Problem with size of language community and projects

This is a long post, so I’m sorry, but I’m looking to start a conversation with some other smaller countries and possibly some other Balkan countries because I really want to know if I’m alone in this dilemma or not.

As it is known, by the fairly recently introduced rules, subtitlers cannot be accepted into a team anymore if there is no language moderator for their language. For people living in smaller countries like me, this poses a problem since there is never a language moderator for my language for any show at all. I get the point of the rule is for the community to grow, but it is literally impossible to grow it here since there are very few people in the community and most of the subbers I’ve known are still middle schoolers who just stopped doing it after 10 minutes of an episode and haven’t been active for years now. The only one who I know and is currently active besides me is my best friend, who I introduced to subbing and we do it for fun.

I started subbing on Viki because it was my dream to study translation (which I am doing now) and wanted to work and practice. I do have ongoing projects which I am still working on at the moment.* The problem here is that I can’t get any more projects and even when I eventually finish my current ones, I won’t have work because there’s no one rising up to Language mod. Now, you can call me selfish but I personally don’t want to do it myself since there are 2 options:

  1. The community never grows as it hasn’t until now and I don’t have any work to do since there’s no one I’d work above,
  2. The community miraculously grows and I correct other people’s subs and recruit them.

1 is problematic because I’d have no work, and 2 is problematic because I don’t want to do the correcting work; I came to Viki to practice translating, not correct other people and I love working on my own. But under this new rule, I can only perish or do enough to become an LM myself, with which I most likely won’t get work either. Is anyone else dealing with this dilemma?

(* A user recently saw that I’m working on 3 projects already and doubted that I had time for another one. I do this because I like to switch between different things so I do not get burnt out, and I have significantly more time with the already aired dramas I work on since I know that basically nobody is even interested in even watching them in my language or at all, I’ve purely been doing it to practice my skills, so until I know for sure that there is a demand, I know I can take my sweet time. The reason I wanted to take on an additional one was the fact that I wanted a short little Japanese project along with my current Korean ones since I am now studying Japanese in college and want to work on something even more closely connected to that. I ask for understanding.)


Hello! I understand what you are trying to say, I have exactly the same thing happening to me. I am in the Thai community, but my native language is Spanish I know only two moderators but one of them is inactive since 4-5 months ago and the other one is busy with her own projects, the rest I don’t know more Thai moderators, but thanks to them you can start little by little.

But yes you are right, they don’t trust you if you don’t have “experience” or if there is no one to “control” you as they told me once, I would like to be OL moderator of thai but it is very difficult to get moderators for these small communities, they also told me that I work more in spanish than in thai, and that’s why they can’t do anything or tell me directly that they can’t do anything.


Being a moderator doesn’t mean correcting subtitles. That’s the role of the editors. In my opinion, you can become a moderator as long as you respect the rules and assume your responsibilities:


If your current projects give you enough contributions, you can become a moderator. In situation 1, this means that you work alone, sub whole dramas by yourself, and edit your own work. In situation 2, you work witth subbers who may eventually become moderators, too, and then you can apply to their teams.


So, I don’t really know about your situation. But I can point some things based on your Viki profile and projects.

  1. You already have more than 3,000 contributions, so you can be a moderator yourself, for a maximum of 3 projects at the same time and you don’t necessarily have to correct other people’s subtitles, if you want to be a solo moderator. So, I don’t see the problem.

  2. You are currently a subtitler with no moderator, I think, for all of your current projects, so 5. And none of them is completed. Maybe try completing them, before applying for others as either moderator or subtitler, and one of them, hasn’t been touched for 2 years.



I’m one of very few Croatian Moderators on Viki, and have been so for years. So I understand very well many issues related to small language communities.

There are two reasons for preventing volunteers to work as solo subbers:

  1. To ensure quality of the subs and proper teamwork, and prevent abuse (automatic translation, dot-dot people etc.).
  2. To prevent hoarding projects (people taking more than reasonable number of projects at the same time).

The most important issue here is what about those communities which don’t have ANY active Moderator to take on a newbie volunteer. However, as you’re already contributing, this issue does not affect you.

If I understood correctly, you’d like freedom to take more projects than you already have the right to, in your case 5.

Despite the fact that you do this as an exercise and think nobody is reading Slovenian… Small communities will never receive any feedback on this on Viki, but we organise ourselves on Faceb00k for over a decade. So I can assure you that people from former Yugoslavian countries use any subtitle they remotely understand on Viki (cyrilics being the largest obstacle). Meaning, your translations are not wasted, unless you actually never finish the projects.

You currently have 5 whole projects as a solo subber and all unfinished. It’s important you do finish them.

You say you practice on Viki because you’d like to become a professional translator. Professional translators have to prove that they can finish projects they are given, no matter how tedious they are. So you might want to use this opportunity to prove yourself in that area before you jump into another attractive project.

Part of the job of a professional translator is also to edit someone’s translation. But I do understand that you would not want to do that on Viki. After all, this is your free time you’re investing here.

If you were to finish at least some of your projects, you could easily apply to become a Slovenian Moderator. And many Mods, myself included, sub a lot on our own.


I deginitely plan to, thank you! The untouched projects are me and my best friend’s first ones, we were pretty amateurish and made lots of mistakes, so we are currently trying to locate all of them which is taking a bit longer than we’d like to, but I will definitely complete them since the dramas mean a lot to me :slight_smile: thanks for the input!

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Thank you for the input!

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I have been here since 2012, and so many things (rules) has remained the same way although it doesn’t work the same for everyone. If they only took the time to realize that the best benefits for this site are to translate in as much OL as they can in all popular dramas (that being Korean dramas for example), and making sure all translation in all Episodes are completed in that (rare) language in the drama since not everyone knows the Original language (Korean) and they don’t even know English either.

So in the case of translations from Balkan countries in the language for example [Slovenian] from @masakocevar36_3 instead of leaving her with no choice to work as subber because they have to have a moderator or become one when they can’t, they need to bend those rules and make exceptions like in the case of a rare language for viki site like Slovenian.

Think about it: a viewer that loves K-dramas doesn’t know a drop of English, but knows Slovenian and @masakocevar36_3 provided in this popular drama slovenian subtitles in all 16 Episodes! You better believe that we can add a paying subscriber knowing that popular dramas are being translated in their native language. That would be heaven for the viewer and financial gain for the site since the supply and demand has been met.

I don’t understand why this rule is so universal here NOW, and not meeting exceptions in certain cases when it comes to rare language that deserve the same consideration any OL get to have.

They can assign an ALL Language Moderator (which I see them in dramas a lot) and work with the subber/subbers in the Slovenian language for example; so they can be added in the team. BUT I have one strict condition the subber has to be committed to translate in that language ALL episodes in the drama so we don’t leave the viewers pleading for completion like for example in Slovenian Language. The goal would be: this rare language will provide for viewers a fully completed translated dramas in whatever amount of episodes the drama may have.

I should have done my research first, and find out what language @masakocevar36_3 was talking about and it was Slovenian so I found out that The language of the Balkans are many (traditionally: Romanian, Aromanian, and Megleno-Romanian, all Romance languages; the Slavic languages Bulgarian and Macedonian, as well as southeastern dialects of the former Serbo-Croatian; Greek; and Albanian, with Turkish considered as a marginal element.
@masakocevar36_3 Slovenian subtitles are great! I put them in the GT and the English translation were of very good Quality.

I remember years, years ago, a TAIWANESE drama, and back then, it was very hard to find Taiwanese translators, and I was OBSESSED with this drama, and the last 2 episodes were left with no English translation. I started begging :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: every person that knew taiwanese, but they were all so busy, and finally a great wonderful soul took pity on me and finished translating those two episodes that to this day I bless that person in my prayers because of the kindness it showed by taking her precious time for me, and finishing and giving me closure with the drama’s ending. That was priceless to me. She really made my day.

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Exactly. As long as you’ve made enough contributions, there is no problem.


Ok, I think I understand the problem. The mod of a team is responsible for the team. That’s why they are the ones checking and correcting wrong translations, etc. However, you said that there are very few volunteers in your language. If that is your case, I don’t see why you can’t be a mod who does the subs alone. If you can take the “job” yourself and the community is nearly non-existent, you can be a mod and do the translation. You just need to be an experienced QC on your language and have the slot to be added as a moderator.


She more than qualifies as an experienced QC.
She’s really good in her Language [Slovenian].
I believe she’s facing what I went through once in a project that I worked as Moderator/Editor.
The whole process was too overwhelming, and it was time consuming, and I felt like it drained my life, my brain cells, and my mood in general. I never wanted to work as a Moderator again, and was really happy and willing to be only a subber (Spanish/English in my case).

Do you speak Slovenian?


What process? If there is a shortage of people in her language she’ll be the whole team. The same time she will spend as subber she will spend as mod. That’s my point. She can just ask to be a mod and translate the whole thing alone.

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Exactly; the bulk of the work will be Only for Her to do, and I believe she’s new so it’s a lot of pressure when you have no one to ask question when you have doubts about anything. If she’s lucky, and has several subbers in her team, but their work needs editing that could be too much to have to deal with.

You don’t need to speak Slovenian to know if a person is good or not. Speaking a Language doesn’t prove you are good in that Language. You can know how to speak/communicate a language, and not know how to read or write in that Language.

The reason why I know her work is good

I always do this with other Language I don’t know, and want to see how good their subs are. I put 3 sentence/subtitles in any translation tool, and if the person wrote the subtitle with correct grammar/syntax (correct writing format) the subtitle/sentence when translated into English or Spanish (in my case) will make completely sense.

Unlike a person that’s not good in (any language) and writes a subtitle in a drama when you request translation in let’s say English the whole sentence will sound wrong/weird/difficult to understand. Most sentence/subs won’t make sense, and it will obviously mean the person is claiming to know a Language they are not proficient at all. I have done that method with several other language, and it gives me an idea if the person is good or not when writing subtitles in any OL that I myself don’t know.

In my opinion, this is not a reliable method to use since translation tools are not perfect. For smaller languages especially, the tools can’t translate specific quirks in writing that makes total sense and is correct in the OL but when translated to English (with a translation tool) sounds like utter gibberish. You can use a word that is a homonym in the OL language, and when you translate it with a tool it chooses the “wrong” usage of that word given the context. On the contrary, if your method was reliable, it would mean that people using MT would provide perfect translations… which is not the case.
The only way to truly know if a translation is done justice is to be proficient in both the target and the source language.


I specifically said I put 3 of her Slovenian subtitles in the translation tool, and they made perfect sense in English and SPANISH (my native Language) both came out translated a complete full sentence that made sense with subject verb etc…in the right place.

If you have any doubts of her translation go to her page, do what I did and prove me wrong, but her 3 subs I put in the translation tool made perfect sense to me.
I put one of your subtitles in Swedish
Kom igen! Se till att håll dig vid liv!

Come on! Make sure to stay alive! (this one I would have rather see YOU instead than TO) but it can work both ways. It’s acceptable to me.

¡Vamos! ¡Asegúrate de seguir con vida! (SPANISH) Good too!

So let me explain to you where I’m coming from; One, I like to compliment people when they deserve it. Although I’m not a fan of GT or any kind of translation tool, is HEAVEN to me when I add the OL language in the ‘‘tool’’ and in the language I know (E/S) the subs make perfect sense like hers did, and yours too.

I have done this with other people here that brag about their expertise in a certain language, and when I added their subtitles in any (TT) it informs me the sentence in question is incorrect, and it shows me the correct way it should have been written. I won’t mention the Language because that’s irrelevant here. My point is: we do have some volunteers that say they know a language, and when I added them in any TT/GT, they make no sense at all, and they are useless to read.

BY the way, I never tried to imply quote/unquote: ‘‘your method was reliable,’’
I said:‘’ it was the one I used, and if the person is good in the OL the translation in E/S will make sense, but if the person is not good in that OL than the sub/sentence won’t make sense.

Nothing is foolproof in life, and my method of knowing if the sub is good or not is not 100% perfect, but it has worked for me so far, and that is why I shared that with all of you in here.

a translation is done justice is to be proficient in both the target and the source language

I agree with you on this, and I never encourage anyone to use translation tools for their subtitles. If anything I’m against that 100% and have always voiced my discontent with people who do that here at RViki.

I’m so fascinated with all the different language used all around the world. I understand your viewpoint, and agree with you. I hope you can understand mine too, even if you don’t agree with the method I use. It’s feasible for Moderators that don’t know the OL, and need to know if their subbers in the team are legit in their proficiency they allege they say they are so good at. It worked for me in the past and that’s how I evaluated my subbers in OL since back then there was not much help in that Department.

I don’t want people to Think I’m encouraging the use of translation tools because when it comes to translations it doesn’t work in Any Language. We have to be proficient enough in the language to be able to provide good Quality subtitles/sentence. That’s a Given.

When it comes to Kristelrose translations in Swedish I can tell you that she’s good, and a pure joy to work with. There are some good and some bad translations here on Viki when it comes to the Swedish language.
I think a moderator helping out is a great idea, and I think an experienced moderator should try to help newbies. We are all different and I do understand that not everyone might want to help a new subtitler but isn’t the whole idea about a volunteer community that we want to have the best translations in our own language. And for that to happen we all need to help eachother out.


This is what I mean, it is not fair to judge even a single translation with GT because tools are so unreliable. In my Swedish sentence “dig” indicates “you” which is not shown in the English translation with GT. Although, this sentence is not the perfect example of where subs can go horrible wrong when translated with a tool to English and yet still make complete sense in the OL.

I agree with you that it must be very difficult for CMs to know whether OL subbers are proficient enough to provide quality subtitles. To connect it with the topic OP brought up, it must be even more difficult when it’s a small language and you have very few “established” or “proven” contributors from that language that can vouch for their language skills (though this practice is not without fault either.) But I sincerely hope that GT hasn’t been used by people to determine a subber’s proficiency in subbing if the CM themselves are not familiar with the language, this could lead to a lot of unfair decisions.

I understand the desperation to resort to using GT to check the quality since we can’t know all languages in the world, and it is difficult to find proven and trusted people who know the language, especially if it’s a lesser known one, and who can vouch for the quality.

Also just want to add that I in no way doubt OPs skills in Slovenian, I don’t know the language so I can’t judge it, I’m just simply commenting on your method.