English subtitle editing

Are Channel Mangers the only ones that can edit subtitles? If not, do you have to be fluent in another language besides English, like Korean or Chinese, to be able to edit English subtitles?

I can’t speak another language, although I am currently starting to learn Korean, but I would love to be able to help with the editing of English subtitles. I sometimes catch mistakes that might have been missed in the subtitles of shows when I am watching them. I would love to be another set of eyes on shows to catch things that may have gone unnoticed before the subtitles were put out. I just don’t know if I am allowed to help since I don’t know another language.

Does anyone have any advice for me?


I’m a Chinese-English translator. The technical rules are that only the editor (fluent in both languages) can change other people’s subtitles, since every person’s work is important. With that said, if there are cases where you can edit the grammar mistakes without changing the meaning at all, and people aren’t offended by it, then it seems fine. E.g. Changing “she leaved home” to “she left home” would be fine, but don’t change the actual meaning. I’m new to Viki as well, so not sure if there is a position for “english editor”, if that’s what you’re looking for.


Actually Channel Managers do not edit subtitles. A Channel manager chooses all the different language moderators, finds a cover page designer, communicates with Viki and organizes things. But the English language is done by the English team. The English moderator again has more of an organizing job, usually doesn’t touch the subs (unless he also has one of the following roles). The ones who deal with subtitles are, in order of appearance:

  • the OL to English subbers,
  • the Translation Editor(s)
  • English General Editor(s), and
  • Chief English Editor.

You can find Chief Endligh editors from the cover pages of dramas and apply as General Editor.
Or maybe you can apply directly to the CM of small web dramas and or old movies that nobody wants and ask to be English editor there. This because you need to plump your Project Page and show you have some experience. Thus people will be able to check your work and will be more ready to trust you with more important projects in the future.

Being fluent in the OL (original language) is not essential but it greatly helps, let me tell you. This was the reason that I hesitated for a long time before starting to do English editing. I wanted to know Korean better before diving in.
If you don’t, it’s best if you have at your side someone who does, and can help in case you make a blunder (i.e. unadvertedly change the meaning of a sentence).


All this advice and information is really helpful! Thank you so much!!


There are three levels of editors: Chief editor, translation editor, and general editor. If you only know English, I would suggest general editor because that is the one that doesn’t require you to be fluent in both languages. I have never been an editor before but I think these are the roles:

Chief editor: looks over both general and translation editor
General editor: fixes grammar and coding mistakes as well as making sentences easier to read
Translation editor: makes sure the dialogue is translated correctly


Thank you for this information! It’s helpful. The general editor sounds more like what I want to do, so I will focus on that course. Thank you again!


My editor notes:
The double music note ♫ should be added at the beginning and ending of the lyrics of a segment. Add this by holding down Ctrl J on the keypad or copy and paste the music note. Lyrics need to be in italics.
If a character is singing live during the scene, do not put the lyrics in italics and use the single music note

… may be used to indicate a pause in the sentence or a sentence that is incomplete.
. . . is generally used for big, dramatic pauses
… can be used when someone is interrupted
Leave a space after the ellipse pause if it’s in the middle of a sentence.
Copy and paste the long dash —

D-D-Don’t. Blend sounds ph, wh, th.
Talk…talk…talk about this. Capitalize only first word. No spaces for stammering.

Avoid using slang English or shortened forms of words. For example: avoid using LOL, yup, wanna, or gonna.
Avoid subbing any words that contain no meaning such as “Haha” or “Um.”

A break may be added to separate speakers or to add a note or explanation in round brackets ( ) below the translated sentence.
This should be displayed on Team Notes as it doesn’t load here.

Do not edit the subtitle only to add a break unless a break is necessary.
If the original sentence is correct in terms of grammar and punctuation, then please do not change the sentence. Only make a change if the original subtitle has awkward or improper wording.
Do not edit the subtitle if… was not originally used to indicate a pause, unless the sentence is incomplete. (Speaker didn’t finish a sentence.)

Italics should be used for flashback scenes, texts on screen, lyrics, previews, thoughts (anything that comes from the mind including daydreams) and voice-overs.
When a person talking is out of the room, or unseen and it would confuse the hearing impaired.
TEXTS MUST HAVE BRACKETS [ ] as well as italics.

If only part of the sentence is in parentheses, then you put the final punctuation outside of the final parenthesis: I enjoy breakfast (sometimes). If the entire sentence is parenthetical, then you put the punctuation inside the final parenthesis.

Use a comma after ‘please’ only to emphasize the request.
Please at the end of a sentence must always have a comma preceding.
I love you, but please, leave me alone. (Here a comma after please is optional.)
NOW used as both an adverb (first example) or a discourse marker (second example). Adverb needs no comma, only the discourse marker.
Now I need to pull my pie out of the oven.
Now, I know it’s a bad idea, but I’m going to do it anyway.
SOMEHOW needs a comma only if it explains the way it’s done. Somehow, the writing was finished. Meaning in some way.
Not if it is an adverb. Somehow you’ll know.
In proper English, there is no comma after “So” when used at the beginning of a sentence. When used as a subordinating conjunction, no comma is used either. The exception is “Even so” which means in spite of that, nevertheless and is followed by a comma.
Only if the phrase is non-restrictive, meaning it can be taken out without changing the meaning.
“Before” may, but need not necessarily, be preceded by a comma, only when used in an appositive phrase.
The comma preceding and, or, nor is not obligatory, but it is recommended because it sometimes disambiguates the sentence.
Do not use a comma before because when it connects two clauses in a sentence. Because is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects a subordinate clause to an independent clause; there should be no comma between these two clauses.
If the dependent clause follows the independent one, no comma is needed before if, whether, because, although, since, when, while, unless, etc.
Use a comma with “too” only to show change of thought, or to clarify, and with “Also” at the beginning of a sentence. I love you, too. Without a comma, it can mean that I love her and you too.
Listen, it’s dangerous.
Oh, right.
But, Mom.
Well, then.
The more, the merrier.
The bigger, the better.
Excuse me, I’m leaving.
I’m sorry, I’ve left already.
Use commas with words that interrupt the flow:
Of course
By the way
On the other hand
I am sure
I think
Someone’s name.
When a parenthetical element such as an interjection, adverbial modifier, or even an adverbial clause follows a coordinating conjunction used to connect two independent clauses, we do not put a comma in front of the parenthetical element. Examples:
They led the league at the end of May, but of course, they always do well in the spring. [no comma after “but”]
The Yankees didn’t do so well in the early going, but frankly, everyone expects them to win the season. [no comma after “but”]
They were at the bottom of the league, and even though they picked up several promising rookies, they expect to be there again next year. [no comma after “and”]

Commas and periods go inside quotation marks.
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many things.”
“I should like to buy an egg, please,” she said timidly. “How do you sell them?”
Do not to use commas to set off quoted elements introduced by the word “that” or quoted elements embedded in a larger structure. Paul writes that “the purpose and strength of money” is not quantifiable.
We often say “Sorry” when we don’t really mean it.
IF quoted words aren’t a question but the entire sentence is a question, put the question mark outside the quotation marks.
Did he say, “I can’t give you a bite of my sandwich because I ate it all”?
When both a city’s name and that city’s state or country’s name are mentioned together, the state or country’s name is treated as a parenthetical element.
Seoul, South Korea, is bustling with people.
When the country becomes a possessive form, it’s no longer parenthetical.
Seoul, South Korea’s investment in electronics is widespread.
An absolute phrase is always treated as a parenthetical element, as is an interjection. An addressed person’s name is also always parenthetical. Be sure, however, that the name is that of someone actually being addressed. I’m telling you, Juanita, I couldn’t be more surprised.
I told Juanita I couldn’t be more surprised. No commas.
Their years of training now forgotten, the soldiers broke ranks. Yes, it is always a matter, of course, of preparation and attitude.
If you can put an and or but between two adjectives, a comma is needed. For instance: He is a tall, distinguished guy. He is a tall and distinguished guy.
But you would not say, “She is a little and old lady,” or “I live in a little and purple house.” No commas needed between little and old or between little and purple.
Use commas to set off phrases that express CONTRAST.
Some say the world will end in ice, not fire.
It was her money, not her charm or personality, that first attracted him.
The puppies were cute but very messy. Comma optional here.
Use a comma to avoid confusion. For most, the year is already finished. Outside, the lawn was cluttered with hundreds of broken branches.
March 1, 1950, South Korea designated a national holiday.
Without the day, however, the comma disappears.
April 1919 was one of the most eventful months in their history.
In international or military format, no commas are used.
The Republic of Korea was founded 15 August 1948.
When an introductory adverbial element seems to modify the entire sentence, and not just the verb or some single element in the rest of the sentence, put a comma after it.
Fortunately, no one in the bridal party was in that car.
Sadly, the old church was completely destroyed.
On the other hand, someone obviously was badly injured.
It is permissible to omit a comma after most brief introductory elements such as a prepositional phrase, an adverb, or a noun phrase:
Yesterday afternoon we sat around waiting for her to arrive.
By evening we had become impatient.
Happily he walked into the hall.

Used in sentences to show that something is following, like a quotation, example, or a list.
I have one goal: to find her. Colon is correct.
I have one goal; to find her. Semicolon is incorrect.
Used to join two independent clauses, or two complete thoughts that could stand alone as complete sentences without a conjunction. A semicolon can replace a period if the editor wishes to narrow the gap between two closely linked sentences. Call me tomorrow; you can give me an answer then. I painted the house; I still need to do the floors. Use a semicolon before such words and terms as however, therefore, that is, for example, for instance, when they introduce a complete sentence.
Bring any two items; however, sleeping bags and tents are in short supply.
Use the semicolon when you already have commas within a sentence for smaller separations, and you need the semicolon to show bigger separations.
The conference has people who have come from Moscow, Russia; Paris, France; Seoul, South Korea; and other places as well. Note the final semicolon, rather than a comma, after Korea.
When I finish here, and I will soon, I’ll be glad to help you; and that is a promise I will keep.
When quoting someone after a colon, they open their speech or text with a capital letter. The rest of the time, it’s a lower case letter. It’s not a new sentence when you use a colon or semi-colon so you would only use capitals in places you ordinarily would.


Words such as Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, Son, Daughter, and Sis when they are used in place of the person’s name. Do not capitalize when they follow a, an, the, possessive pronouns such as my, your, his, her, our, your. Your mother, the mother, my mother.
Capitalize suffixes and titles such as King Wang the Great, Wenna the Princess of Power.
While an intern, I shadowed Senior Marketing Director Wang for a day. (Title)
Wang Lee is the most productive marketing director in the department. (not title)
Pronouns, all, and everyone would not be capitalized when addressing people.
Ferris is named after the inventor so it is capitalized. You do not capitalize wheel because the term applies to all similar structures. Ferris wheel
Capitalize such words as northern, southern, eastern, and western when they refer to the people in a region or to their political, social, or cultural activities. Do not capitalize these words when they merely indicate general location or refer to the geography or climate of the region.
Capitalize zodiac signs: Gemini, Cancer, Taurus, etc.
Centuries and their numbers are not capitals (twentieth century) but historical eras have capitals: Roaring Twenties, Middle Ages.
Capitalize job positions when it comes immediately before the name, in a formal context or in direct address. General Manager Wang.
It is not capitalized if it comes after the person’s name, or if there is a “the” before it. Wang, the general manager of accounting, is late.

Hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound adjective. When a compound adjective follows a noun, a hyphen is usually not necessary.
The rates for off season are lower. No hyphen.
Hyphenate when used before a noun.
The off-season rates are less than half what they were charging during the peak season.
There are no spaces around hyphens which join a compound adjective.
We have a two-year-old child.
He had a concealed-weapons permit.
Hyphenate spans of time, distance, or other quantities.
3:15-3:45 p.m.
4-7 meters
Incorrect: 300 - 325 people
Correct: 300-325 people
A hyphen’s main purpose is to glue words together. They notify that two or more elements are linked.
Compound verbs: The slacker video-gamed his way through life.
Hyphenate all compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine.
Do not hyphenate fractions preceded with a or an. More than a third of people agreed, but only one-third voted.
Correct: The sign is five and one-half feet long.
Correct: A five-and-one-half-foot-long sign.
My great-great-grandfather
Do NOT hyphenate half brother or half sister.
Hyphenate prefixes ending in a vowel when the root word begins with the same letter: ultra-ambitious, semi-invalid, re-elect.
Hyphenate all words beginning with the prefixes self-, ex- and all: self-assured, ex-mayor, all-knowing.
Use a hyphen with a prefix and some suffixes to avoid confusion. I re-covered the sofa. I de-ice the sidewalk. Co-worker not coworker which is cow orker. Modernist-style paintings. Mayor-elect Wang, sugar-free soda, oil-based sludge
Hyphens are NOT dashes. Dashes have spaces, especially in subtitling.

Write out numbers below 101 as spelled words. Use numerals after 100.
Numbers that begin a sentence MUST ALWAYS be spelled.
In 1776, America became a nation.
Seventeen seventy-six was when it happened. (First word of a sentence.)
The cost of the medication is $51.75 at the pharmacy. (Use numerals with decimals.)
Use numerals for measurements: 65 mph, 23 years old, page 23, and 20 percent.
One inch is equal to 2.54 cm. (First word must be spelled.)
The weight of an average hippopotamus is 1,500 kg. (use comma in number)
People were hesitant to pay the fifty-dollar fee. (hyphenate before noun)
The Milky Way is approximately 13.6 billion years old.
Canada has a population of nearly 36 million. Use numerals before millions, billions, trillions.
There were five thousand men. Spell number for hundreds and thousands.
Did you know the average snail moves at 0.029 miles per hour? (use zero)
It needs 2 1/4 cups. Use digits for fractions with a whole number.
She used two-thirds gallon. Spell for fraction without a whole number.
Spell out the time when it is followed by o’clock. Six o’clock.
Use numerals to emphasize the exact time 6:05 and when using a.m. and p.m. such as 6 p.m.
Use dots for 6 a.m. or it becomes am as in I am sick.
Street Addresses: 5801 Fir Street. 1032 Fifth Avenue.
Name is also the address: One Park Place.
Use numerals for units and credits. The course was 3 credits. The amount is 3 units.
1920s has no apostrophe. Spell out twenties, thirties, seventeenth, etc.
Chinese or origin language number rules may be different than ours, but since we are editing for English speakers, I use the English rules.

A period should be placed after an initial and after most abbreviations. U.S. (periods, no space). Otherwise, it is shouting us.
Also, we can use U.S. as a modifier (the U.S. policy on immigration) but not as a noun (He left the U.S.A.)
The metric system uses symbols, not abbreviations. The symbol km for kilometre does not contain periods, or an s in the plural form.
Miss is not an abbreviation so we don’t put a period after it.
The plural of Mr. is Messrs. or Misters. Use Mister’s for possessive form.
The abbreviations Rev. and Hon. for Reverend and Honorable. Don’t abbreviate when preceded by “the.” Write “the Reverend Wang” and “the Honorable Wang.”
Other abbreviations: Sr., Jr., Ph.D., M.D., B.A., M.A., D.D.S.
When an abbreviation is the last word in a sentence, do NOT add a second period.
A period that is part of an abbreviation cannot be replaced by any other punctuation except a period. Use the question mark, exclamation mark, colon, semicolon, or comma after the period of an abbreviation.
Give the book to the Mrs., then you can leave.
For possessive form, Mrs.’ is awkward so spell out Missus’ coat.
ASAP or asap are both acceptable.
It’s best not to use the following abbreviations in subtitling:
For example= e.g.
Namely= viz.
In other words= i.e.
And other people= et al.

It is I.
Between you and me.
Overthink is one word.
Anyway is correct. Anyways is slang, not proper English.
All right not Alright.
More than that, not Over top of that.
Food is singular or plural. Foods means the different variety of edible things, shows number of dissimilar things.
Adverb “sometime” (one word) means at an indefinite or unstated time in the future. He’ll marry her sometime. Adjective “sometime” means occasional or former, a sometime friend. The expression “some time” (two words) means “a period of time.” I didn’t see him for some time. The adverb “sometimes” (one word) means “occasionally, now and then.” I walk there sometimes.
Toward or towards: either is fine.
Afterward or afterwards: both are fine.
Realized or realised: both are fine.
Crisis is single. Crises is plural.
A good night’s sleep. Note this is the proper form.
Good night is how you say farewell at night.
Goodnight kiss is an adjective or noun adjective.
Two Ks, but mind your p’s and q’s. And always CDs, unless you’re talking about something the CD owns.
Inhuman: action adverb. He is inhuman.
Inhumane: adjective. The inhumane father.
Fiancée is correct word for the female counterpart of fiancé. The technical synonym for fiancé is groom-to-be. The bride-to-be is fiancee.
Antarctica is the continent. Antarctic is the South Polar region. No capital when used as an adjective (antarctic fossils).
I’ll send you. In English, it means we send you as our messenger, errand boy or courier. We send a letter or parcel. I’ll send you home = Send you away, which is a threat. Proper English: I’ll take you home. I’ll take you there. I’ll drive you home.
WHO OR WHOM: who replaces he, she. Whom means him, her.


Thank you so, so much for taking the time to write all that out! I am going to save this to use it as a guide for in the future! This will really be helpful to me. I am very grateful!


You are very welcome! Thank you for putting up this post. I hope other people, who have good editing ability, will consider offering to volunteer as English editors. One needs to be proficient in spelling, but if any word looks unfamiliar, never hesitate to look at an online dictionary. Spellcheck cannot distinguish between homonyms. That is up to us.

I had written this on another discussion:
The male lead has just confessed his love to someone, and the reply is…
I cannot except you.
I cannot accept you.
Two opposite meanings!
Except: to take or leave out from a number or a whole, to exclude.
Accept: consent to receive (a thing offered).
I cannot exclude you is vastly different from I cannot receive you.

Channel Managers have the final authority where a general editor and the Chief editor disagree on a subtitle’s wording in English. In smaller teams, the translation editor may be designated Chief editor based on experience level, or the general editor may be Chief. The TE understands both languages, but she may not understand the nuances which a regular English speaker would. If the TE is also Chief, s/he may not be amenable to the fact that the wording is too ambiguous or confusing in English. As general editor, we never override the Chief editor so there may be cases where the CM goes in and changes the subtitle as s/he deems fit.

With more pre-subbed shows arriving, and smaller teams to deal with them, the general editor often goes first to fix all the grammar, punctuation and structure issues. The TE goes next to check that it is in keeping with the origin meaning. Then the general editor does another check for punctuation and grammar. If s/he is also Chief editor, it’s acceptable to make required changes. If the TE is Chief editor, I write a list of all punctuation mistakes and grammatical errors in the re-edited segments which I send to both the Chief editor and Channel Manager. If the Chief editor originally gave me permission to edit her segments for grammar and punctuation, I do so with the added courtesy of a list of changes I made and why.


What? No! Chief Editor is called Chief because s/he is above the General Editor. At least it was so in the dozens of dramas I’ve worked on so far.
The Channel Manager may not even be English nor know good English, so how can s/he butt in into matters of English?
All the times I’ve been General Editor and I disagreed with Chief-nim, I told her so, respectfully. Sometimes she accepted my opinion, sometimes not. When she didn’t, I kept my peace and never mentioned it again. Because a Chief Editor does the last pass, has the final say and also the final responsibility for all the subtitles and for her own choices.

Ah, okay. The example of a team where there is no Chief Editor, only the TE, but the CM happens to know better English than the TE is possible. But it’s a special case, not a rule.


Here are some similar words to watch for, as I have often seen them misused or misspelled on subtitles:

Affect: verb, to influence.
Effect: noun, what side effect is caused, or cause and effect.
Breath: a noun. It is the product of breathing; the air that is inhaled and exhaled.
Breathe: a verb. It means to take a breath by inhaling and exhaling.
Bear: noun, brown bear. Verb, he can hardly bear the load.
Bare: adjective or verb. His bare chest. He bares his soul.
Break: noun, take a rest or break. Verb, to break his heart.
Brake: noun, car brakes.
Check: to review or verify correctness.
Cheque: written order for a bank to pay a bill.
Capital: a city, a wealth or resources, or an uppercase letter.
Capitol: a building where lawmakers or government members meet.
Carat: a measure of the purity of gold.
Carrot: a vegetable.
Complement: verb, to enhance or complete.
Compliment: noun, an expression of praise. Verb, to praise.
Accept: verb, to receive.
Except: preposition, to exclude.
Emigrate: to move away from a city or country.
Immigrate: to move into a country from somewhere else.
Farther: refers to physical distance, run farther.
Further: refers to metaphorical distance, further from the truth.
Flaunt: to show off something.
Flout: to defy or show scorn.
Gaff: a type of spear or hook with a long handle.
Gaffe: a faux pas, error, mistake or social misstep.
Here: adverb showing location.
Hear: verb indicating to listen.
Imply: to hint at something without saying it directly.
Infer: to deduce something that hasn’t been stated directly.
It’s: contraction of it is.
Its: possessive form.
Lead: the metal or to be a leader.
Led: past tense of the verb to lead which means to guide or to be first.
Lie: intransitive verb. Lies, lying, lied about the truth, I lie down to sleep.
Lay: transitive verb, placing something. He lay down his tools. Lays, laying, laid down the pen, I lay me down to sleep.
Loose: adjective, not fitting properly. The cows got loose from the corral.
Lose: verb, to misplace something or to be defeated.
Peek: taking a quick look or glance.
Peak: top or the highest point of something.
Pique: to excite or irritate, to pique my interest.
Prey: hunt and kill for food.
Pray: make one’s devotion.
Principle: noun meaning a basic truth or law.
Principal: noun meaning the head of a school or organization, or money borrowed in a loan.
Rite: a ceremonial act or practice, a memorial rite.
Write: communicate in writing.
Right: opposite of left, to be right about something.
Wright: a worker who creates or builds something, eg. playwright.
Stationary: not moving
Stationery: letter writing materials especially good quality paper.
There: pronoun or adverb, here nor there.
Their: possessive pronoun, their coats.
They’re: contraction for they are.
Than: comparison, larger than, rather than, less than.
Then: when or passing of time.
Team: group of people working together.
Teem: to gather in large numbers or to multiply.
To: preposition.
Two: number.
Too: adverb which means ‘also’, ‘in addition.’
Week: seven days.
Weak: having little physical strength or energy.
While: interval of time or to pass time.
Wile: a trick, to lure or to use a cunning strategy.
Wear: to put on or to use up something.
Where: depict a place, point, or part.
Who’s: contraction for who is. Who’s going with me?
Whose: possessive form. Whose coat is wet?
Weather: noun referring to atmosphere changes.
Whether: conjunction indicating choices, whether red or green.
Your: is the possessive form and followed by a noun, your hat.
You’re: Youre is the contraction of “you are” and is usually followed by an adverb, adjective or present participle; you’re living wisely.


The list contains common homonyms which are often “spelling” errors rather than translation errors. Because I often am “dictating” to myself while subbing, I will do dumb stuff like “here” vs “here”. The mind is on auto pilot. In the past I have seen veteran court reporters use the wrong homonym as they transcribed testimony.


So true. It happens automatically, no matter how well one’s language skills are. And English has a lot of those tricky homonyms. I sometimes accidentally spell them wrong, but I’ve noticed native speakers do that too. And that’s where the editing comes in.

Btw, this reminds me of a sentence we had to learn back in highschool: “They’re there in their car.


None of us are perfect. :smile: I find I tend to leave out a period or type a period instead of a comma without realizing it. I always go over my work a second time to hopefully catch my human errors.

For people like me who struggle with perfectionism, don’t let the fear of making mistakes deter you from being an English editor. We do the best we can. That’s all anyone can do. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Very amusing. :slight_smile: Sorry, but if somebody actually needs this extensive a list of your pedantic “reminders”, they need not be worried about editing anything, but more concerned first with true fluency in English.

GeNie of the Lamp, Editor to the Stars

I beg to differ. I know people who are highly fluent in English, but struggle with spelling. These are common spelling errors I noticed in subtitles, and I would never doubt any editor’s fluency in English. I’m glad you are a perfect speller as we need more editors like you. :slight_smile:

I even have to check myself between emigrate and immigrate, farther and further. I try never to edit when I’m tired, but if a time crunch requires that, I have my list handy. When I’m tired, I tend to make mistakes or not catch the translator’s errors in spelling. Many of our TEs are fluent in English, yet have misspelled these words.

A segment may be translated well, but if the spelling is “except” rather than “accept,” the whole meaning of the subtitle becomes wrong. I have seen this common spelling mistake on NF and they pay professional subtitlers. I doubt anyone would label a professional, who earns their living that way, as lacking true fluency in English. :smile:


I went through the entire thread reading your posts. Most of the examples you’ve listed are mistakes that I notice and that irk me when I see them. Every time I see translation errors I wish I could do something about it but I’m always apprehensive about how I can contribute without knowing Chinese or Korean.
Thank you for taking the time to write this down. I’ll feel more comfortable having gone through your notes if I ever volunteer.


One of my first Channel Managers wrote back in 2010 that while she appreciated that we editors did our best to create high quality subtitles, an episode of a Korean drama is not a Ph.D, dissertation. This simple thought led me to the decision that I would release the subtitles for translation to other languages for subbing when I was satisfied with the state of completion and correctness but would continue to correct any errors indefinitely.


@mirjam_465, oh dear oh dear, you started a sentence in written form with ‘And’. Repeat after me.
“One must not start a sentence in written form with the word and”. :rofl: joking aside, English is a funny old language . (With both equal emphasis on funny and old) tricky homonyms are just one example of the English language being a bit bizarre.

I think it’s important for people to remember that when it comes to the English-language. There are different variants of it. The two most prominent being American English (EN-US) and great British English (EN-GB) . There are other variants of English, of course, but most the Commonwealth countries tend to be somewhat closer to EN-GB. While the difference between the two most prominent variants of English may not be immediately apparent in general day-to-day use. If you dive a little deeper. The difference between the two can be quite distinct, especially in terms of spelling and phrasing . I have elaborated a little bit on why this is in another topic which can be found here. Needless to say what is considered a mistake can often come down to which of the two most prominent variants of English one has a preference for.

You can probably guess from the phrasing I’m using. Where I’m from and which of the two most prominent variants of English I have a preference for :grin:

The point is, with regard to the English-language and subtitling. Whatever you do, you are never going to make everybody happy. In the case of myself being British, I noticed many things that would be considered as mistakes in the English subtitling. Given that most of the shows on here are subtitled according to EN-US.

Too be honest the mistakes I notice don’t bother me all that much because I am aware that in most cases, the individuals doing the subtitling use English as a second or third language And I am aware that EN-US could be considered easier to learn than its British counterpart. I know the fact that the mistakes don’t really bother me, may surprise some, as we British are known for having something of a superiority complex when it comes to the English language. I can honestly say as someone else in this topic, mentioned. University grade English for subtitling of overseas programming is not expected and nor should it ever be, especially in case of Viki as the vast majority of subtitling is provided by volunteers who give up their spare time so we mustn’t be overly critical. I think in some of the other topics I’ve seen on here. People can be overly critical, which annoys me a bit.

On a personal note, I often think the subtitling on Viki is often better than the supposedly ‘professional’ subtitling that Netflix provides for overseas programming.