Where there is a choice of word between BE and AE, we put AE, because most of the subbers (Ko-En, Chi-En, Jap-En) are mostly in America.
What I mean by “international” English is to avoid all idioms, words, acronyms and references that would be understandable only in the US.
Recently we had a sentence in “One The Woman” which used the word “jackshit”. The General Editor, who is Australian, didn’t even know what it meant, and I also had to look it up. We substituted it, which is sad because it’s very colourful and it matched the style of the character very well. Now the subtitle is bland and I’m still looking for a stronger alternative. But if the viewers have to scratch their heads and stop to go to a dictionary, that’s not good.
This doesn’t mean dumbing down and shunning less-used words. But this was particular to only one nation of all the ones who use English.
Let me make an example I remember vividly. I’ve already mentioned it in another thread, but let’s repeat it here because it is pertinent.
In “Legend of the Blue Sea”, someone comments on someone else’s tracksuit colour saying “What are you, Rudolf?” I was an OL mod in that show, so I went to TD and asked the CE if what was meant was Rudolf Valentino or Rudolf Nureyev, because the connection with the tracksuit didn’t make sense in either case. It was replied to me that they referred to a character well-known in the US, Rudolf the raindeer. I had never heard of him. I know Disney characters, I know the Simpsons, Charlie Brown, and a few other US characters, but my knowledge isn’t all-comprehensive. So the CE went and changed the sub because she figured that if I didn’t know him, many other international viewers who use English subs here would also be baffled.


By international English, I mean what irmar has explained below (I was also using their term from the previous comment). I think irmar makes an important and fair point - ‘US English to be used in subtitles’ shouldn’t be taken as ‘use US idioms and other language only those who live there or are familiar with it use or understand’. I think we could come upon a sort of international English that tries not to use any terms like that, but ones that are understood throughout the English-speaking world. Usually, there are options for the words we use, and an option can be chosen which is familliar to most. Sometimes, a word will only be used in the US, while all the other places use the same different version, or another word altogether. Like ‘Mom’. Does any other country say or spell it like that? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :grinning:

The division between British and US English is well-known because that’s what all the textbooks and other resources have. As though there are only two options! But in Australia, we use some terms from each, and some of our own. We don’t speak either British or US English. That would be the same for people in New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. US English is very regional-specific, although it’s used in some places with historical or current ties to that country, such as Korea, as the preferred version.


That’s interesting that the reference to Rudolph was unfamiliar to you. I thought it was famous as a children’s song everyone learns. But I guess it is quite a US thing, although it’s spread far.


I also thought Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a character everyone knows. In India, we get cartoons and other entertainment from both the US and Europe, so that’s why we’re familiar with both. SK also seems to have both, because I’ve seen a lot of references to Teletubbies.

What did the speaker in LOTBS actually say, though? Did he say “Rudolph” or something else? If he actually said Rudolph, shouldn’t we just let it be? I’ve come across a lot of references to a very famous Chinese novel(Journey to the West) I had absolutely no idea about… We just add a TN because I thought we shouldn’t change proper names.


Dunno, I’m German, and we learned it at school, too. Furthermore, there are movies and other references nowadays. Maybe it wasn’t as famous back then in Europe, even though it’s rather old in the first place.
In fact, I mainly recognize the American references if American job positions etc. are used. For example, I translated a crime drama that had lots of references to the USA’s judiciary system. Lately, a CE stated that they decided to use “play the rogue” to express that someone’s a playboy. If I research the word in the dictionary, the meaning appears to be slightly different. Therefore, I was first confused and translated it wrongly into German. :sweat_smile:

When I first went for Jap - Eng translation, I tried to avoid misunderstandings due to the fact that in English, words have tons of different meanings. For example:
“He’s been off lately, and it hit me.”
The original text meant something like “He’s been behaving weirdly lately, and then I realized what’s up
with him”. But sometimes it’s rather easy to miss the meaning.

Or “The stub records the places” (part of a song). This was referring to the stub of a ticket that “records” the places the protagonists went to over time. But I first had to check some alternative translations since stub can refer to cigarettes, trees or whatever… :sweat:


I agree. As a native English speaking GE, I find it very important to check idioms. Google is a brilliant resource. Just recently I came across the translation, “lucked out”.


I’m Australian, and I agree with the image above. If I use “lucked out” it means “bad luck” or “unlucky”. In Canada and the US, though, the phrase means “very good luck”. I wasn’t aware of this until Google told me! So here’s an idiom that can have opposite meanings depending on where a viewer lives. This makes it unsuitable for global subs. In this instance, I sought clarification with the TE so a sub could be written that would be understood equally well by everyone, whatever their geographic location.


Jumping on to offer my services as an English editor. I am a native speaker with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a love of all things grammar/syntax/spelling. I have sent in some subtitle corrections for a couple of shows for @cgwm808 and am looking to become more involved. Please feel free to message me if you need help in any way!


Hello fellow English editors!

I’m Mary, and I’ve been an English Editor in Viki for about a year now.
This is my profile:

I’m not a native speaker, but I’ve been using English in my daily life for years now.
If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’ll be happy to help you!
I’ve met some new people through the English editing teams.:blush::blush:


Maybe because my children are adults now and I am not keeping up with the latest in children’s songs?


I just spent half an hour searching the Team Discussion from five years ago on that show. It was
Episode 7 part 6 @53:33. The ML’s friend is wearing this deep red jumpsuit and the ML is pissed so he tells him to go and change.

“Hyung, you go and change your clothes as well! Are you Rudoph?”

Yes, he said the word “Rudolph” in Korean. And the editors didn’t change it in the end. So I put “Santa Claus” in my translation, because that would have been instantly recognized by everyone in my country, without a note.


It’s actually quite an old song. Not sure how old.


A solution would be to keep ‘Rudolph’ in, since a lot of people will get it, and it’s what they said - and it has a unique connotation, since Rudolph’s red nose lighting up the way is the crux of the song - and explain it in a translation note.


It IS confusing! The official articles for getting in and the show page for contributors say to contact the channel manager for these roles. But the information you and others are sharing here say different things - and it sounds much more complicated and uncertain. It seems like there are so many skilled people who can be General Editors on the many shows available, but aren’t being used. I’ve contacted channel managers indicated on the show pages, and been rejected or told to ask others about old shows… but no-one seems to be working on the old shows. Etc.

I wonder if there could be a clearer, simpler way to get new people who want to work on shows into doing it, rather than having to scramble around and plead for a chance. It feels very frustrating and a bit impossible - like getting a job, when everyone wants years of experience and there are all sorts of industry traditions that only the insiders know :sweat:

But you share some very helpful information in your comments; thanks.


What @irmar said was for correcting English in dramas that already have teams. You can ask the CM to give you the English Editor role while the CM is still recruiting, just like all the other roles. I just check to see the number of English Editors already on the team… if it’s less than two or three, I message the CM and the English Mod.


I watched a little of a drama earlier and noticed a lot of inaccuracies in the subs. Both in translation and the Eng. editing.

The team isn’t really recruiting anymore so… :neutral_face:

I’m not the greatest for editing but it’s not the hardest thing to do. If any CM need an editor, I’m offering my time!


An English Editor is not the same as a General Editor, though, is it? Or are these the same thing, and just called different things in different places?


English Editor is a term for anyone who edits English subtitles. There are three English Editor roles:
Pre-Sub Editor - edits pre-subs before the TE comes in; mostly just punctuation and grammar edits

General Editor - edits subs after the TE; makes sure the subs are clear, simple and concise

Chief Editor - does final edits and (usually) releases the video for other languages; ensures continuity and makes sure terms and names/spellings used are the same throughout the drama.

On the Subtitle Team page, the Pre-sub Editors are displayed as English Editors. GEs can be displayed as either English Editors or English Mods, depending on the CM. The CE is usually an English Mod.


Alright. That’s helpful.

irmar has mentioned somewhere on here before that there are ‘hard-subbed’ shows which come to the platform from elsewhere, and need to be entered into the subtitle editor, and that these are often looking for people to do this. Can anyone tell me how one finds these shows?


Good luck on your editing journey! See you around^^


Thanks, vivi.