English on Viki vs English on other drama websites

It’s very kind of you to offer your help!! Thank you very much!
For the moment, I’m focusing on English and Chinese, and when I will be enough satisfied, why not moving on? (It’s not for today though :cry:)
Because my step-sis speaks Russian but lives in the Netherlands with her son. He’s a little boy and he’s learning to speak at his age, so Russian with Mommy, French with Daddy and English because they speak English to communicate in the couple :partying_face:

It’s such a pity you forgot a lot about Russian!
My condoleances for your father. May he rest in peace.

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You also liked Latin so much :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
I’d say it is my favourite foreign language, it’s so clear and precise, even on a deeper level than German.

I think school time is so limited and teachers usually are unable to make it fun so people who are interested in languages have to learn it by themselves which is today much easier than in the past thanks to internet and learning apps. I think if I had all the possibilities our recent youn generations have I’d learn much more languages and didn’t forget them because I’d always had the chance to use them (no matter if it is a Netflix show with origin language or via internet and friends from abroad).

The nice thing is how many people now - without being forced to do it - start learning a foreign language just because of own interest in other languages and culture, sometimes because of a song on Youtube or a cool show on Netflix. Different languages divide people but the internet brings people together no matter where they are born and which native language they have. I think this is a great advantage of our era.

Some time ago I read that every third to fifth marriage today is between different nationalities. I wonder what kind of language knowledge these kids will get, if they are able to speak 3 languages then or if they still have to learn it like kids from 1-language-households.

Which language did you learn at school? Was your English teacher also so bad that you didn’t really have fun to learn it?


Hello Oriya,

Yes, American English can be difficult at times, especially when the same word may have different meanings or different words sound the same! I believe the phrase “_the doctors are stymied” _ in this instance, means that the doctors just did not know the cause of whatever medical problem they were investigating. They were frustrated. I hope this helps you!

I have found the English subtitles on Viki to be excellent. As mentioned by another poster, I especially love the cultural explanations given for some words or phrases.


For the moment, he doesn’t talk pretty much XD
I watched The Return of Superman (a Korean show), Na Eun, a little girl, speaks like Korean, German and Spanish (at least these languages). I haven’t followed this show for a long time, so I don’t remember really well.
Even so, another one on this show like Sarang speaks Korean (father), Japanese (mother) and is learning English.

So I think it’s pretty good that they get to learn so many languages. I’d have liked to have this in my childhood.
And I heard it was best to learn it while being a child?

I learnt 2 languages when I was child (1 from family and 1 from school). Then at school, I move on with English and Spanish. And later, I did some Latin classes, but I wanted to take Chinese classes, so I couldn’t continue with Latin anymore because of matching timetables.
So it’s 4 languages at school + French.

But I’m not proeficient, except for French.

My English teachers were good. Some years ago, I took an international exam for English (TOEIC) and got around a C1 level with my score. But I know that I have many things I don’t know.
I enjoy learning something new and getting better in languages, so that’s why I like to nurture it.

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Thank you, I think it was the first time I saw that word, so I had no idea what it meant. I’m very used to the Viki style of translating because I watch many shows here. That’s why it was kind of refreshing (maybe strange as well) to see a whole different kind of translations on another website.

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You’re welcome! And it doesn’t matter when, just reach out if I can help you.
How is your Chinese by now?

O, wow, your nephew might become a great linguist someday! He’ll grow up with active Russian and French and passive English at home and active Dutch at school and with friends. :star_struck:

Yeah, it is. I will revive it someday. How is your Russian level? Where are you learning it? Do you listen to any Russian music?

Thank you very much. He died less than 3 months after my mom … :sob:

It is indeed. And it’s even helpful later in life, whether you learn other languages or study medicine, law, etc. … Latin is everywhere.

Teachers are usually also limited by their superiors and laws when it comes to teaching methods. Still, some make more out of what they can work with than others.
I wish too I’d had all those methods at the time. Reading in other languages was not that easy in the old days. There were English books, magazines and newspapers available, German too and even French and Spanish to some extent. But most other languages were hard to come by or not available at all. This was even worse if you didn’t happen to live in a big city. And nowadays we can communicate with people from all over the world and look up information in all kinds of languages and even watch Asian dramas.

On the other hand I’d have to admit that I still prefer paper books above e-books.

It is said that your mothertongue is stored in a different place in your brain than additional languages you learn. For most people there’s 1 language in the mothertongue area and all the other languages together in the other area (which also might explain why you can’t always quickly come up with a phrase you’re trying to say in one of the languages you learned).
People who grew up as multilinguals have more than one mothertongue, so they have more than one language stored in the mothertongue area. And they’re usually fluent in all of them.
I also heard they can have different images associated with the same word in each of their languages. For example, they might see a different kind of house in their mind when they use the Korean word for house than when they use the English word.

What was the other one?

Me too! :slight_smile:

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LOL! I am American and graduated college with a major on English. Even I will see words for the first time! Not so much on Viki but in more professional magazines. You are not alone!


I’m just thinking you might like Finnish as well. :slight_smile:
Its vocabulary is totally different, but it does have this very precise case system.
Maito on jääkaapissa = The milk is in the fridge.
Jääkaapissa on maitoa = There is milk in the fridge.
Minulla on kissa = I have a cat. (This is similar to the way you would say it in Latin: On/with me is a cat)
Pöydällä = on the table (there’s no article and the preposition is told by the case ending)
Sataa = It’s raining (Finnish has no expletive subject, so “it” is not translated here, it basically just says “rains”)
Lumi = snow
Sataa lunta = It’s snowing (literally: it’s raining snow)

And they have the same word for he and she.

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yea, I have to look upo the occasinoal word here and there… In the majority of Viki shows the English is fine. I like how many shows explain some cultural nuances which you would’t see on Netflix. However, there are some shows where the subtitled English is awkward and I think it could be written more coherently and some have typos. Overall, I am happy with the Viki subtitles. On the other hand, since I am NOT fluent in Korean (I am still learning) I have no idea how accurate the subtitles are. I do understand enough to have a broad understanding of what is going on but I don’t understand the fine nuances at all.

I occasionally use the Viki language app to see how much I understand and it is very interesting since English has an entirely different grammar structure than Korean. Korean avoids You/Him/Her, pronouns, etc. One picks up who one is talking about through context. The funny thing is trying to look up “I AM” You get the I and then you get stuff about time - am versus pm-instead of I AM as in TO BE. So I am aware of the idiosyncrasies of translation tools. :rofl: Language is always a fun adventure and I just laugh at my mistakes and go forth anyway.

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I am not an English major by any means. However, I grew up in a multi-language neighborhood so I don’t have a problem with phrases like, ‘I’ll send you home’. You can understand the intention by the acting and context.

One of the funniest experiences I had with language was years ago, I went with my mother-in-law to a store to so she could return shoes she had purchased for her daughter because they didn’t fit. Me, my mother-in-law and the clerk were all speaking English but I was the only one who could understand both sides so I was ‘translating’. :joy: :rofl:

Too bad I can’t write the accents appropriately because the accents are what make it hysterically funny. And there I was, speaking standard English to the clerk and translating that to Tagalog-English to my mother-in-law and vice versa, because the clerk and my mother-in-law could NOT understand one another, AT ALL. :rofl: :joy:

I kind of wanted to kick the clerk because she wasn’t even trying to understand whereas my mother-in-law was quite the linguist, she spoke several languages - she just had a very heavy accent and limited vocabulary when speaking English.

Yea, “English only” Americans are an ignorant, royal pain in the butt.

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That reminds me of the time I was showing a Dutch city to a Korean friend of mine, who happened to be in the country. Most Dutch people do speak English. My Korean friend also spoke some English. And yet, everywhere we went, shops, cafes, train station information desk, etc., I had to play the interpreter, because they just couldn’t understand his English! Luckily I could, hahaha.

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My husband has a heavy European accent and I have no accent, as I’ve often been told. Yet he can barely understand anyone with an accent, and I have no problem even with friends who are Japanese and still learning English :sunny:


what an interesting conversation this is As I’m from the United Kingdom. I feel I can elaborate a little bit more on what @sonmachinima has said.

Before I go any further I would just like to say I am not trying to deride Americans in any way. I am merely trying to give a bit of extra context, with regard to the differences between American and great British English

When a certain historical event occurred. (I’m sure I don’t need to go into the finer points of American and British history on here) The US started to develop its own way of speaking and writing using great British English or original English as a base But over time they moved away from traditional English phrasing and spelling. So in essence, American or US English as it’s referred to today is around 300 years old.

In contrast original English, or great British English as it’s referred to today is far older and therefore more complicated. It has its origins in the fifth century A.D., meaning it can probably be considered an ancient language as it over a millennia and a half old. Many languages in Asia, such as the languages used on these shows, just like great British English are also very old. So it wouldn’t surprise me if in great British English we have words and phrases which aren’t considered to be part of American English that more accurately describe what is being said in many of these dramas. So in some cases it might be better that British English is used for subtitling. However, the downside to that is that some of our friends across the pond may not fully understand what is being said . Due to their divergence from great British English.

As a Britain I will be the 1st to admit that we British have something of a superiority complex when it comes to be English-language :grin: but there are reasons for that, some of which I have probably explained above. When Europeans learn English, they tend to learn great British English, where as in Asia, a lot of people tend to learn American English, which from the British point of view is unfortunate, but on the other side of that argument. American English is probably easier to learn, thereby making it easier to break down language barriers. :grin:

all of this being said, there are aspects of English that we British find confusing as well due to the age of the overall language, but we are perhaps a bit more aware of the history surrounding the language, which means when we see or hear something unusual. We will immediately think to ourselves ‘that must be a word or phrase which isn’t often used any more, so I will have to look that up’ so usually we will only be confused once,. But if you’re confused by the English-language please don’t be disheartened because the reality is the English-language confuses us all from time to time, even in the place of its origin :grin:



Well explained thanks :slight_smile:

I like your aspect with the ‘very old language’ :smiley:

Sometimes when I watch Chinese dramas and read the English (American) subs I think this or that line wouldn’t be a problem for German subs bc a) we have similar metaphors so as a German you’d know what is meant and b) German language also combines two words to create a third in a similar way Chinese combines 2 signs to get a third (new) meaning or related meaning (a Chinese native speaker once told me he really likes German bc it reminds him to the way Chinese works while the other languages like English don’t work like that), so sometimes it can happen that the English subs need to describe a meaning while in German you can just use your own old word that’s almost the same like the Chinese word (I find it quite fascinating when I once watched a drama and realized that the word that is meant in Chinese exists in German too in the same way) :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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[quote=“command_234, post:73, topic:28859”]
@ command_234> I’d say it is because of American vs British. It’s the same when you watch an US show in origin language or a British show in origin language. British dialogues are usually way more special/difficult in the wording compared to American dialogues[/quote]

:laughing: Don’t worry about it. Not insulted at all. As one of my haughty English, co-worker friends once informed us, " Americans DO NOT speak English." I just laughed at her and replied, “Of course not! We speak Merakin.” :rofl: :joy: The rest of us co-workers all laughingly chimed in, “Yea, We speak MERAKIN”! She just raised her eyebrow disdainfully at us. We all just laughed. Then I told her, “Why should a whole nation, most of whom ARE NOT of English descent, speak the Queen’s English? Our ancestors came from all over the world. So, Merakin English is full of the world’s words.”

:rofl: (She means the Revolutionary war, peeps.) :joy: Don’t mind me, just teasing you. :grin: (Oh yea! My great-great-great-great-grandpa was in that fight too. :rofl: but his family were Wild Geese from 1690 so they had ‘an historical grudge’ so to speak. :sunglasses:)

Yeppers! :laughing:

Oh, we understand, we just choose not to speak that way. It just sounds too tiring to listen to it. To us, proper English sounds snooty, like we are being talked down to and we do not like that. Remember that those who emigrated to America were those who had a really hard time in their own countries - starving, persecution, poverty, refugees, etc. Please don’t be offended, but we are not inclined to want to copy anything ‘royal’ or ‘proper’ because to our ancestors, ‘royalty’ and the ‘aristocracy’ were piranhas.

Of course, England is in Europe. It makes sense that Europeans would learn the Queen’s English. And the west coast of America is in a trade pact with many east Asian countries so it makes sense that people from east Asian countries would learn American style English. And it makes sense that people from India speak the Queen’s English because India was colonized by Britain.

And I just realized that my sentence and paragraph structure is not entirely English. So, I am probably driving the grammarians a little nuts. :joy: I am influenced by so many ‘non-English’, English speakers. None of my ancestors were English and I grew up in a neighborhood where English was a second language to about 1/2 of my friends. They spoke English but their parents mostly spoke their own languages at home so I had to learn those languages just to have an idea of what was going on… :joy: My propensity to use ‘And’ at the front of a sentence is from Gaelic. And I’ll say things like, ‘food galore’, instead of ‘a lot of food’. I guess that I’ve given away that some of my ancestors were San Francisco Irish from 1851. :wink: (I think there are more people of Irish descent living in America than there are living in Ireland now.)

Please, don’t mind me. and take no offense. I am just having fun here. :grin:
Go raibh maith agat as éisteacht. (Thanks for listening.)


That’s a Gaelic habit? It’s totally normal in Dutch as well. Though we don’t call it “and” but “en” (which in Swedish is an indefinate article and in French a preposition, haha).

Interestingly, In Gaelic, the verb is in first place not the conjunction AND but for whatever reasons many Irish Americans put an ‘AND’ at the beginning of a sentence. Instead of, “Where do you think you are going?” They’ll say, “And where do you think you’re going?”

So here I am having a Gaelic Verb/ Subject / Object and a Portuguese Subject /Verb/ Object language background, mix in variable Tagalog grammar structure and add a dash of Korean Subject/Object/ Verb and one tends to have very interesting, fluid sentence structures at times. :rofl:

I find languages to be fascinating and fun. :grin: and I don’t speak anything ‘correctly’.


@porkypine90_261 He was indeed talking about the Revolutionary War. That was perhaps my not so subtle attempt at being diplomatic :grinning: as I was trying not to get into an awkward conversation with respect to history because over the years, I’ve noticed that whenever history is talked about online people can get somewhat triggered depending upon their point of view with respect to particular events, so it can often pay to be diplomatic even though we may not always be successful on that front.:smiley:

In written language. If you were to use and at the beginning of a sentence in the UK, your English teacher would give you a thick ear as it is considered to be a cardinal sin to do that in great British English.


I think it’s pretty cool that you have all these different linguistic influences. And as long as you can understand others and others can understand you it’s totally fine. Noone speaks anything correctly all the time anyway and living languages are changing and what is now considered “wrong” might be acceptable a few decades from now.

Btw, in Dutch you don’t say “There’s a stain on your shirt”, but “There’s a stain SITTING on your shirt”.
Skim milk is called “skinny milk”.
peanut butter = “peanut cheese”
gloves = “hand shoes”
apple core = “clock house”
dandelion = “horse flower”
sample = “monster” (which is also the word for “monster”)
Mother-in-law = “clean mother” (actually I think this comes from an old form meaning “beautiful mother”, but the modern translation would be “clean mother”)
Toilet seat = “toilet glasses”
Garden hose = “garden snake”
Leopard = “lazy horse”
Jeans = “nail trousers”
vacuum cleaner = “dust sucker”
hippopotamus = “Nile horse”
potatoe = “earth apple”
To restlessly walk back and forth (while nervous or thinking something through) = “to polar bear”
Cotton candy = “sugar spider” (actually the spider part just comes from a verb meaning “spinning”, but on it’s own it means spider)
Dustbuster = “crumb thief”
Sloth (as in the animal) = “lazy nature”
Power point, socket = “stop contact”
chickpeas = “frogpeas”

Oh, and ramen are not edible! It’s the Dutch word for “windows”!


Same with German :smiley: In daily use/talk people use And (und) at the beginning of sentences but it is really bad style for written texts. Same with ‘aber’ or ‘also’. The subs have that all the time, starting sentences with:

Or course, …
(However <= this one is used SO often in subs)

I only read few novels that are written in English (I prefer reading German texts), but the few I read never had such odd sentences/word order like many subs have.