Even academics are interested in Viki! weeeeee :D

I was reseraching translation and ideology for an essay the other day and I came across something pretty surprising. I was on the Taylor&Francis website looking at articles and the “most read” box had this on top: “Fansub Dreaming on ViKi”
A journal article about fansubbing on Viki, here’s an abstract https://www.stjerome.co.uk/tsa/abstract/14606/

it was published in 2012 and a lot of the details abot viki’s policies and fan subbing practises are actually quite out of date already, but I think it’s pretty cool that people outside the fansubbing/drama fan community are showing an interest!
Most of us are amateur translators who are doing it for fun and the love of dramas and probably don’t care about what translation studies and the industry have to say, but I’m happy to see fan subbing being taken seriously…fan subs are what got me into (audiovisual) translation, that’s what I’m studying now and hopefully one day not too far away it’ll become a career, so yay for fan subbing!! :smiley:

anybody else out there studying translation or subtling or interested in becoming a professional translator?


I even think viki deserves an award. Don’t think I am crazy lol

The thing is that viki is a big chance to encourage tolerance… ppl are working and talking with each other without caring about the religion or nationality… The idea of viki is just awesome.
They make a big difference I think ppl should see that…


Hi Jubri,
I am trained as a professional translator and I love subbing on Viki. For one thing, we sub on teams, which as a translator, I don’t usually get to do. Also, the vocabulary is fun. It’s everyday vocabulary with discussions on everything from relationships to finances. I learn so much translating on Viki. I would also like to do more translating in the film and TV industry, both subbing and the support materials.

Most translation jobs I have had required technical knowledge and vocabulary in both languages. Some places will even test you on your technical knowledge, just so you know.

I don’t know where you are located, but you might want to check out some of these links…




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That’s super interesting! Do you work as a freelance translator? What are your languages, En -> DE?
I know that there are more jobs in technical translation but I can’t really see myself doing that. I want to be a subtitler but it’s quite badly paid, all professional subtitlers I’ve talked to do it because they like it but they make their living doing “regular” translation.
I’ll sign up to proz at some point.

You said that you like working in a team, I like the interaction with the other subbers, too, but consistency can be a bit of a problem. As a professional, do you mind the amateur nature of the subs sometimes? Although nothing can beat the speed…

Have you used or are you using any subtitling software?

The translation I do is EN <-> DE. American English is my first language. I am at the C2 level in German. I don’t make much money at translation–well not as much as I do from my “regular job”, which is freelance instructional design. These days I am doing more language work than instructional design, which is fine by me. My hubby and I are semi-retired, so I like the freedom.

As for the “amateur nature of the subs,” I think you overestimate the professional level of most people in the workforce. The subs are no better/worse than the work I have seen from other writers during my career. In fact, mostly they are better. I don’t mind editing the subs of others and I hope they don’t mind editing mine either. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, right?

I have already told some folks at Viki that I would love to be able to download the bulk translation as a csv file so I can import it into translation program. I could build a database as the series progresses and not have to retranslate or research those flashback scenes.

As a language moderator, I think creating a spreadsheet of common terms and names would be most helpful for the team. Also, a list of common language/formatting errors that I have to fix constantly. I haven’t ever implemented this though. It’s just swimming around in my head.

The translation software I like most is called Across. It is free for freelancers. I have also used SDL Trados, but didn’t like it. It is the industry standard, however, so most translators learn to use it. I haven’t used software that was specific to subbing because other than Viki, that’s not what I do.

Are you still in the UK? I went to a presentation at an ATA conference by a woman from London who trains people to translate for the movie industry. Her presentation was fascinating. I can research her name, if you want. I just saw the program notes a few days ago when I was organizing papers.

Okay, back to translating…

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I love languages .since I was in sixth grade I knew I wanted to study something related to the languages ​​now I’m looking for a school to study for professional translator and I would like to learn japanese and chinese

ok here comes another wall of text :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree that the quality of most of the subs is really good! Especially considering there are so many people involved in subbing even just one episode of a drama. It’s just a guess but I would imagine that most of the Asian language to English subbers are not English native speakers, so the role of the editors is important for QA. I totally believe in the crowd. I’m a bit torn about the issue of subtilling guideline and rules, they are absolutely necessary but I feel they limit creativity a bit. I remember when I first signed up to viikii years ago, there was more experimenting going on with translator’s “footnotes” and extra information in the subtitles, like what you can often find in anime subs. I really like that. I think commercial subtitlers (that’s a better term than ‘professional’ I guess) could learn from fansubbing rather than fansubbers trying to imitate commercial standardising practises. The main weakness that I see is technical, not linguistic. On Viki there is nothing that relates the length of the subtitle to the duration it stays on screen. I’ve seen long two line subtitles that were on the screen for two seconds, impossible to read. But I guess fansub viewers are used to fast reading speeds.

I’m studying in Leeds at the moment and I’m doing a small case study about the use of CAT tools in subtitling, so I think translation memory and termbases would be useful for subtitling, too. But to incorporate that into Viki’s subtitle editor would be pretty impossible I imagine.
Also, nobody likes Trados :smiley:

I’d be interested in the name of the film translation lady. As far as I know there aren’t so many places that train film translators and subtitlers in the UK (even fewer in Germany)

Anyway, if anyone is interested in studying translation and/or subtitling in the UK, the University of Leeds is AMAZING for that.

Oh yes, I know that program in Leeds. You must be enjoying yourself. I needed a program that was online because I live part time in the country. So NYU worked for me.

I did a search on the woman’s name (who did the presentation) and I found these some links that you might find helpful.





(look at Drehbuch under Freelance) (I noticed a transcription job in the Jobs area that required Hindi.)

I agree with you about the length that the subs stay on the screen is problematic. In fact, the German subs often have the problem that they are too long for the box. German can’t be the only language where that is a problem. If I can, I split the sub differently. Otherwise, I start taking words out. So it isn’t a direct translation, but who knows if the translation from Korean is direct… That’s one reason why I want to learn at least a little Korean, if my brain can handle it.

This summer I plan to be a docent at Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center in California. A lot of German tourists come through the area during the summer. So I will translate the docent materials into German. I have already started and have found a lot of great multilingual sources for ecology, water conservation, desert plants and birds. Really quite fascinating.

Are people using CAT tools in subbing? I remember Christine had something that she wanted to have a training session on in the Hollywood area. I tried to help her, but there is no ATA chapter in So. Cal and my Hollywood contacts led me to a dead end. Maybe you could contact her for your research.

Well if you work directly from the video without a script or template file, then you can’t use CAT tools, but if you have a script/template, then it just depends on the file format I guess. I’ve successfully imported srt files into MemoQ by using a custom filter that filters out the untranslatable text like the time codes. But the segmentation of the CAT tool starts a new segment for every linebreak, so I ended up with lots of sentence halves whenever a subtitle had sentences going over two lines. I haven’t been able to figure out how to fix that other than joining hundreds of segments manually. I haven’t even attempted to do it with Trados yet, but I’m going to have to :frowning:
My translation memory isn’t big enough to get a lot of matches yet, but machine translation wasn’t too bad. It did speed up the translation process even if there was a lot of post-editing to do.
The EU did a project a few years ago where they tried to build a completely automatic subtitling process. They played the video to speech recognition software creating a monolingual text file, then did some automatic shortening and condensing and then had this “tempate file” translated by a statistical machine translation engine built from a large subtitle corpus. Crazy how fast technology is developing.

Thanks for the links!
I want to learn Korean, too, but I don’t have time. I started Mandarin a few months ago and that is taking up all my brain space :smiley:

Hi Jubri

I’m the academic who is interested in Viki! I’m so glad you appreciate the interest and I would also love to know what you found ‘out of date’ in my article. It would be great to hear your thoughts on more up to date developments on Viki and which issues you feel are most important. Any help would be great!

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