Korean to Hindi subbing tips/suggestions


Very interesting. However I never dreamed to discuss about a choice between two Hindi words because this is something that I, as a foreigner, am in no position to discuss. I was just speaking of the question of English terms.

Again. Modern slang and things like that are a different question than using English terms when perfectly good local terms can be used.

And this discussion is also very relevant about Korean, that is overloaded with English terms, some of which misunderstood and misused (Konglish). Where “schedule” means “appointment” and “service” means “freebie offered by the establishment”.
Where they have multiple Korean terms for “wife” (아내 anae, 마누라 manura, 집사람 chib-saram, 배우자 bae-u-ja, 부인 buin and also X’s 엄마 - mother of…) and yet they use the English (mispronounced) 와이프 “wipeu”. How illogical is that? I get it that some of the terms like jib-saram (home-person) “and ~ 's mother” may seem old-fashioned and sexist nowadays, but you can always choose some of the more neutral ones like 배우자 which means “life partner, consort, spouse”.

Okay, I feel more and more that I should have made a separate thread, titled “English words in other languages”.
@jeslynl, help!


You mean words or expressions from French that English borrowed or the other way around?
“Déjà vu” or “networking”?

The problem with Hindi is I don’t know whether it’s a slang or not anymore. The influence of English for Korea vs. the influence of English for Hindi… is it the same? Equivalents? Do we have the same range possible of equivalents?

When I read comments from some Hindi contributors, it sounds like they have no other good alternatives or ways to say some words. I read one comment, I understand X, then I read another comment that shatters X… :rofl: It’s only on Viki I can read this type of things.


Mais non! The whole discussion is about how English permeates other languages, so of course I’m talking about English words in French.


As a linguist (be it for other languages) I can only point out that catering to the “modern” group by using Latin script, using unstandardized loanwords (and not even modifying them to the rules of your language) and the like, will eventually lead to the death of your language.
If enough people make the same mistake for a long enough period, it will eventually get standardized and be considered “normal”. And with that a lot gets lost.

The Dutch way to express a sentence like “I read a book yesterday” is “I have read a book yesterday”. In English it’s impossible to use a present perfect while clearly talking about the past (yesterday), but in Dutch it’s the right way.
However, nowadays I see more and more subs (on Viki, but even more so on Rival Site) in which the English tenses get litterally translated into Dutch. Horrible!
And the sad thing is, that viewers are exposed to this all the time and their brain will start to see those constructions as normal. So they will use it too and see nothing wrong with it. RIP. :skull:

Btw, I don’t see why any language would write words or names from other languages in any other script than their own (I mean when they come up in their own language, of course, not if you’re learning a new language, in which case you should obviously learn the script). I never saw a Korean name left in Hangeul in any language with the Latin script. Nor did I see Latin or other alphabets in Cyrillic. Even if the pronunciation can’t be completely captured, there’s always a way to standardize it into something acceptable.


Maybe not just “words” but “influences”? Cause some languages are also adopting the English grammar. And in the case of Hindi, the Latin (often erroneously called English) script.


What I do:

I follow the reference in our country: the national French Academy dictionary and other dictionaries like Larousse, Le Petit Robert and look the word up.
The French Academy is an official institution with decorated members (writers, poets, politicians, philosophs…) that institutes new rules and new words for our dictionary and our language. They take into account English loanwords, the evolution of the language (a rule in 1900 could be outdated today, they update it).

We often had debates in the French community on Viki for the feminization of some professions or the capital letter (there are so many cases that this is a nightmare just for a capital letter) or the new orthograph rules. We can find these norms on the French Academy website, but also in other references (UN translators reference guide from translating official documents to French, the Printing Dictionary which is more like a guide…).
We can also mail the French Academy when we have questions. I got the case where I had to mail them when subbing on Viki and they answer during the week.

Since we have many rules in French, this institution and many other references (Le Grevisse, Bescherelle…) , it’s difficult to go out of the frame of reference that they created for us or imposed already (that’s why Hindi and French…).
Even between French references, there are divergent pov. I think in France, the French language is really dear to them or us. It’s also a French trait to have a strong nationalism when it comes to anything cultural, language, cuisine, art. In French or litterature classes, we don’t use English words, we learn French words and read French authors. Our exams are about French litterature in college and high school. This litterature is enough rich from decades that the influence of English can’t erase this litterature and their impact on today’s language. So yeah, I think it begins at school. If at school, they still teach us to speak, write and talk that way, then the future adults will continue that way.
But in modern movies, fictions, novels and orally for youngters, it’s possible to use and find some English words. The goal would be to emphasize that they are youngsters or that more English is used every day? I don’t really know, but I would understand why some would use them to create a style or why some would prefer to keep it French.

I’m not a linguist or from the French Academy, so I can’t better enlighten you about English loanwords XD
From my experience on Viki, I got 4 cases:

  • English words adopted in the dictionary:
    It could be a new word appear recently like bitcoin or blockchain. In our dictionary, it was adopted as “bitcoin” and “blockchain”.
    I can’t say for sure that there is a current trend to adopt more English words in our French dictionary.
    The reason might be because in France, they 've put more focus on teaching English from kindergarten or primary school over the past few years. The school program changed in that way. More English learning, but our level generally is bad in English, so we also might not have this problem with English words, because we are bad in languages, so we keep it French? :rofl:

  • English words in our dictionary and equivalent French word also in our dictionary (we use both):
    Boss = Chef, Patron…
    Hall = Salle…
    Hacking = piratage.
    Hacker = pirate.
    Penalty = pénalty
    Some editors would edit the word “Boss” and “Hall” on Viki to keep it French. But some would not.
    That is depending on their style and the setting.
    I’m translating a manga with a yakuza, I’m using the word “Boss” or “Patron”.
    I translated a drama with a team boss in a company, I used the word “Chef”.

  • English words that we turn into French and we use the French word:
    Uberism = ubérisation is written in our dictionary.
    LOL = MDR

  • English words, no idea, not in the dictionary, no equivalents:
    New words on standby. Depends on the impact of usage, too.
    Some books from French researchers or scientists or economists… they often use the English word because there is no equivalent yet and nothing in the dictionary, so I might follow them.
    (From a webtoon: “Cat moms” and “can moms” => these words don’t exist in French and the equivalents don’t exist to name these people + the char made a pun… Either we decide to keep the English translations and add a TN (because we consider people know enough English to know these terms like Catwoman), either we translate it literally, either we reformulate.
    The translator is bound by the speech bubble size, so he can’t use very long words or long sentences. We can’t add more “seconds”. The English translation… the style is different from the English translation of a drama, so there are many reformulations, a lot more than my exp with dramas. I got to erase sometimes big chunks of words not necessary to the understanding and find a smallest reformulation with the same meaning so it fits with the dialogue and the size. On a drama, I would have worked differently because the segmentation is there to help us. The language is also different because there are punks, more curses than on TV and also more onomatopeia. I have a hard time to find the correct onomatopeia from English, sometimes there’s not a clear one so I often have to use the same one for many instances. The exercise on this webtoon for reformulation and translating fluently is good.)

(- Specific to Korean, Japanese or Chinese:
We have many stands on this.
Some erase everything cultural and keep it neutral as if they translate a French movie or novel.
Or we keep the things like Oppa or Hyung or Ge Ge or Onii-chan (honorifics) and cuisine, I keep it in the original language, because when I go to the restaurant, the terms are Asian.
And expressions… there are so many Chinese expressions where we don’t have any French equivalents expressions… It’s crazy. I look for an equivalent expression, if not, either I keep the original English translation if that makes sense and it’s easy to understand the expression, either that sounds weird and I change it so the meaning is more understandable or put a TN. Here, it could be a matter of style. If the editor prefers to keep the Asian touch, he might be more interested in keeping the original Chinese translation and not find an equivalent but explain the expression in a TN. Or else, he prefers to keep it fast to read, no questions. It depends on what you want to do through translating.
But can all languages do it like that? I don’t know.)


There are three things: language, speech and spoken language.

  • Language: structured system of communication used by humans
  • Speech: human vocal communication using language.
  • Spoken language: a language produced by articulate sounds, as opposed to a written language (Well, like French, English…)

Basically, it is thanks to language that human beings communicate with others. Well, we all know the word is not enough. We also need the meaning, the context. It’s a set of things that makes it work and the other gets the “right” information (bye bye, robots, machines). Except that it is the society which tells us that “table” is a piece of wood with four legs. If we don’t know it, if we haven’t learned it, how can we know? Nothing innate, is it? Btw, I invite you guys to watch this incredible movie called: The Miracle Worker (1962, Arthur Penn). We see how a deaf, mute, blind person lives her life, until the day when she will understand that a specific sign means water to drink. And that day, she begins to communicate with the other. What a touching film. Well, where are my sheep? (Idiom, yes we have some things like that too: non-literal meaning)

In short, all this to say that the spoken language is just an expression mode to convey a message. Moreover, our spoken languages have evolved over the years, with history, culture… Latin is a good example. (Small nod to users of a dead language :wink: Ahah)

Well, the question is: French does not have the same words as the other languages (same for others like English…). Which sometimes limits our translations to something approximate. Here, we have two solutions. Either, we stay on something approximate. Either we use the original word and explain it. Besides, we do it with “oppa”, “Jie jie”…

Except that here, we don’t have the word that exists in French, it is untranslatable. Or, not necessarily entirely correct, but approximate: Noona becomes Madame. Which is correct in French, more than “sister”(sœur)

Except that in the case of Irmar, these are words that exist in Hindi. Well, I guess? For example, in French, we can say a “crush”, which comes from English. This word can exist in French in “sentiment”, “intérêt amoureux”, “béguin”…

Except that the English word has been used so much in France lately that this word has practically become a French word. Well, not yet in French academy dictionary, but…

I just saw that to crush comes from an initially French word, it’s funny, isn’t it? (cruising In addition, there has been a shift in meaning.

Conclusion: I believe that the main thing is to understand the information. Even if the word is not from the spoken language. On the other hand, if the word exists in the spoken language, I do not understand why we should not use them. Perhaps by doing this, in 100 years our spoken language will have evolved further. In 1000 years, we may all be speaking the same spoken language with evolution and borrowing from others. Well, I believe that there will always be a politician to remind us things, or a citizen who will scream for conservation of “heritage” (which anyway, to evolve and will continue to evolve, and which was created by humans beings).


I’m pretty confident saying I’ll probably be one Kannada subber in a hundred or more Indian subbers. I don’t want to work alone, and besides, the audience is also in the same proportion or even smaller.


I loved the translation! The use of common English phrases for the slangy/ unique Hindi phrases has been done so well(though whenever I watch stuff like this I feel so sorry for the spice that foreign viewers are losing :wink:)!
This was the reason I quit, I think I just didn’t have the fluency to do this kind of beautiful subtitling. I understand both languages but the actual translating part, I knew I wasn’t doing the best that could be done.
There has to be that perfect balance of being relatable without removing too many cultural references, between translating and transliterating.
I think what you did with the Shah Rukh Khan and TN thing was good (though of course I’m no expert).

I suddenly saw my own Hindi teacher in this same place. She doesn’t know much English but is completely fluent in Hindi and would act the same in this situation. However, how many of these kinds of people are there?
I get irritated reading English in hangeul. It’s just so hard to get used to, same with English words in Hindi script because the whole word looks weird.

Yes, this is the biggest advantage with the Devanagari script. I learned Hangeul with the Hindi script instead of the cumbersome romanization. It was so much more easier.

I’ll use me and Korean because it’s a language I don’t know well vs a language I know very well. Most of the time, I watch for entertainment, so I couldn’t care less about the subs-- as long as I can understand what’s going on I don’t mind. That time, translations are just fine. However, when I’m trying to LEARN the language and culture, oh boy, I keep getting annoyed because i want literal translations so I can enlarge my vocabulary. Even Naver’s Papago translates instead of transliterating and sometimes it drives me crazy, since I have to pick up every single word and run it through the dictionary. That’s why I like Learn Mode, though even that sometimes captions wrong :roll_eyes:

In the end, I feel like pushing for a dubbing system :joy: though THAT will bring a host of problems of its own.

I think Koreans would be in almost the same confused state as us if it weren’t for the Japanese. Because the Japanese had forbid them to speak Korean, they were all the more determined to preserve it. The British didn’t do the same with us. If you watch older movies (I don’t watch many newer movies), you’ll see that the higher in class you were, the more English you spoke. Most movies had the poor boy-rich girl trope and the ‘rich girl’ would mostly be an English speaking, educated girl just coming back from the States or England.

My mom is a teacher at a juvenile home. Girls from all over India who were caught/prosecuted in Mumbai are sent there. And a lot of them are made to study English medium. Why on earth would you do that? Because though they speak fluent Hindi, they can’t read or write it. They end up getting more marks in English than in Hindi, because examiners are also more lenient with English. They also feel cool and great when they finally are able to speak/ write/ read English.

Who are the people we are trying to reach with our Hindi subtitles? No matter who you try to please, there will always be a group left out.


Hi Irene,
I am in process of fixing all my mistakes so will be going through all my previous work and fix it. I will try to translate songs also.

Everyone, Thanks for pointing out my mistakes. I will not take any new project until I have fixed all the ones that I have worked on so far. Thanks for being a passionate group of volunteers :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Still, you should try subtitling to Kannada if your skills are good in this language.

There are a lot of subbers from not so popular languages who work alone and get more audience as time passes by. There’s this Estonian subber who works alone on almost all of her projects and always is in demand.
I am sure Kannada speakers think the same, they think I alone can’t work or something something and that’s why they don’t.

You can act as the spark and looking at you, more people will join you.

I saw a Punjabi subber, Marathi subber, Bengali, Oriya, Tamil, and Telugu. They are really active these days.

The Malayalam community has now more than 10 subtitlers.

If you’ve the time and you’re confident, then you should definitely try (probably a movie first). You’ll get the audience and more subbers with time.


Thanks, but I’m not completely confident. I live in a place where I hear next to no Kannada spoken(other than my mom and dad) so I don’t have a good idea of many common phrases or slang. I learn Kannada at church (because it’s founded by Kannadigas) where the hymns and Bible are written in pure Kannada, which isn’t widely used. I speak to the older crowd in Kannada mostly. So I won’t be a good subber even though I know the language :sweat:
Also at this point I feel I should grow up a little more, maybe that’ll help…
I think I’ll try working as an English editor once I’m done with my finals. I’m confident about that :grin:


Whatever you choose, I hope you’ll enjoy the work you’ll do :wink::wink:


Thanks for being around!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


“Not trying to be rude: I just noticed, “I can’t go down alone” is translated as “Why should I listen to talks alone?” Not sure if the translated sub was relevant to the scene.”

In this scene, Jung-Woo is being teased for still being in love so he is trying to drag Eun-Seob in also. That is what it means when he is saying “I can’t go down alone”.


Thank you for being such a good sport. You’re a sweetheart!

I’ll ask our Chief Editor to have a look, as my own Korean is more at beginner level!


WOW! I’m super impressed.

No they are not! All the Chinese words were bad enough, but in the last decades Korean has been literally flooded with English. Even when there is a perfectly good alternative (see my previous post here on the example of “wife”).

Well, as I said before, people who know English well and love English can turn on the English subs and they will be perfectly fine.

Exactly. For example, Italian is very bad in this respect especially in the fields of politics, business and technology, where they have taken the English without making a minimum effort to coin an equivalent Italian word, as the French and the Greeks have done.
Computer in French is ordinateur, in Greek is ypologhistis, in Spanish computadora, in Portuguese ordenador in Italian it is… computer.
Mouse in French is souris, in Greek is pontiki, in Spanish raton, in German mause and in Italian, guess what, it is not “topo” (the word for mouse the animal) but… mouse. I think that Italian is the only language, besides English, to use the English word mouse.
Social network réseaux sociaux in French, in Spanish redes sociales, in Italian… social networks.
Browser in French is navigateur, in Italian it is, guess what… browser.
And same for everything else. It is disgraceful!

More on English in Italian (but the articles are in Italian…) here

There are people who care, though. Some have made petitions to replace English as working language in the EU (now that the UK has exited, English is spoken by a tiny minority of Irish and Maltese) with French, German AND Italian, some have tried to compile a lexicon of Italian alternative terms.

As for Greek… Greece did make a commendable effort for computer terms, but nowadays is losing in other fronts.


Is that supposed to go for the entire EU? :thinking:


It’s just sending an email, everyone can do this.

I’m more impressed with Sandeep! I was afraid this discussion would break something. I still feel super awkward that she had to read this discussion.

I’m impressed with her. She deserves some praise.


I must say that I am too. Honestly, if I would have been in her shoes, I might have just felt awkward and crawled back into my shell.