the song or what is being said because the song is so catchy or beautiful.

Personally as a viewer, I don’t care about lyrics. They are quite distracting especially when mixed with the dialogue. It’s preferable if it has its own line so I could ignore it.

I like it when other networks like Iqiyi have their lyrics at the top of the screen, away from the dialogue subs. I won’t even bother reading them :slight_smile:

This just proves that everyone has their own preferences, therefore middle ground should be sought.

Then how are the people who do like the lyrics supposed to read both the dialogue and the lyrics? They would have to move their eyes like this: :crazy_face:

Maybe it would be good if there would be just one blank line between the dialogue and the lyrics? :thinking: