Choosing Moderators

I can understand you. Before the global crisis happened I also thought this way and now I’m wondering why there is so much pressure within the community when there are so much more serious things ongoing…

(There is a 100 episodes Korean drama now. I think it was pinned at the start page some weeks ago and it was the rare case that it was not taken in my language right away. Maybe it’s still with very few OL mods because it is so long.)

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I will respond to your post later tonight when I can, or early tomorrow morning.
But I just want to say now that I’m sorry you and your OL team(s) have had such horrible experiences. Please pardon the English team(s), whichever it(they) may be.
I will be back with some thoughts later.:rose:


The German teams work with DOCs, if I as a moderator make a reasonable DOC, then I have all what you call to stand there and keep the overview. That’s what I mean, there are moderators where it’s like a lottery, you don’t know what to translate and there are moderators who invest a lot of time to prepare the episodes properly.

I also give them the chance with such dramas, BUT only together with an experienced moderator.

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I have been curious for a long time. I’ve seen Portuguese and Spanish teams do that a lot. Have two moderators. But how do you split the job? One episode per week each? And what about the general feedback to the subbers, the decisions on frequent terms and courtesy levels etc…? Is there a chief and another one below, or they are equal and they have to discuss and take the other one’s agreement on every single thing? (What a headache!)


We do it like that:

We have one team chat channel with all subbers and mods and one mod channel for organizing.

Then every mod is responsible for a certain aspect, e.g. lyrics, editing, subber feedback, doc.

Before something is finally released for the subbers it is checked by all mods. In the end it is a teamwork result, because of feedback to each other. It is very helpful for finding the best translation for a difficult line, term or lyrics.

Of course you need a team with similar mindset & approach, otherwise it won’t work.


Generally it’s often stated that e.g. Translation Editors are way too few, and therefore they take on many projects to satisfy the demands - however, the speed differs greatly. There are dramas from 2020 that weren’t released to OL yet, but only half of them. I have a project as well where I expect the last episode to be released for OL by 2022 (it has about 40 episodes). The same people more or less release a bunch of episodes from another drama per week - so it’s rather difficult to plan or estimate when less-popular dramas can be finished. In consideration of the applications I received etc. I could’ve finished the translation at least within 4 months - now it’ll approx. take about 10 months. Therefore, I can understand that it’s questioned whether at least English editing should be reduced to a small amount of volunteers.

Certainly, it’s difficult for me to judge the quality of TE etc. Usually I find minor mistakes after the 3 rounds of edit such as typos while in some Japanese drama or film I participated お疲れ様 which usually implies “Good work!” (or implying that you’re going to leave now) or something similar was translated to a protagonist’s name. That totally didn’t make sense (however, this might have been pre-subbed and not corrected afterwards). While in another series, the same song’s lyrics were translated over and over again talking either about starlight, stars or moonlight. I’m aware that sometimes things are not easy to determine, however, it’s even more difficult if they lack consistency. :no_mouth:

This totally depends on the series. Sometimes we split up episodes between us (usually German teams manage about 2-3 episodes a week based on the average team size) as well as distributing tasks (e,g. who’s responsible for the OST, channel page, episodes, editing (sometimes twice)). Furthermore, we discuss lyrics, terms, translations etc. quite a lot. In general, I encourage my subtitlers as well to speak up if they want to discuss or suggest something, however, I figured that some rather only depend on set standards, so in this case it’s comfortable to have follow Moderators that ‘dare’ to discuss things with you. :blush: So, we don’t discuss everything, but e.g. I translate the lyrics and ask for suggestions while they prepare the document and episode at the same time. Translating in general might be a rather “lonely job”, but I see it as a chance to find e.g. the best term for something if it’s a difficult decision. I sometimes do watch series on Viki in German because I’m interested on how it was done, but there are sometimes terms used that feel awkward.
Fang Mo-jie is often transformed to Elder Sister Fang Mo. If you do that in German, it’s really weird if you use it to address someone, so in books or in other translations is usually either the name only (Fang Mo) or maybe Sister Mo. On Viki we often use original terms as well such as -san in Japanese or Nuna in Korean, so there’s in my opinion about 3 options. However, some people decide to translate it to “ältere Schwester Fang Mo” (elder sister Fang Mo) which sounds extremely weird to me at least, because in German language you don’t call siblings by their ‘title’. You can do that to your father, mother, grandparents or maybe your uncle and aunt (latter combined with the name) only. :thinking:


This thread is interesting… I do enjoy seeing what other OL mods’ experiences are.

I happen to work solo so far since the meager applications I’ve gotten didn’t work out, and I also do the translation and editing for another mod’s show who appears to not really do their own translations. I have no interest in pointing fingers, but I will say I don’t understand that stance. If I take on a show, I will finish it, and I won’t take more than I can handle, knowing I might be doing them solo. (Although I have worked with another subber in the past, it was a pretty grueling experience. You can’t teach some people to read the team notes and all that.)

So I’ve got a system where I will sub (generally) one episode a day (barring irl health issues which sadly prevail lately) and by evening I will exit the editor and watch it normally. Often I sit with a family member for an extra pair of eyes and as far as translation notes go, I tend to imagine the audience is someone like my mother who is new to dramas and not a cdrama pro (“If this was their first drama, would this be understandable?”). While watching it back, I note down any awkward sounding phrases or tone which was not conveyed accurately in the editor, due to segment jumping, and any stray typos, so I can fix it quickly after the episode is done playing. So it’s definitely quality over quantity for me.

I tend to keep a doc with notes and terms even when I’m working completely alone, and I’ve also compiled the doc for the show I’m not the Greek mod for (I only have subtitler permissions, despite the mod being uninterested in working on it, so this does make things a little awkward). And I only have 3 on-going shows, including that one.

I do agree that the English translation quality does tend to fluctuate between shows, and while I haven’t attempted to contact them about a show where the English editing has finished for some time, in the on-air one I’m working on the team work has been great and whenever I’ve noticed anything or had a question, they’ve been very quick to get back to me in the discussion or otherwise. I’m sure there’s less functional teams out there, as my experience is limited to a handful of dramas, but it’s definitely hard (and unfair) to generalize. I’ve been fortunate enough that the 3 shows I’ve been Greek moderator for had excellent teams.

I am curious however for what you (or others) would do about mistakes or questions on a show where the English editing is finished (for some weeks or longer). I find myself hesitating to message, though not out of any bad experience with doing so. Especially in the event I’m not even technically the language mod, but I’m working alone anyway. What’s the code here?


If you have the right partner, it’s a good thing to co-moderate, but it can also be a hassle. :sunglasses:

In the past years I had some co-moderators and I must say, there are only very few, with whom I would work together again. You should agree how to split up the work before the drama starts and you must rely on each other. Right now I do have a co-moderator for one drama, but I’m the teacher and he will learn how to moderate. Some years ago, I had a co-moderator, too and it was really a headache! We agreed to split up some work weekly, but it didn’t work, because she did my work part as well. When we agreed about some terms and the informal and formal speech, she told me, she already watched the whole drama and we should let some characters use formal speech, some informal speech and I trusted her. While watching those episodes, I wondered what she actually watched, because it was like another drama with other characters and I had to change it for our team several times. We agreed to edit this drama together, but it didn’t work as well, I did my part, she not.


I felt that… Good communication really is the number one necessity, but care/respect for the original material does also go a long way… :sweat:


As a channel manager I check every application, but this is really time consuming. It’s very difficult to decide, when you get 20 or more applications for one language and you can’t be fair for everyone. I make my decision under the aspects of

  1. How many on air projects? How many coming soon projects? How many with a late license?
  2. How many of the projects are completed? How active is the moderator on those projects?
  3. Do I know this moderator? Have I worked with him/her before and did we work well together? Is he/she reliable?
  4. The order of applications - this only if I have 2-3 moderators in the shortlist :smile:

If someone works only on one project, but has several older projects with zero subs/segments, I would definitively prefer someone with 2-3 projects, when the older ones are completed. If someone works on 3 web dramas I would prefer him/her over someone who has only 2 projects, but those are long term dramas with 50 episodes. Concerning new moderators, I would accept someone, who only worked very few projects before as a moderator, but will get the guidance of a very experienced co-moderate.


I think movies or mini-series are a great start for beginner Moderators. One of the greatest challenges they will face is to finish their project. If a project is small, it will be easier to complete it and they will “gain wings” for their next project.

Those could be hoarders. People who hoard moderator positions as a form of a power trip. Yeah, I don’t quite get it myself either.

There is something about episode 35 in C-dramas that tires out the English editing team and they start to slip heavily :joy:

We have been discussing it a bit here:


You should write. But make sure to make an easy to read list, with full timings for each dubious subtitle. Just saying “this show has many mistakes” doesn’t help at all.
Keep everything on a notepad and send them all together. See whether the person responds well, and ask if they would welcome other such messages from you as you advance with your viewing or your translation.
Good editors will go visit the episodes, check the items on your list and correct if necessary. Yes, it’s a hassle, I won’t lie. But I do it. I don’t want viewers to think our work is sloppy.


Oh, I also make spreadsheets, very detailed ones, which I update regularly when we get new info from the show. And yet when I edit I have to use my memory a lot in order to fully understand the context. Every little detail of previous episodes may help understand. Details that you remember vividly if you work on 1-2-3 dramas but not when you work with 4 at the same time. Unless you’re Pico della Mirandola - in which case, hat off to you!


Oof, that sounds rough… Unfortunately, my suffering is caused by a mini series of 16 episodes (and they tired on the 3rd… The team notes don’t even have the chinese characters for me to translate from and I have to hand-copy them from youtube’s embedded subs):zipper_mouth_face::disappointed_relieved:

Naturally. So basically the same thing applies as with the on-air show I’ve got going, except maybe a couple of episodes at a time… Sounds reasonable. Super intimidating though, despite thinking that were I in their position I’d welcome the catches. Especially since I’m not the moderator in this show (but the moderator isn’t in the picture)… :cry:

Thank you for the advice, despite the query veering off-topic.
I’ll also check the topic bozoli linked <3


I create an extra doc for the edit with all the subtitles from the previous episodes, I go into this table when I have flashbacks or something like that and I can track exactly what has been.

Everyone has his own procedure with which he gets along well. I also watch each episode to prepare and when I edit then a second time.

There are different people and everyone can process and remember and comprehend important things differently. I cannot assume that others can process more or less than I can. Everyone needs to know what they can do and be honest enough with themselves to do only the work that can be done very well.


I totally agree with you. I’ve been rejected already because I did not have enough experience, according to the CM, but then that’s what I ask myself: “How can I get experience when no ones gives me a chance?” Hahhaaha. Fortunately, I’ve been invited by a few cool people to edit and moderate, but so far still facing these difficulties when I apply to be a mod. Plus, I think that experience has nothing to do with good subs. Anyways, let’s keep fighting!


I have the opposite problem since there are so few translators in Norwegian, so I got to be a moderator as soon as I had translated enough. I don’t think this is a very good thing tho, since I really struggle with finding people to help translate


I meant to tell you, as another Moderator of another rare language (Croatian) which lacks volunteers, you will probably have to translate mostly yourself. So, choose your projects wisely. Only take on what you can handle yourself. And if someone joins at a later point, even better.

Lykke til, du klarer det! :wink:


Hello Kassidy,

I am late at the party but I wanted to add something if that could help.
I took the time to read most of the replies to your question, not all of them sorry, so I apologise in advance if what I am about to say has already been mentioned in the previous comments.

I do not have a lot of experience as a CM and I still consider myself as a rookie Channel Manager. Aside taking the time to review carefully the profiles of the applicants, number of the projects they’re currently working on (off/on air), I also value the degree of involvement of the applicants in their own projects. I tend to say no to a volunteer who seem to be barely involved in their own projects. Having hundreds of projects but almost close to zero contributions in each one of them is a no to me.

Of course, I understand one sadly cannot take part of a project due to personal reasons, (life’s calling, sickness, personal issues…), but I refuse to believe it happens systematically. So I tend to say no to this kind of volunteer. As a contributor, we have to learn how to not put a weight on our shoulders they can’t bear…

Regarding the newbies, I would say no to the ghost contributors or to the ones who just managed to become QC’s and want to moderate a whole project by themselves after reaching their humble 3000 contributions. It is hard for me to give such a moderator spot to someone who probably still have many things to learn before becoming a moderator.

Also, I have absolutely no problem giving a chance to a newbie, but it will depend on the project I am the CM for. Let me explain. The first (and only) Chinese drama I have been a CM for was a wuxia, a very popular one, and a 56-episode-ride. Given the genre of drama, I only took experienced moderators who already worked on this kind of show.

On a side note, my very first channel on Viki was actually a Korean drama who didn’t get the chance to be licensed here… (I’m still sad about it). Let me tell you that as soon as I have been appointed I reached out many volunteers of the community I had never talked to. Back then, I was a 2 year old volunteer. But, while contributing to Viki as a subber, editor and moderator, I observed a lot other fellow volunteers to see how OL teams and English teams were working and the way they were interacting with other volunteers. So I had already an idea of the contributors I wanted to work with and that’s how I chose the members of the English editing team, my Chief segmenter, but also the Serbo-croatian and Croatian Moderator. Regarding the rest of the team, I went through the hundreds of messages I received, (yes, it was a big blockbuster), and thank God I was on vacation at that time. Because it took me a lot of time to review every application. Would I ask these same volunteers I recruited 3 years ago to join my team if the drama was licensed? My answer is a big yes. My opinion about them hasn’t changed at all. They still manage their projects in a very serious way and it would still be a pleasure to also learn from them as a CM.

So yes, I am the kind of CM who also does not hesitate to PM another volunteer, whatever the language, because I know this person would fit the role I have in mind for them, but also could be interested by the drama. At the end of the day, I simply want to have fun with the people I work with, but also get the job done carefully. As a CM, this is my responsibility towards the viewers to make sure the contributors I have recruited are providing some quality subtitles.

This message is getting long. Well, if you have any question, feel free to PM me:
I would be glad if I can help you. :wink:


I can imagine it’s difficult if you translate into such a popular language as Portuguese. Nowadays, there are tons of people who apply for these languages, therefore in my opinion the application should stand out to some extent without overdoing it.

I’ve been doing subtitles for a show with some sort of experienced editor (at least according to their profile history), but both formatting and translation are rather… weird. On one episode there was “I washed the bathroom” four times in a row and even if they say “Yes” only they repeat the whole question again in the English subs. People tried to talk to them without any result. That’s kind of disappointing.

I think I would avoid co-modding with people I can’t speak freely to.

Sometimes I have these projects suddenly a certain amount wants to subtitle and the speed of releasing episodes doesn’t match greatly with 1-2 episodes per week… then I tend to cut down my own involvement as a subtitler. However, editing only already provides quite a lot of contributions along with possible trailers, helping out etc. To me personally, it would feel weird not to do anything except for the Doc. :no_mouth: