Fear of the space bar

I have just recently returned to viki. and i am looking forward to watching new shows and am pleased with the uptick of variety shows on here now. but i do have one pet peeve. i know the subtitlers have a big job keeping up with all the shows but this was a problem when i left the service months ago and stil seems to be a problem now. Why do the subbers have a fear of the space bar? it seems that EVERY show and nearly EVERY line of subtitles i read have words squshed together where there should be spaces. itshardto read likethis. is it sloppy work from the subbers or does the space bar on their keyboards just not work right? why has this been a problem for so long and why hasn’t anyone said somethng before? i can’t be the only person to have noticed this. it’s like the elephant shaped space bar in the room that no one is talking about.


To give any proper reply it would be good if you could give an example (show/episode/time or screen shot).
Maybe the information of what device you are using could help too.
I can’t help though with looking at variety shows since most of them are blocked in my country.
But others might be able to compare, it could be a technical problem.


@dale_seymour Welcome back!

I bet anything those skipping the space bar are the same ones that are in 10 dramas at the same time subbing, segmenting, moderating dramas etc…, and they have to rush to their next drama, and the next one, and the next. Of course, they won’t have time to check their subtitles with such little time in their hands. So many mistakes like that annoys me, too.

You haven’t noticed all the spelling errors in the subs? I have seen plenty. When I ask someone in the team to edit them, months later they still there, and no one ever answers my PM’s to them.

it happens on nearly every show. just look at english subs you will find this issue on every show i have ever watched. some more than others but it happens on all shows. I understand people being busy but i type every day at my business and hiting that space bar after each word is like a habit. i dont even have to think about it my fingers just do it so i guess i just dont understand how someone can just “forget” to hit the space bar. i should happen without even thnking about it. spellng errors is a different issue because i still make those errors.


I live in Germany so almost every show of this kind is not available to me, I can’t look for it. Sorry!

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Can you give some examples because honestly I don’t really notice the issue. Yes sometimes I see it but those cases are rare and you say it happens on all the drama you watch…
That makes me wonder if this is a case of non natives not realizing there has to be a space between some words. Like some typical mistakes non natives make.


i watch mostly variety shows. but i does seem to happen less often on dramas but i see it at least once every episodes of a drama. so i guess it depends on your defenition of “rarely” but i read comments alot and see FAR fewer people skipping the space bar on comment threads than i do on subbed tv shows. which means the veiwers are better at controlling the space bar than the subbers are.An example would be the latest happy together. 38 minutes in produced several dozen spaces missing.

If it’s happening in variety shows it’s possible they did it on purpose. A segment can only contain a maximum amount of characters and with variety a lot is happening so it’s always a struggle what to and what to leave out. I once segged an episode of After School Club and it sometimes happened that the normal English sentence didn’t fit. You can say then cut an another segment so a subber has more room to sub but that would have been weird in some cases.

We say it for years, Viki tools are not made for variety shows. I don’t watch variety on Viki when I do watch a show. And I quit working on them since they are to much of a nightmare.


For the dramas I watch that missing space bar is not an issue. Wrong wording yes, wrong spelling yes, but the space bar not^^

I guess if the words are written without spaces I’d stop watching shows on VIKI.

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From I think some time (at least 1 year and half I think), most TV Kshows have English subs that are not done by volunteers and are not edited by volunteers, so contacting directly Viki in the Help Center about this matter might change something. Viki can contact the author(s) of these subs directly.

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I mainly watch variety shows and I haven’t noticed it either.
Someone warned me not to work on them, as they were the most difficult to
work on. But they also told me that Viki staff tends to work more on the variety shows, or don’t they do that anymore?

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The only show I’ve watched and seen that happening was: Ask me anything. The issue here is mainly that is happening more often than it should lately, and I don’t doubt it could be done by the same person (subber) . Oddly enough, I see this happening on Netflix and prime in the dramas that have long 2 line subtitles.

I have never seen it. I mean, never. Of course we may have been watching different shows, because i don’t watch variety at all, but isn’t that too much of a coincidence? Why would only the variety subbers do this? It makes me suspect it has to do with the platform where you watch.
I know, for instance that some platforms don’t take into account the line break, and we have to insert an extra space after the break to make it visible. So there may be a problem with spaces between words as well?
I think you need to give us an example: a link on a specific episode, plus the exact timing and possibly the sentence itself. (You could include a screenshot as well but it’s not strictly necessary). So that we can check if it’s the same for us. If it’s the same for us, then it is most likely a problem with the subbers. If it’s not the same, then it’s a bug and you should take it to Help.
Better include more than one show, because we may not be able to access some of them.


@dudie @irmar @piranna
Wasn’t there also the problem with -br- line break?
That it would be ignored if you watch with TV? I don’t know about smart phones and tablets though …
Maybe the subtitlers used -br- a lot, the device ignores it and the outcome is - blank spaces are missing.
Just a thought …


Yes, now you mention it… I believe that was also an issue in the past.

I don’t know the device Dale is watching this show on.
I can’t check who did the subs or how the sentences are made (if there are more than 1 missing space or if the missing space is at the middle of the sentence or between sentences, possibly where they would put breaks) because it is restricted for me.

But watching another show where I got access to the subs, it’s probably not a volunteer and it’s probably breaks as Irmar pointed that out.

If the script is .srt or from the CP or from Viki, they have their own way of subbing that differs from volunteers as they put breaks in the middle of the sentence or between 2 sentences without a space (which leads to Dale’s problem on some devices) and “a return to the line” in the .srt file or word or sheet = “break” without space (so Dale’s problem again).

The easier way would be directly to contact Viki because volunteers didn’t sub this show I think. So we can’t do pretty much for him. It’s good that he pointed that out, but they might have to go on every show they input their subs and correct the breaks… I don’t know if they’re going to do that.

PS: just thought that if they know a way to replace a "return to the line" in their script by "break+space" directly in their file, they won't have to come back on every line. Or they could just create the .srt file from Viki subs with "breaks without space", put in a sheet or a document and replace "br" by "br+space".

Or if they know a program that could do it automatically on any script directly or directly on the subs of the video (replacing “return to the line” or “br” with “br+space”, that would be much easier for them).

Or make the breaks appear on some devices, don’t know if they can do that.

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Is this a Roku problem? In October '18 I posted two notes about this. The subtitles look like early versions compared to what is seen on the Viki website and other Roku feeds.
I was watching " Miss Korea" and noticed missing spaces. Look at Episode 3 at minute
30:39, 30:54, 31:33, 31:57, 32:51. . . Most often It is after a punctuation. Compared to the website subtitles you find a line feed ! This suggests a software problem as Irmar suggested.
BTW, IMHO the Roku player for Viki still suffers problems and makes Netflix the preferred platform.

After reading the advice of others i did some more research and it appears as if some of you were right and this is a roku problem. i rewatched several shows on different platforms and the missing spaces seems to only happen on my roku. i am sorry if a sounded harsh with the subbers however this roku app problem needs to be fixed as this is my main source of viki. (i had to borrow other platforms to do my research). thanks again for all the advice.

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You are welcome!
I found a topic at the Help Center, maybe you want to read what Viki wrote about Roku and subtitle appearance:

Maybe -br- break is the reason, but only someone who has access to the subtitle editor on one of these shows could look into details.

We were told about this thing only recently (maybe a year ago?). So we started adding a space after each break and the problem is solved. Not everyone does it, though. It should be stressed by moderators, and become common practice.