Comparison between NX and Viki subs

I wanted to know the difference between Viki subs and NX subs for the same drama and took an example.
For ex, ep 01 of Queen for 7 days:

VIKI compared to NETFLIX
Number of subtitle lines: -91 lines
Subtitle length - maximum: +70 chars
Subtitle length - average: +13 chars
Subtitle, number of lines - average: =
Single line length - minimum: =
Single line length - maximum: +48 chars
Single line length - average: +21 chars
Duration - minimum: +0,06 s
Duration - maximum: +2,32 s
Duration - average: +1,25 s
Characters/sec - minimum: -0,63 cps
Characters/sec - maximum: +12,33 cps
Characters/sec - average: -0,88 cps

Ex: Viki subtite max length has +70 chars compared to NX (compare the longest subtitle between 2 platforms).
Note: For the single line length, Viki max is around 90 characters and Netflix max is 42 characters.

Number of subtitle lines: 632 Number of subtitle lines: 541
Number of characters as Timed Text 1.0 (.xml): 87 540 Number of characters as SubRip (.srt): 46 349
Number of characters in text only: 19 799 Number of characters in text only: 24 214
Total duration of all subtitles: 00:25:03,210 Total duration of all subtitles: 00:32:43,650
Total characters/second: 13,2 seconds Total characters/second: 12,3 seconds
Total words in subtitle: 3 841 Total words in subtitle: 4 521
Number of italic tags: 64 Number of italic tags: 77
Number of bold tags: 0 Number of bold tags: 0
Number of underline tags: 0 Number of underline tags: 0
Number of font tags: 834 Number of font tags: 0
Number of alignment tags: 13 Number of alignment tags: 0
Subtitle length - minimum: 4 (#558, #598) Subtitle length - minimum: 4 (#43, #88, #250, #518)
Subtitle length - maximum: 79 (#134, #354, #519) Subtitle length - maximum: 149 (#84)
Subtitle length - average: 31 Subtitle length - average: 44
Subtitle, number of lines - average: 1,3 Subtitle, number of lines - average: 1,1
Single line length - minimum: 4 (#558, #598) Single line length - minimum: 4 (#43, #88, #250, #518)
Single line length - maximum: 42 (#89,…) Single line length - maximum: 90 (#84)
Single line length - average: 23 Single line length - average: 44
Double line number: 202 Double line number: 75 = 32 (br) + 43 (auto)
Double line %: 32% Double line %: 14% (single line average length: 44)
Duration - minimum: 0,834 seconds (#193, #457) Duration - minimum: 0,890 seconds (#236)
Duration - maximum: 6,507 seconds (#208: 49 char) Duration - maximum: 8,830 seconds (#13)
Duration - average: 2,378 seconds Duration - average: 3,630 seconds
Characters/sec - minimum: 2,468 (#222) Characters/sec - minimum: 1,843 (#250)
Characters/sec - maximum: 29,188 (#285 : 56 char) Characters/sec - maximum: 41,520 (#163 : 71 char)
Characters/sec - average: 13,234 Characters/sec - average: 12,351


Duration is in seconds.
Other data are in characters
cps = characters per second = characters number / duration. The max cps is 21 cps for the Latin alphabet.
#: subtitle number 1…

For example:

# Start End Duration (s) Characters CPS Words Subtitle
1 00:01,9 00:04,4 2,5 41 17 8 1506 (King Jung Jong’s 1st year of reign)
2 00:05,2 00:11,7 6,5 54 8 10 Subtitles brought to you by The History Tellers @ Viki
3 00:12,9 00:15,8 2,9 17 6 3 She’s so pitiful!
4 00:15,8 00:18,6 2,9 52 18 10 Still, at one point, she was Her Highness the Queen.
5 00:18,6 00:22,6 4,0 82 21 16 What Queen? She couldn’t even endure for 10 days and got kicked out of the palace.

1. Comparison between CPS for this episode:


CPS Occurrence: how often does this CPS appear in subtitles? (10 times = 10 subtitles…)
CPS Occurence %: proportion of subtitles that have this CPS for ep 01
Average chars: for this CPS, how many characters are there on average?
Average words: for this CPS, how many words are there on average?
Average duration in sec: for this CPS, how long does the subtitle last?



The first line on the table = the value of cps [0-2 cps]…


50% of subs between 10-16 cps (~ 5-8 words for 2,5 s)
14 subs with a cps ≥ 22 cps (max: 30 cps)
50% of subs between 6-14 cps (~ 5-9 words for 3,8 s)
22 subs with a cps ≥ 22 cps (max: 42 cps)

2. Comparison between characters number:



3. Comparison between subtitles whose cps > 21:

VIKI (in decreasing order of cps > 21):

Duration (s) Characters CPS Words Subtitle
1,7 71 41,52 13 It’s a place where people’s eyes are watching you. Queen Dowager Ja Soo
1,6 67 41,10 14 - It’d be an honor, Your Majesty. - It’d be an honor, Your Majesty.
1,4 55 39,01 10 Lee Yeok (Grand Prince Jin Seong, future King Jun Jong)
3,4 130 37,79 19 Sogyeokseo: During the Joseon dynasty, the government office responsible for holding Taoist rituals for the earth, sky, and stars.
1,0 36 35,29 7 That’s when you two were both young!
2,5 81 32,79 16 Even if a sword was held to his throat, he wouldn’t challenge me over the throne.
4,7 145 30,85 26 you just stated that you would offer up your life for my younger brother from a different mother and this nation’s legitimate heir to the throne.
2,2 66 29,73 11 Yoo Ja Kwang, a manager from the department of military reporting.
1,7 47 28,14 8 And I am this nation’s, Joseon’s, Grand Prince.
3,7 101 27,22 20 It’s been so long since he got scolded by Her Highness the Queen Dowager, yet he’s still not over it?
3,9 103 26,68 19 I just bumped into you while fooling around. Why are you acting so upright? You have no friends, right?
4,6 121 26,59 24 On top of rich soil, lay out some dead leaves or saw dust. Start with some poop and make successive layers with saw dust.
3,0 80 26,40 18 why don’t you take up knitting like a girl and give it to him as a gift instead?
2,5 65 26,32 12 Your Majesty, please leave a will! [5 years ago, King Seong Jong]
4,5 115 25,39 19 The older brother kills his younger brother, the young brother kills his older brother, the uncle kills his nephew.
2,5 64 25,30 13 The chance to enter will be given to me next year, Your Majesty.
4,5 114 25,22 24 I mean, why did they have me? If all they’re going to do is abandon me in this countryside, why did they have me?!
2,0 49 25,13 10 Are you acting out your revenge on me right now?!
4,1 103 24,94 19 that she’s a child her own family abandoned, and that I should treat her well because she’s so pitiful.
2,2 55 24,89 8 Your Highness the Grand Prince, pull yourself together!
4,2 103 24,76 23 What did I tell you earlier? I said I would be giving it to someone in a very high position, did I not?
1,4 34 24,64 6 They should be coming anytime now.
3,7 87 23,84 17 so I closed the South Gate, which is filled with Yin energy, and opened the North Gate—
2,1 49 23,56 11 - Are you being picky about your food?! - No, no.
3,4 79 23,10 14 If it’s immediately added to the crops, you know they’ll die right away, right?
2,5 58 23,02 8 will become His Highness the Grand Prince’s father-in-law.
5,0 115 22,86 22 Since you two have not passed the entrance exam to enter the palace, it seems I cannot expect loyalty from you yet.
3,4 77 22,65 15 The rain ritual is a matter of the nation. It’s the king’s matter, not yours!
2,4 53 22,55 9 the hungry citizens who are withering under this sun.
6,6 148 22,49 25 You should have observed the heaven’s wishes well and took the proper measures so I would not have to concern myself with heaven’s natural disaster.
2,7 61 22,34 10 I apologize, Your Majesty. Im Sa Hong, Chief Royal Secretary
3,9 86 22,11 15 You have a daughter you’ve hidden in your quarters out in the countryside of Geochang.
2,8 61 22,02 13 Even if you come to trust and rely on everyone in this world,
2,1 46 21,90 7 Goodness, it seems your sightseeing has ended.
4,8 104 21,89 18 While receiving an enormous allowance, you are one of the subjects who uses the nation’s funds the most!
5,2 113 21,86 22 You’ll be able to pacify the tired hearts of the subjects and show your sincerity to the Heavens. (Sin Soo Geun )
3,1 67 21,75 12 Ugh, I knew this would happen when you started running off earlier.
2,7 59 21,61 13 In the fifth year of King Yeon San Gun’s reign, 7 years ago
3,5 76 21,59 13 I too will challenge myself in the martial arts entrance exam, Your Majesty.
2,7 59 21,53 12 If you truly want to do something for His Majesty the King,
6,4 138 21,53 22 According to the professor at the astrology department, a royal marriage helps during a severe drought. [Park Won Jong: 2nd rank official]
2,0 43 21,50 8 Is that the reason for what happened today?
2,2 47 21,46 10 That’s the first reason as to why you must die.
2,9 63 21,43 9 Both cow droppings and horse droppings are particularly strong.
2,0 42 21,21 9 Give me back what you stole from me first!
5,6 118 21,18 22 At this period of time when we should be avoiding even an ordinary member of the Royal Family, Grand Prince Jin Seong?
5,2 109 21,12 19 Even if she speaks like that, you’ll be in trouble if you speak so carelessly. Show your respect, understand?

NX (in decreasing order of cps > 21):

Duration (s) Characters CPS Words Subtitle
2,002 45 22,48 8 You can’t understand me because of my accent?
2,002 45 22,48 8 You should be the son-in-law of Shin Su-geun.
1,96 44 22,45 10 That’s what I need to ask. Where did you go?
1,919 43 22,41 6 And he’d become the prince’s father-in-law.
1,919 43 22,41 9 I was told that you are his closest friend.
2,503 56 22,37 10 If the reason makes sense, I’ll die without asking more.
2,377 53 22,3 11 What the heck are you doing? Are you cutting in line?
2,92 65 22,26 14 If I arrange a marriage for him to a servant who is not reliable,
2,294 51 22,23 10 Why are you so narrow-minded like a soy sauce dish?
2,294 51 22,23 10 I hope you enjoy living in the small town Geochang.
3,42 76 22,22 14 We closed the South gate which has strong Yang energy, and opened the North.
1,543 34 22,03 7 What do you mean by “secret note”?
1,96 43 21,94 8 care about him only until your last breath?
2,336 51 21,83 5 -If there’s a misunderstanding-- -Misunderstanding?
1,835 40 21,8 6 Five years into King Yeonsangun’s reign,
1,835 40 21,8 6 be the father-in-law to Prince Jinseong?
1,376 30 21,8 7 Why did they give birth to me?
1,376 30 21,8 6 Because I learned how to fall.
2,753 60 21,79 9 I think we have greater loyalty than government officials…
1,793 39 21,75 6 Since the situation is getting worse…
1,335 29 21,72 4 Did you say misunderstanding?
2,211 48 21,71 10 My big brother, who is the King of this country,
1,293 28 21,66 5 What’s so special about her?
1,71 37 21,64 8 to be the result of an unworthy king.
2,127 46 21,63 9 You told me her family doesn’t care about her.
2,878 62 21,54 10 Minister of Rites, Yoo Seung-jong will report to Your Majesty.
1,21 26 21,49 5 You’re not coming with us?
1,96 42 21,43 8 and strike a balance between Yang and Yin.
2,753 59 21,43 9 Do you think this infernal situation is a misunderstanding?
2,336 50 21,4 9 I’ll be eligible next year to apply, Your Majesty.
1,543 33 21,39 7 He is not even your real brother.
1,919 41 21,37 9 If you say you are going home after work,
1,46 31 21,23 5 from all the powerful families.
2,127 45 21,16 9 -I doubt You Have friends. -What did You say?
2,127 45 21,16 7 -Three silver. -Three silver and four bronze.
1,376 29 21,08 7 How can you give this to him?
3,086 65 21,06 13 He was scolded by his mother hours ago, and he’s still like this?


39 subtitles > 21 cps
14 subs > 22 cps
Max cps = 29 cps

47 subtitles > 21 cps (+8 subs vs NX)
26 subs > 22 cps (+12 subs vs NX)
Max cps = 42 cps

4. Comparison between duration of subtitles:


  1. Combining, splitting, condensing, no translation

What about the quality of the translations? Did you compare those too?


How did you get this data? Special software?


I think that’s also an interesting part to look at!
I can’t speak Korean, so that’s really a pity.
With this drawback, instead I’m trying to compare between 2 versions of English subtitles for the same drama (one version from Viki and one version from Netflix) and just look at what we could find.

For ex:
Is there a relatively big difference in what I read from Viki to Netflix? Is this related to the meaning?
Is this related to compressing subtitles? How do they compress and what did they compress?
Do compressing on Netflix and combining on Viki go together?
Could a subtitle translated on 1 platform not translated in the other platform?
How much Google Translate would be accurate if we translated the transcript in English?
How much Google Translate would be accurate if we translated the transcript in my language?

So I will probably put on the side subtitles that could be interesting to see, which ones are combined, compressed, different in meaning, are not translated…

I don’t mind if we don’t find a definite answer! I just wanted to see how much our subtitles differ with an example.

Since it’s more than 500 subtitles, it’s quite long to compare between 2 sets of English subs manually line by line and I did a mistake when I began this comparison by omitting the timing and transcript so I got to find the transcript and do it again.

I can put the results of this here though and anyone who can help can help :slight_smile:


I used a software for the duration calculation that I didn’t manage to do on Excel and exporting in a format I could work with on Excel. General stats “Netflix” and “Viki” are from the software:

But the software can’t compare 2 sets of subs (if only), it was originally not made for that, so for more analysis: Excel.
I sent you the link of the software that could be useful for editing on Viki or segment checking.
If improving Viki tools for volunteers are planned, maybe they could look at this free software’s features to reduce the editing’s time and segment checking time.

Tables + charts: Excel.


I finally got Netflix and have watched 3 K-dramas so far. So we all know how Viki translation works, so the Viki subbing quality really depends on who is on the team and at what point you watch it (i.e. before translation editing and/or general editing, etc.)

I am not surprised to see that Viki translation is a lot longer and wordier. That’s how we do it. We try to translate every single word/sentence as accurately as possible without losing the meaning within the context. We even add translation or cultural notes to give users further understanding of what’s going on. This is definitely not a typical (or even professional) way of doing translation work.

Netflix translators seem to be very good and they convey the meanings accurately, but they definitely don’t translate word-to-word, so they do lose a little bit of cultural context or deeper meaning behind. But you still get the correct context. Their word orders and sentence structures are smoother for native English speakers, as opposed to Viki’s way of following more Korean way of speaking.

I’m not going to say which one is better as I am also conflicted myself as to how to translate/sub K-dramas. I like Viki ways in some ways and I like Netflix ways in other ways. But as far as the actual translations are concerned, I see more incorrect translations in Viki subbing than Netflix translation in general.

One of the dramas I saw in Netflix was Rookie Historian, which is set in Joseon era, and I was pleasantly surprised that they used pretty accurate terms for those historical positions and titles. I guess they’ve done some homework. :slight_smile:

With Netflix, different translators translate each episode, so I don’t know how they keep things consistent throughout the drama. Maybe they have a general editor for the entire drama who audits at the end of each episode?


I personally feel like the Netflix translations were better overall. For some dramas, the viki wordings are really weird and nobody fluent in the language would fix them because they didn’t want to “rewrite” over them. If I’m not wrong, don’t they still have a contribution even though someone else “rewrote” over them? Anyway, I guess just like you said, it really does depend on the team. Although I wish there was an overall standard that is maintained in viki. Sometimes the translations are so smooth and sometimes they are a bit rough.


It depends on the subber, but what I’ve usually noticed is that more NF versions(i had NF for some time) than Viki substitute Oppa, Noona, Hyung, Unni, Ahjussi and Ahjumma with the first name. Basically a little less culture-focused, they usually don’t include those culture-context notes in the subs
Since Viki subs are done by volunteers, the subs of older/unpopular dramas may not be as good as good as the ones you’d find on NF, but I think the popular ones have similar quality.


Exactly! But I think that sometimes using full English could be a little more easier for new kdrama fans sometimes. Not everyone might know what that means and it could be a hassle to have to look that up every single time.


So, put it simply, we have less subtitle lines, but longer subtitles, with more characters. And we also expect people to read more quickly.
Frankly, we all knew that empirically, by watching here and there, but it’s good to see that the hard data confirms it.

Usually, not always. I’ve caught them doing some funny things, lots of times (Not only in Korean content). And sometimes they are not consistent with frequent words and titles. But yes, the overall quality is good.

True. This also is to be expected, since most of our volunteers are not professionals, and not all have the same standard either in the source language or in the target language.
As for me, I would say that I vastly prefer the good Viki translations over NF (and CK and all the rest of the “professional” ones), but of course I prefer NF (and the rest) over the bad Viki translations :slight_smile:
NOTE: When I say “good Viki translations”, we might differ in our definitions, because I know that you sometimes favour word-for-word translations, when I definitely don’t. But I do want the whole and precise meaning to be there, nothing more, nothing less, even with a different syntax.

I agree that in some dramas the wording is weird (usually because of word-by-word translation from Korean), but the reason they are not edited is not because we are too polite to touch other people’s subs.(LOL!) It’s that we lack a sufficient number of good editors. And the best ones, desperate to fix as many dramas as possible and flooded with work, sometimes don’t have enough time to do a very detailed work before release (due also to viewer pressure), so some things do slip through the holes of the net here and there.

You mean the Korean family terms etc? But we do put a note the first time these terms appear, out of consideration for newbies. In every drama. At least I do, as a moderator, but I know at least twenty other people who do as well. And the new kids on the block seem to catch up pretty quickly! As soon as you get a little acquainted with Korean culture, it seems very weird and rude to see someone addressed by their name instead of a title.


I am not sure if this is the right place to raise this concern but did anyone else notice that River Where the Moon Rises, a highly anticipated sageuk, started airing today and it seems that it came pre-segmented and pre-subbed? As expected, there were many comments praising the subbers for fast subbing. I am afraid that this will have a negative impact on the subbers in general since the unknowing viewers will invariably compare the speed of subbing for this drama with all the other slow subbed dramas.


Am I the only one here who is not that enthusiastic about the quality of the subtitles on Netflix? I’m not talking about the fact that they are shortened or anything like that, but purely about the linguistic quality.
Well, I guess it’s mainly seen in translations from one “Other Language” to another. Just like Viki, Netflix uses English as a bridge. But Netflix makes no attempt whatsoever to hide that fact. In general one should not be able to see that something is a translation, but when you use another language as a bridge between the source language and the target language, then you should be even more aware of that.
Yet, on Netflix, even more than on Viki, I see Dutch (or any language that’s not English) with English grammar structures and other English influences. It’s sickening. And they call themselves “professionals”? :thinking:


You and I agree on this! :slight_smile:


idk but I think Netflix translates a lot less carefully. Like the sub will tell you what the character means but not necessarily what he/she is SAYING (idk how to explain this fully, sorry). Whereas Viki subs usually transliterate a lot more so it’s easier for people trying to learn the language.

I was pretty annoyed with 18 Again’s subs, I don’t care where the subs came from but really sometimes…especially this one time where he is surprised and he goes “Aah, 갑자기!!”(suddenly; even “oh my!” would have worked) in front of his mother-in-law and they really had to translate it to “Jesus Christ!!”!!! And another instance where she says “꺼져”(get lost; go away) and they translate it to “F*** off!” Like why put in swear words when there is absolutely no reason to?! I’m sorry if this was off-topic but I had to get it out of my system. Sorry. :sweat:


wow down to a science???!!! but little ole me, heres one, I watched a drama on Viki some years ago, everything fine, but NX got it a year or so later.

also watched it, now you scientrist guys heres the diff… for just one sentence, NX really messed it up, entirely different sub for just that one language. I know Viki sometimes has a hard time trasnslating (esp. English) but this BIG company misintreperted that one sentence.

so again Viki is the tops in my book, and y’all wanna go further, how about Prime, or those other links we don’t discuss, yea Viki may be sometimes slow, . But I know I sure am not able to translate English to Korean or vise verssa

and I still like NX ,Prime, and sometimes those other links. again Viki is the one, and yes faults and all!!

ugh!!! some of you are right, some not, translations in different languages, I sure am not able to do it, so thanks to all of you that does the translations, be it here or elsewhere. so many languages, there, their, they’re etc. think I missed one. but anyway, these people no matter where do a fine job. again faults, misinterpretation and all I am not going to kick any of them in the shin, hey you didn’t do that right, this means this not that!!! and yes that one drama with that one sentence, IK do watch carefully and do see if they said & did it right, enough is enough, y’all have a great day


:joy::joy::joy: You also have a great day! Your comments are always so funny :rofl: Thanks for your perspective!
Oooh, we could try with “Comparison between Prime and Viki subs”!!


p/s love you all, and I do know y’all are trying to keep the rest of us in line, so keep up the good work,huh


I think Viki subbing works better for people who are really interested in learning Korean culture/language as it explains more and try to keep the cultural references, and try to use English words that are as close to the actual Korean words as possible. But Netflix translation seems to work better for those who just want to relax and enjoy the show. My daughter, who recently started watching K-dramas, relies on the subs, had said that Netflix translation is less confusing to her.