Improving English subtitles AFTER they have been created

It depends on the scene. If poor Joon Hyeong is in another room, or is singled out, maybe I could use the new. I imagine there would be a brief pause between the name and the rest of the sentence, to justify the exclamation mark.

But maybe I’m reading too much into this. I tend to go with the “feeling” of a scene.


It depends on how the speaker is saying it. If the person shouts the name and pauses and then proceeds with the rest of the sentence, then there will be an exclamation mark. If the speaker just says it all in one go, then there will be a comma. They’re both correct, but I tend to stick with the comma in most cases.


To me, this is dependant on the scene. I usually put exclamations when the person is agitated and/or shouting.

“Joon Hyeong, clean up that mess.” >> If everything is said in a normal tone.

“Joon Hyeong! Clean up that mess.” >> If Joon Hyeong was shouted and the remaining part of the sentence is just spoken normally. There might or might not be a pause between the first part and second part. This is to show that there’s a difference in tone between the first part.

“Joon Hyeong, clean up that mess!” >> If the whole sentence is shouted.


This sentence will surely resonate with all parents of teenagers.
In cases like this, for dramatic effect, you often do make a pause. An ominous pause.

  • First you shout his name to get his attention.
  • Then you give him a bad look.
  • Then you take a breath and with the finger you point to the place where a couple of hours before there was a neat pile of carefully folded T-shirts and now is a jumbled mess of crumpled and sorry fabric.
  • And you add: Clean up that mess!

In that case, a comma won’t cut it.
In normal cases, if the whole sentence is said with one breath, and with the same tone, of course, you should.


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

I still feel like a small break in the speech between the name and imperative doesn’t call for an exclamation mark so often. Commas also imply a break.


In some cases, threats can be delivered with no shouting whatsoever. A mom delivering a quiet request with no exclamation points can be a very dangerous person. :cold_sweat:

And if there is an ominous LONG pause, then an ellipsis might be appropriate.

“Joon Hyeong . . . dear . . . clean up this mess if you don’t want your body found floating in the Han river.”

When the Romans and Greeks were perfecting the art of speaking or rhetoric, commas, periods, colons, semi-colons, and whatnot all were marks indicating how long a pause should be in a speech. And that pause, for drama or for humor or for emphasis, often depended on the speaker’s desired result.

So two different rhetoricians theoretically could give the same speech with different punctuation in their text.

Obviously punctuation with the so-called Roman alphabet has been greatly standardized since Julius Caesar’s day. And it means nothing to people who don’t use “Western” orthography. And in the day of “C U later OK” it is irrelevant to many people.

But punctuation does help convey meaning, and I salute punctuation nit-pickers!


I live for the day Viki subs will be just emoticons

"Joon Hyeong :point_right::biohazard::recycle::hourglass_flowing_sand:!


Haha, but commas cannot imply emphasis.

“Joon Hyeong, clean up that mess!” >> This can be when you’re angry or when Joon Hyeong’s a distance away.

“Joon Hyeong! Clean up that mess!” >> When you’re really really angry. By changing it to an exclamation mark, it would have the additional between the lines meaning “Joon Hyeong (you little piece of shit)! Clean up that mess!” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@christina_ that’d be fun! I do that when texting sometimes. Just replying everything with emoticons :smile:


Sure, there are all kinds of styles and all kinds of situations.

I remember reading Bruno von Bettelheim’s book where he said that a mother who has to shout to make herself noticed (obeyed) is a failure. And I remember oh so clearly saying to myself:
“When I have children, I certainly won’t be such a pathetic mother!”.
Ha. Ha. Ha…


Wasn’t there a LOL language that used only emoticons, though? Or did I dream seeing that on Viki at some point. feeling detached from reality

You have a dark side… Like it! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@moonandstars and @misswillowinlove it does exist! It is called LOLSPEAK and yeah you use texting words like lulz. etc.

Not that anyone uses it properly. I am a known lolspeak abuser (I use it for when Korean is locked)

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So. last night, while waiting for episode 15 of Chief Kim (I love the manic, gleeful way this modern-day Hong Gildong gets revenge for the little people), I started watching Survivors’ Law, a Hong Kong drama that came out in 2003.

Based on comments about the drama, it looks as if it might have gone up on the website and been subbed year ago, which seems like plenty of time for people to notice that the English translations are very uneven. However, this does not seem to be the case.

Some places, the subs show really good, idiomatic, seamless translations.

Other places, it looks as if subbers tried to transliterate–give a “Roman” alphabet version of a Chinese word or name–and just threw in an English word that sounded like the Chinese word but had no relationship to it.

Other places, it looks as if subs were literal translations that more or less say the same thing as English would, but they are just not good idiomatic English.

Other places, the subs are simply not done in good English AT ALL.

Things are pretty messy.

Clearly, Survivor’s Law is not an A list show, and the folks who worked on it probably wanted to get subs done as quickly as possible just because they love it and didn’t have a lot of time to spend checking things. So, not the worst possible thing.

However, for my own benefit, and maybe to show someone who might care after all this time, I wonder if there is a way to get a “sub” transcript for any of the episodes that I could mark up and show more typical English usage in some of the messier places. Thanks!

No way!! You didn’t just say Survivors’ Law wasn’t an A-List show! I’m horrified! :astonished:

If you write to the CM and ask to be made English moderator, then you are free to go into Subtitle Editor. Then go to Bulk Editor, and you can Select all with CTRL+A (on a PC), copy paste onto a document, do your marking there, and send it by email to the CM.
But I don’t see the real utility of doing all that tiresome work. Because the CM would still have to find a person who knows Chinese (I assume you don’t) to do translation editing for the places where the English is incomprehensible. This is a better option.
Write to the CM about the problems, suggest that it needs T.E. and then, after the translation editor is done, then you could come in and polish the English grammar/syntax.
As long as the subtitles are so messed up that you cannot even guess what they’re talking about, there is no way you can edit for proper English.


2nding irmar. At times we have gone through 5 versions because people overwrite each other. I had to put the original back and then redo it because it was the wrong translation that was grammatically perfect LOL.


Precisely. The curricula are evolving, and Common Core is the epitome of modern-day education. In public school, we aren’t taught grammar, punctuation, etc. We are expected to know how to write succinctly and analyze texts—but were never instructed with detailed lessons. My last grammar lesson took place in 3rd grade. Throughout my education so far, lessons focus on Common Core standards and will continue to reign.

In New York City, these measures were first implemented several years ago. I remember taking them but adjusted and scored my highest in my final year, grade 8. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend U.S. education (in some states). Personally, this system is biased yet resourceful because of its results. Funding, in my opinion, is another factor.

Put differently, education today doesn’t center anything but Common Core standards. This accounts specific U.S. states and schools and voices my standpoint.

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In that case, it’s often easier to politely ask the segmenters to merge the two segments (if they are not too long) so that the whole sentence will be in one subtitle.

Indeed, as long as the final sub is not over two whole lines.

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New examples of Korean word order

From Saimdang:
sub 1 Among these bamboo, mountain and water, portrait, birds and animals, or flowers and greenery
sub 2 you must draw two of them and submit it within the time limit.

From Goblin:
(previous sub: A grim reaper’s kiss will make you remember your past life. )
In your past life, I am scared as to who I was.

Please forgive me. Dying an honorable death… only now I am able to take heed.

I was loved, but for the sin of not loving anyone… forgive me.

(Sunny saying goodbye to her brother the Goblin, telling him to take care of his girl)
Our Part-Timer, please make her happy, Orabeoni.

(Sunny saying goodbye to Grim Reaper, whom she decided never to see again in this lifetime):
“News… I won’t let it come to you”.

From "Unfamiliar Family"

(Context: A father, asked about his dream by his children while eating)
Like now, with my eldest and second daughters and son, having meals together often like this, that’s my dream.

sub 1: The marriage graduation,
sub 2: since I’m the one who suddenly brought it up first and hurt you and the kids.
sub 3: It’s right that I leave the house.

sub 1: The money our daughter earned exhaustingly,
sub 2: I wanted to pay her back.

From "The Miracle We Met"

To be honest, women whose husband’s have insurance policies, even their funeral wailing sounds different, they say.

Mother, whether I should tell you this or not, I thought it over many times.

I, right now… your husband… So, the owner of this body, I want to kill him and end everything this entire situation.

Because of your husband’s wrongdoing, I was on my way to try and fix it and got into an accident.

But, it says here that my Ji Su, on a daily basis, to Kang Ho, shoots him death looks. What does this mean?

But to have caused such bruising, this is something that cannot happen.

sub 1: From your husband’s car after the accident
sub 2: he’s the man who tried to take the loan documents.

So in my husband’s body your husband’s soul is inside it?

sub 1: Your sister-in-law…
sub 2: the existence of the mistress in Bongseon-dong…
sub 3: I think she knows.

at the crime scene, this necktie pin which seems to belong to you was discovered.

In Hyeon Cheol’s body, that woman’s husband is inside there.

So… inside of Hyeon Cheol’s body, there is another Hyeon Cheol inside there!

sub 1: Perhaps that person, hoping that you would talk to him first,
sub 2: He was probably waiting for that.

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And here’s another example of Korean word order, from “Personal Taste” (not all the sentences are problematic, but I’m including all the monologue for you to understand the context):

The other time, in front of Chang Ryul, saying that you were gay. I remember your face. You felt sympathy for me? Now, All that time, although it may be hard, what happened, I’ll try to forget. Lying like that for me. I don’t want to lose a friend like that.