Correcting grammatical errors in a given subtitle

Hello there. I’ve been checking out some known shows and I’ve noticed that a certain language (hu)'s subtitles are using grammatically incorrect forms and I’d like to correct them because I think it’s better to use correct forms.
Aside from grammatical errors, could I use a localized form of a region-specific original term? e.g: oppa -> brother and etc., and use a better form of names (from another subtitle supplier), e.g: Moo-gak -> Mu-gak and etc.

If these are answered, I will start reviewing the subtitles that require the most of the quality check-up and improve their grammar.

what show what language?

Dear Jack,
to start working on subtitles as a translator or as an editor, you have to be part of a team.
Every show has a channel manager, who supervises all the teams working on that show, and there is a moderator (sort of team leader) for each language. Thus you have the English moderator, the Spanish moderator and so on.
The English moderator or rather the Chief English Editor (another role in the team) decides the style of the language and, among other things, whether to follow RR of Korean. For instance I campaign in favour of RR in all the shows I work on, but that’s not true of everyone. S/he also gets to decide whether to use some well-known Korean words of address such as “oppa” instead of “elder brother”.
And whether they want a space before ellipses etc etc.
Therefore, you, as a user who is not even part of a team, cannot dictate to the Chief Editor what choices to make.
Same for moderators of other languages. They may see “oppa” in the English subs and prefer to put hermano or frère or fratello in their language. It’s totally their choice, they are not bound by the choice of the Engish editor.

When it’s grammar errors and typos, however, it’s a different question. Normally the editor will welcome a list of the errors you found and will be happy to correct them, but only if you also give the exact timing.
For instance:
00:23:15 I will be hippy to meet you --> I will be happy to meet you.

I repeat: You cannot get into a show and start making changes unless you are part of the team of the language you want to change AND you have been given specifically the role of editor.

Why don’t you go to Help Center and read up a little on how Viki works. They have lots of helpful articles there, which will answer a lot of your questions, even the ones you didn’t think of asking.


Sorry, Irmar, can you clarify what RR stands for?
By the way, this was a very informative post. I have been a GE for English teams a couple of times but I didn’t know about all that. For example, the fact that some people choose to put spaces before ellipses is a surprise for me. (It always hurts my eyes to see it that way).


RR=Revised Romanization of the Hangul alphabet.

Some people still insist on romanizing in a way that makes sense to English-speaking people. For instance they write U as oo and I as EE
Example: Lee Dong Wook, Revised Romanization would be (Y)i Dong Wuk.
The English also write U to mean an open O, as in the English word “young”. For instance “Bo Young” would be romanized as Bo Yeong.
Because for us Europeans U is U, like in “Luna”.
English is not the only language in the world.

As for the ellipsis: in most European languages we write the ellipsis following the word, without a space, but with a space afterwards (as all punctuation).
In English it is different. Some sources recommend a space
and others are conflicted, coming to the conclusion that there is no set rule.

Once upon a time, they liked the ellipsis to have spaces between the dots, too!


I did come across that one while editing. Now, I don’t edit to remove the space before the ellipsis, I just make myself accept it and carry on. But whenever I see this" . . . " I can’t help but change it, I’m sorry! It looks to me as if some wind has blown through the subtitle scattering stuff around… Sorry to the people who put spaces in between that but it just looks too awkward for me. I’ve never seen anyone do this anywhere other than here.


That happens to be the AP style of this. It is a legitimate style, and should not be changed as that is not an error. :slight_smile: In addition, some folks suggest for emphasis of a question or exclamation, removing the last period and adding the other punctuation point. There’s plenty to do without changing every ellipsis to this or that…

GeNie of the Lamp
seriously, let’s focus on the big picture rather than a couple ants up the tree trunk. :slight_smile:
I’d much rather place my efforts closely against the mountain of content…than how pretty we can decorate one tree.


Is it possible to leave the timing as is and edit the text with the typo or the time code needs to be rewritten as well?

I think @irmar is trying to tell you to let the editor know

  1. what the mistake is
  2. and at what time in the episode you spotted the mistake.

So, not to fix it yourself, but to look up who the English moderator is or the Chief English Editor and telling them:
“Hey, I saw a mistake in X drama, episode Y, at timestamp Z. The mistake is O and should be P.”

Done this before as well. Sometimes I get an answer back saying they fixed it or why they choose that specific translation.


As a Chief Editor on over two hundred Korean dramas, one of the worst pms I receive says something like “Hi. I was watching xxx and there are lots of errors. Can I edit the drama please.” I reply, “Please send me a list of the errors with the exact timing and episode number.” Then usually I receive 1) No response at all; 2) A response which is “Never mind, I forgot where they are, but there are lots.” or 3) A list of about twenty errors in one episode. About 90% of the list will be about 1) spaces for the ellipsis (my guidelines say to use three dots with a space before and after and that it’s equally acceptable to put spaces between the dots – that’s American style - but I rarely correct departures from the guidelines because the spacing does not affect the comprehension of the viewer) 2) removing a space after a period because we occasionally used two spaces after a period or 3) errors by the viewer who overestimates his/her self as a grammarian. The remaining two or three “errors” on the list will be typos which I will correct immediately.
When you consider that each episode has about 3000- 3500 words in English, isn’t saying there are “lots of errors” an overstatement if there were two or three typos in 3500 words? In published books, I see occasional typos too.
Even if all twenty items on the list were errors, that’s less than 1 per cent! Believe me, when I occasionally re-watch a video I edited, those typos leap off the screen and hit me in the eye. I immediately pause the video and I correct any typo I see, even though I may have edited days, months or years before.
Although my editing crew and I may miss the occasional typo, their numbers are so small after multiple edits that they are simply not important but it is a matter of personal pride in my work which forces me to correct them.
My priority in editing are comprehension of the viewer and accuracy of translation. I do believe in stretching the knowledge of the viewer and the other language subtitlers so I don’t “dumb down” subtitles.
The very best messages about errors are from other language moderators who ask for an explanation of the meaning of a specific subtitle or who find “real” errors in spelling and grammar. Their notes are always specific from the first message to me. The request for an explanation really give me insight into viewer comprehension.


AMEN TO THAT. I’m a native English speaker, and I cannot tell you how appalling I find it that most of my fellow countrymen insist that everything be in English (even in countries where English isn’t the national language!). I understand that on Viki, we can use it as a baseline to translate to other languages, but the simple fact is that a lot of (and no, not all) Americans just have this aversion to learning a different language.