Viki

No quantity for the sake of quality


#1

I’m not here to argue whether quality or quantity is more important. A majority will probably rather go for quality. However, does the word “quality” justify everything? If you wait for up to two months for the release of an episode, and you’re told it’s a matter of quality, I’d expect great efforts made that justify the need to work 2 months on an episode. In fact I never met any editor though that works for 2 months on one episode - it’s rather a few hours up to 3 days in some cases of continuous efforts.

In fact I don’t recall that Viki provides you with any specific standards in regard to time, at least not in regard to dramas that aren’t considered “highly anticipated Kdrama”. Instead, you’re reminded that you are responsible for the drama’s translation quality (sometimes this might be true, but to be honest it sounds like a simple excuse).

Chief Editors must communicate the release of episodes ( or completion of a movie ) to other language teams in a timely manner, preferably through the language moderators.

In the FAQ it says though that a CE has the responsible to release in a “timely manner”. But what’s considered a “timely manner”? Within a week? A month? Two months?

They are in charge of promoting the channel, recruiting staff, delegating tasks, overseeing the channel, keeping it active, working towards completion, and making sure the Community Guidelines are followed at all times.

In regard to the CM the “keep it active” is rather vague as well. I mean, there have been dramas going on for many months that only ended recently. Either because there were no complaints or because nobody - in fact - cares as long as the responsible ones decide on a slow release by themselves.

In fact compared to dramas from 2020 and before, I feel like this year a lot of efforts are put into the English editing. Still, no matter how fast/slow the editing is, it’s a common thing to find some little mistakes (and here I consider it important for OL Moderators and subbers to report them). So it doesn’t feel like it really matters how fast it is done (unless there are issues with the English language).

Therefore - what’s reasonable or appropriate? What’s not? :woman_shrugging: How does Viki handle it?


#2

In my case, a while back, when I used to argue (a lot) about quality over quantity (in my native language subtitles), it was when subbers/translators etc. used Google translate, and wrote an excess of (wrong) words, the translator(s) gave them, affecting the quality of the subtitle they wrote in my native language.

This issue to this day is going on in here in some dramas/shows/movies, and for the past 8? years that I’ve been around here, the change has been gradually, slow and esparce . The Quality has improved a bit in my native language bc in some places the use of translators is prohibited, and although I caught (saw) a few cheating/cheaters, I’m glad to say the moderator (some) remove the offending culprit(s). That to me it’s a wonderful thing to see here, and I admire those moderators for doing that.

I hope you get the answers you want.


#3

?? Are you talking about the ability to even see an episode? If so, that is up to Viki to drop the episodes. Some are on hold because of licensing issues.

If you are asking about the initial translation of an episode, that depends on the team. Sometimes real life gets in the way and the volunteers don’t have the time. In those cases, it is up to the CM to find a replacement if the wait for the TE is too long.

If you are waiting for the release to other languages, that also depends on the team.

Since the reasons for any delay are variable, I suggest you ask the CM responsible for the show. They should be able to give you better info than a posting here.


#4

No, I’m talking about the release for Other Languages Translations.

I’m referring to the case where it’s refused to replace anyone. They state it’s supposed to be this slow. Therefore, I wondered if it has limits since the guidelines are rather vague.

Consider it happened already. Furthermore, I’m referring to something that happens from time to time, and I’ve experienced cases as well with different outcomes. Therefore, I’m asking for an opinion and about possible experience.

In my opinion the reason isn’t really important. The solution remains more or less the same. However, I personally consider everything beyond 2 weeks as “inappropriate” (and if I can’t manage I have to know my limits) - but others may think differently.


#5

I’ve been thinking about this issue lately. There are several aspects to consider.

For one thing, the dynamics and the expectations within the team are very different from one project to the next. While one CM may demand from the OL mods that they finish translating to their language within a month after the release of the last episode, another CM might be passively waiting for the English team to work at their own pace.

Before starting any project all the team members should come to an agreement what is expected from them. And if they think they can’t fulfil the expectations, they shouldn’t be recruited and they shouldn’t agree to be recruited.

Perhaps a good measure of the pace a project should have is at least half the speed of real-time release on television. Meaning, if the series releases two episodes per week on Korean television, then the CE should release at least one episode per week to OL Mods.

Secondly, I see there is only a handful of CEs being recruited over and over again, some working on 20-30 projects at the same time. This is not a stable situation for the translating team of any of these projects. Meaning, if that person gets sick or something else happens, 20-30 projects are going to suffer. This must somehow be avoided.

So, why are a handful of CEs always recruited for every project?

On one hand, the CMs want an experienced person they can rely on, especially on a long drama. Not to mention that some CMs are brand new volunteers, and an experienced CE might also be training the CM at the same time as fulfilling their own duties.

Furthermore, an experienced CE knows lots of the TEs and GEs who they may recruit relatively fast as team members.

However, a CE with so many projects still leaves the team vulnerable. The team needs to always be robust enough to handle one person leaving/being too slow. The CEs should have a trained ready-to-take-over GE.

While some may think that putting inexperienced GEs as CEs would jeopardise the quality of the translation, I would argue that an overworked experienced CE is definitely compromising that same quality in their endeavour to release all (or most) of the episodes on all of their projects in that week.

There might be many other aspects to talk about here, though. I’ve just named a few.


#6

I believe that, in the case of on-air dramas, one week is the maximum limit for the English team to release an episode to Other Languages.
Usually, when there are delays, it means that someone from the team got sick or disappeared, or there is a lack of English subbers (it happens a lot for dramas not licensed in the US where most Ko-En and Chi-En subbers live). In the latter case, CMs usually seek help from Viki paid translators. And if a team member has sudden health or other real-life problems, the CM should quickly take measures to replace them.


#7

Do you mean Viki staff?


#8

No, not Viki staff. Viki staff are not translators. They are web developers, PR people, HR people, customer experience people and others providing the liaison between Viki and the volunteer community. It’s not their job to translate.
I mean actual translators, paid translators hired by Viki. Who are a mixed bunch, from very good (the one who did Lovers of the Red Sky) to decent/mediocre to downright awful (I’m not giving any names).


#9

Paid translators also have a staff badge.


#10

Yes that’s what, I have seen a subber on my latest project and she is a staff member


#11

I’m a contributor but I have to recognize that it’s annoying sometimes to try to watch a show in my native language and the subs are so bad!! but I mean, they have some translations that don’t make sense.
I’m in some editing teams and I have to say that you need to work really hard to get a show with consistent translations and proper grammar, but we try to do it.
I think that the problem is a lot of people trying to fill a “contributions number” and keeping a lot of projects but without a real commitment to the quality of the translations, and at this point, I’m not sure about the process, I mean what to do when you’re watching a really bad translated show that supposed to be closed a long time ago.


#12

Yes, I’ve also seen that, but they are not like regular staff, they are used as needed.


#13

In this case, however, the issue might not subbing, but editing. At least a lot of the cases I’ve seen in the past year or two have editing issues. So I’ve just assumed that in @xylune’s example the show is translated, but not released to OLs.


#14

Yes, I said it’s either the one or the other. Editors going MIA are all too frequent and, since they are very few to begin with, it can halt a drama completely.


#15

Yes, it does. Or it should. There’s a reason why the world is swimming in an ocean of plastic junk. That applies to bad dramas too.


#16

That’s the first time that I feel my quote was completely removed from the context. :sweat_smile: Generally I doubt that quantity and quality have nothing to do with each other. Both are required for professionalism (in my opinion).

The projects I participated in since 2020 were mostly quite alright in terms of quality (except for 1-3). At least two had some formatting issues, and one project from 2012 has really bad subtitles. They often don’t make sense, or there are single “.” everywhere for no reason. However, the worst I usually see in projects from 2020 and later are Korean names switching from RR to whatever and backwards.
I’ve met editor who only do something every month, every two weeks or finish within 10 hours. I can’t say that one is better or worse - speed has no negative influence. I think rather skipping e.g. the TE has a negative impact.

I consider that really important as well. A CM should have an idea of what should and can be done (not referring to something over the top). When I worked as CM I always communicated my expectations first in regard to releases.
I think there’s a lot to consider. The quality, the expectant audience and the situation of the English and the OL teams.

On one hand you often don’t receive many applications for CE, it’s often the same people, but if you do a few projects on Viki you’ll usually learn to “judge” them. How fast and accurate they work, how they react to reported mistakes, whether they’re willing to work together with you etc. Therefore, I consider it important to take a look at your surroundings. :blush:


#17

What can I say, it’s a skill. :sweat_smile: Anyway, please continue doing a good job. :grin:


#18

but what if the cm gives a… about the releases and does not want to hear that something must be changed?


#19

Well… I could only think of one solution.
If the English team is taking too much time, say-- 3 weeks to release a 10-15 minutes long episode or 2 months to release a 60 minutes long episode or a movie, and the CM or CE isn’t doing anything about it (even after OL mods ask about release regularly); the OL mods, which are in favor of an early release of episodes could write to Viki Staff, via a group chat in inbox or through a post in Help Center (I wouldn’t recommend this one though), or through a personal ticket.

It could be harsh on the English team or the CM, but here, OL mods are suffering more. The TCs might be filled with comments like this –
“subtítulos en español,” “Drama X temporada 2 está traducido al español, entonces ¿por qué no Drama X?” “لماذا لا توجد ترجمة عربية”, “perchè non riesco a vedere i sottotitoli in italiano?”

All of us already know how comments on untranslated channels look like. People are not ready to listen that it isn’t their language moderator but the higher-ups who are too busy with real-life (can’t blame them for this) or are too busy with other projects.

I can only say, if work is halted because of real-life, then back out. I let go of a channel when I was on hiatus. Let the people who can complete the job take over. This way, everyone would be happy.

Generally, I go for quality, but if this “quality” comes at the cost of respect and peace of OL teams, then thanks, quantity would suffice me.


#20

I feel like some people are unable to put themselves in the shoes of an OL Mod of a medium to large language community. Some only sub rare languages and never faced any competition or issues. Their sometimes 30 unfinished projects rot away somewhere anyway, so why bother releasing for OL Moderators… They never even were in a situation where 5 to 20 people applied for the same drama. A drama with no release for many weeks or months is still part of your list and therefore can have a negative influence on your application. It’s still a project, even if there’s no work attached to it. At the same time, you’re supposed to keep your team in a good mood, or you have to recruit new people because they might’ve disappeared in the meantime.

Some claim that greed is part of human nature, and I somewhat understand that it’s hard to say “no”. I should say “no” more often as well. But I decided to say “yes” though it was a bad idea I simply try to compensate and work harder to manage. Still, I feel it’s tolerated a lot. Especially by those who share a similar sentiment towards projects in general. :woman_shrugging:

I’m not favoring an incomplete release, either. Wrong names and weird terms as well may have a negative influence on the translation itself. But after editing a presubbed drama twice, it’s usually not considered bad anymore, I guess.