Improving English subtitles AFTER they have been created

Well, and tonight the technical vikibug hit again on all of mine sooo my cold and I are going to watch rather than edit something now. I was 5 parts complete of 6 and then 6 decided it did not want to be worked on, instead it told me of “other things” I should edit or sub instead. (yesterday it was one of my dramas - now all of them are in denial tonight!).

I have sent up the flares, and done what I can. Now…I will go watch something and maybe get some rest. :slight_smile:

GeNie of the Lamp. the slow wisp of smoke drifts lazily back into the lamp…

According to the Oxford dictionary: “A person whose sexual behaviour is regarded as abnormal”
According to the Oxford dictionary: “a person whose sexual behaviour is considered strange and unacceptable to most people”
Perversion in wikipedia:
Perversion is a type of human behavior that deviates from that which is understood to be orthodox or normal. Although the term perversion can refer to a variety of forms of deviation, it is most often used to describe sexual behaviors that are considered particularly abnormal, repulsive or obsessive. […] Originating in the 1660s a pervert was originally defined as “one who has forsaken a doctrine or system regarded as true, apostate.”[3] The sense of a pervert as a sexual term was derived in 1896, and applied originally to variants of sexualities or sexual behavior believed harmful by the individual or group using the term.

Sorry but the universaly accepted meaning of the word is for sexually deviant behaviour. Meaning paedophilia, bestiality, exposing oneself/flashing, sado-masochism, fetishism etc. Things that are not “normally” done by the majority of the population. (although nowadays it is not politically correct to refer to normalcy anymore). And we’re talking about behaviour, not thoughts or glances.

For a male to feel admiration and desire for a woman you just cannot use this term, sorry! It may be socially unacceptable to show this desire, but you cannot say it is abnormal since it is a natural feature of all beings on this planet!
Therefore this usage is a bad usage, or wrong understanding of the English word (I don’t know).
As I said in my previous post, a more suitable alternative would be saying “Oh he only thinks of this”, “he has a dirty mind” (although I disagree that sex is dirty, let’s say that the characters in the dramas consider it so), or “he is a sex maniac” (a gross exaggeration in most cases, but still not in the lines of deviant or perverted behaviour)

As for the “polite” expressions, I never said we shouldn’t keep the politeness.
Why is “I have come” or “You have come”, more polite than saying “Hello, good evening everybody!”?
And “I’m going first” can be easily translated as “Then I’ll be leaving. Goodbye/Goodnight/See you”.


So, about what Choesook said: “I have to switch the sentence most often from back to front or in the middle to keep the meaning. I know it’ll drive a native speaker crazy when they hear the dialogue, but then English viewers would be so confused they’d stop watching the drama.”

I know that we all have various levels of awareness of how other languages are structured. Subject verb object is the most basic English structure, right?

It seems to me that, if someone knows enough of another language to be able to translate his or her own language into that language . . . then he or she would not get driven crazy, would they, to hear a translation that accurately represents the language they are translating into???

I learned, or rather absorbed, some Spanish when I was a tiny child growing up in Texas. Not a lot, but because I learned them at the same time I was learning my own language, I somehow was able to just get those words and concepts in my head AS SPANISH. And I think them in Spanish.

Later, when my English was well-established, and I took Spanish in high school, the Spanish I learned was always stuff I had to read in Spanish, and translate in my head–including grammar and sentence strucure–before I spoke it. I never got to a level of fluency where I could just think in Spanish.

So there has always been a kind of disconnect between English and Spanish for me. But I wouldn’t say that it drives me cray cray.


“Respect the native language patterns as much as we can”
What about respecting the target language as well?

Here is a sentence from an episode I’m working on right now:

“Because of the numerous obstacles you’ve created, it’s hard to get over them.”
Obviously someone was trying to be respectful to the structure of Korean here.

I would change it to:
"You have created so many obstacles that now it’s hard to get over them. "

Whenever I go to Seoul, of all the words we’ve spoken,
I only see your smiling face.

(Is a smiling face part of the words?)


the word pervert is more focused on the word abnormal behavior? So that could be a reason.

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it is easier to keep English order, but I saw that I didn’t have to flip each sentence. The seggers tend to cut the sentence in half so I just need to make sure each segment is in good English order. The amt of cognitive dissonance that comes from flipped sentences is so strange. You hear one thing but see another. It’s being spoiled at times so I dislike it immensely.


My dear, you see this from the perspective of a Korean speaker.
Just think that the vast majority of the people reading those subtitles will not be Koreans or half Koreans or Korean speakers.
If they are Koreans or know good Korean, they will most probably disable the subtitles altogether. Unless they see them as a tool to help them learn better English, a purpose which won’t be served by preserving Korean sentence order.

What about the opposite? Suppose you have to translate an English show in Korean. To which language pattern would you like to be faithful, so that your viewers can fully understand it and enjoy it the most?


NEVER! Because that might force me through the error of kowtowing to become your disciple and I already have a Shifu…! Denying once’s Shifu is a capital crime! Although TECHNICALLY my Shifu is all about segmenting…but no, I will remain steadfast! (ready with the 18 Dragon Subduing Palm stances!)

(muttering) Okay. This deal only involves Chinese Paladin 1. I will, if no other suitable candidates arise, work the English editing on that one following in your TE wake. But I will not follow you as your disciple!

(snaps fingers) There! HA! And that’s if I don’t get Advisors…which if I get that, I seriously need ALL hands to help with that one! It will be worth it… :slight_smile:

As for the SH problem…queue up LGX’s sword display and watch that to help dissolve your tears. :slight_smile: I can play that tune on my guzheng. :slight_smile: Or queue up the Mongolians singing and Yuan Hong’s singing at the gathering. :slight_smile: There are fun moments in this drama along with the tears. It is a great drama though - and that’s why they make us cry too. Liu Shi Shi really does earn it there. :slight_smile: Bit of romance too… :slight_smile: Worth your efforts to correct it, and I will assuredly watch this again when you finish it, let me know. :slight_smile:

Sigh. It’s not just SH that gets a person crying, you know. I was editing Episode 19 Condor and Hu Ge and Ariel Lin got me. Sigh. Heck, even Mei Chaofeng got me…the blind crazy woman calling for Shifu…desperate for forgiveness and knowing who saves her. Sigh…Chinese Drama seems to make a point of making us know even the “bad folks” in a way to see them as people too, with feelings, and even sometimes excuses for what they have done…

Editing can give us an even better respect for a drama we’ve already seen. I had seen Condor once with a reasonably watchable English translation - but what I see now in ours has more depth - I now know the translation wasn’t anywhere near as good as what we as volunteers are putting forward here as our version. The poems. The history, properly shown. All of it. The real complexity of what might be dismissed blithely as “wuxia”…but in reality has actual history (correct history) in it along the way! Cultural lessons…and cooking. :slight_smile: Yes, the Huang Rong cookiing show!

MUAHAHAHAHA…I’ll raise your laugh and add a Rukia laugh from Bleach. :slight_smile:

And my usual cheerful Naruto “we can do that” look. :slight_smile:

GeNie of the Lamp More rest of the cold before I finish Condor 20…I hope! POOF!

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Question, what’s wrong with this?

As for this, [quote=“irmar, post:24, topic:13683”]
Whenever I go to Seoul, of all the words we’ve spoken,I only see your smiling face.

Not sure of the context, but this doesn’t make sense, regardless of sentence structure.

@deadliftdiva_548 Haha, it’s ok, I don’t want to be your Shifu either. Being called Shifu will make me feel old and I’d like to think myself as no older than 18. Although, I may take exception if you’re Huang Rong and plan to cook delicious food for me :wink:

Tragedies are a BIG part of Chinese drama. They do not believe in happy endings. If you don’t drown in a bucket of tears by the end, it wasn’t a good drama. It’s getting better these days, but they remain a big part of the culture.

Shall let you know when I’m done with Scarlet Heart! Still has a long long way to go :pensive:


(laughing) So…if I cook for you, you’re going "Nine-Fingered Divine Northern Beggar"ish? (grin) Ok what part of that made you an 18-year-old :slight_smile: heh! Uh you sort of aged rapidly on that one. :slight_smile:

For the record, I can cook - although verifying that virtually would not be easy. Other than reports of my own take on a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte - the last one took 5 hours to make and close to 5 minutes for the mob to be picking crumbs from the plate…

Your help though in all ways here is greatly appreciated and acknowledged. :slight_smile:

As for the sentences - the first one is fine, I would not worry that one in the least.

The second, depending on context, would rapidly get onto a Fix List on one of my dramas and we’d be talking about “what exactly are they saying” - and I would take the rough translation back for another try at making sense… :slight_smile: Is that not the job of a good editor :slight_smile: ?

Being my Shifu is far too difficult for most, a Venerable Saint of Segmenting is my current Master and well…I do not envy her the task. :slight_smile: Being a real world lifting master is difficult enough, and at times I do have send out for additional stocks of patience myself. (SIGH).

May you keep all 10 of your fingers to better edit SH. :slight_smile:

Shifu’s Pet

Can I be the Ten-Fingered Hungry Southern Beggar who is also 18-year-old? I like all my fingers (and toes and all my body parts) attached and whole… and young? :grin:

Haha I had to Google that and now I’m hungry. Time to go and beg for food. I need a Huang Rong to be my disciple :cry:

I was just about to say that there are times when I feel it’s imperative to leave the sentence order/order of thoughts in a Korean sentence as is when facial reactions are very different between two segments or when you hear intonation in the sentence stress something in one particular segment and not the other. I don’t think I’m explaining this right, though…


The first sentence is fine to me.
The second sentence as it stands tells me: Out of all the words they’ve shared on their visits, the person only focused on the smiling face before him or her and couldn’t remember the words spoken. If that’s the meaning then the subtitle is okay. But it’s hard to say because it’s taken out of context. So I don’t know if that’s right.

As far as flipping a sentence, I don’t recall ever having to do it in a Korean drama. Korean drama translators pretty much follow the same structure as English, maybe because they’re used to American speech patterns. Whereas, in Chinese dramas, it’s a little different.

You would think so.
But after two years of doing Korean dramas prior to being here at Viki, I can still hear the Korean QC moderators fussing about how the subtitle doesn’t follow the order of what’s being said on-screen and how upsetting that can be. Of course, I only speak and write in one language. That alone is enough to make some translators and CMs “look down on me”, I have to rely on the translator knowing what’s being said. Not all translators are well versed in English usage and that’s fine. I’ve come a long way since I started here.

OK let me explain these two sentences. They are not at all the worst I’ve come across, just the ones on an episode I was working on while writing the post.
Sentence 1:
In the previous subtitles the girl asks the boy: “Why is it so hard to be close?” or something like that.
And he replies citing the various reasons, which all have to do with him. Although he loves her, thinking that he would never have a chance with her, he has created many walls which now make their lives difficult. So she says:
“Because of the numerous obstacles you’ve created, it’s hard to get over them.”
The awkwardness is that the object of the sentence (them) is also the object of the secondary sentence (obstacles) which comes first. You would expect that once the obstacles mentioned in the first sentence, the object of the second sentence would be something else, rather than referring to the obstacles again by the word “them”. The second sentence is kind of reduntant.
It’s very difficult to explain why it is awkward, unnatural.
Alternative ways of saying this:
“That’s why (it’s hard), because of the numerous obstacles you’ve created”
“It is because of the numerous obstacles you’ve created that it’s hard for us to be a real couple”.
“You have created so many obstacles that now it’s hard to get over them.”

And he replies with another slightly awkward sentence:
They are not the obstacles, it is me.
Meaning: These things are not the obstacles, I am the obstacle.

Second sentence:
Whenever I go to Seoul, of all the words we’ve spoken,
I only see your smiling face.

Yes, the context is exactly what you guessed. But it’s wrong anyway.
When you say "of all [THESE THINGS] I only remember [THESE], you expect both to belong to the same category, because from a large quantity of things the person chooses a few or only one.
From all the apples you gave me, I ate only this one.
You cannot say
“from all the apples you gave me, I only ate a pear”.

Of all the words… I see your face. A face is not part of the words. It is the opposite of words.
The words, the half-truths about a hurtful past, the words which spoke of problems, of why they couldn’t be together, all these things did not register because for her the important part is his smiling face, his affectionate glance, his passionate love.

We could maybe say
Whenever I go to Seoul, of all the words we said, and everything that happened, I remember nothing else than your smiling face.
Of course it’s a bit long, so I would try to make it shorter.
Whenever I go to Seoul, I don’t remember all the words we said. I only see your smiling face.

Other examples:
A long, long time ago, a man called Legendary Go Nan Gil lived.

My version, by the way, subs in either a devil’s food or German chocolate (made with a special type of chocolate, not from Germany actually) cake for the sponge cake to make it even better IMHO, and then employs a wall of buttercream to contain the moat between the layers of the kirsch-cooked and sweetened cherries…the contrast between chocolate, sweet, and cherry is more distinct in my version and then it is frosted with remaining butter cream OR an optional (again my own preference) cream cheese frosting, similar to what Cinnabon uses on their rolls. :slight_smile:

Chocolate curls then complete this masterpiece. Five hours in the making, five minutes to consume. Sigh…

Some days I’m part Huang Rong, sometimes part Swedish Chef. (Muppets). :slight_smile:

MUAHAHA now you will be thinking about that one cake, oh so far away…and oh so difficult to attain!

(snaps fingers) That’s for the error of nearly making me your disciple. I shall also resist any further efforts around here to make me kowtow for ANY reason - other than having committed a truly unforgivable offense…which I plan to not commit and shall endeavor to avoid!

GeNie of the Lamp POOF!

Ok. I will say that now that sentence about the face MAKES SENSE to me!

With the context, the speaker is saying that the words didn’t matter…all they can see is the face of the person. That the words were not as important as the vision of them smiling. :slight_smile:


this!!! is what I strive for-!!

so snails was a bad drama ;)?

no no no no Korean natural order is total opposite of English order.