Project number limit for subbers too

We all know, and have discussed it at length in the past, about the project number limit for moderators and channel managers. But what about subbers?
Turns out Viki has a rule for subbers too.
Here’s what the article says:

Position Requirements

  • Gold QC Gold QC Contributors should not work on more than 5 on-air Channels at the same time as a subtitler, regardless of the channel being considered on-air or library.
  • QC QC Contributors should not work on more than 3 on-air Channels at the same time as a subtitler, regardless of the channel being considered on-air or library.
  • QC Trainee QC Trainee Contributors should not work on more than 1 on-air Channel at the same time as a subtitler, regardless of the channel being considered on-air or library.

First of all, it’s very confusingly worded. X channels (5, 3 or 1) just on-air, or counting “library” (= completed) channels? It says two things on the same line, so please make up your mind, which is it?

Secondly, and most importantly, whereas for moderators it’s enforced automatically, and you can see on your dashboard your number of projects, and after the set number you cannot be added, here, for subtitlers, it’s not!
I know MANY subbers in the Italian community who have more than 10-15, in some cases more than 20 projects at the same time. To the point that they need a calendar to keep track of the deadline for each.
I know such people in other communities as well. I won’t say names, but I’m sure we all know at least one such example.

OF COURSE they don’t watch the drama, so they have no idea of who the characters are, and the evolution of their relationships
OF COURSE they submit the translation at the very last minute of the deadline
OF COURSE their part will have many errors (even if they are otherwise very good), both because of lack of knowledge of the story and because typically there will be no time to thoroughly look over and polish their translation.

Viki, why don’t you put a counter, as you do for moderators, so that the rule that you yourself put is enforced, and no one can add such subbers if they exceed the limit?
(And please write the rule more clearly so that we know what the limit really is)

About the rule itself.
Some people will say “If someone has plenty of free time, this is their only hobby, and they can translate many hours for many days of the week, why not let them do it?”

  1. Because those people are the exception. I know there are some in this community, and I also know personally some of them. But you cannot make a rule based on exceptions.The same was true for moderators. There are some people who would have the time for more than 5 projects, still they have to comply to the general rule. Unfortunately it’s like this. The rule has to be for everybody, so you just count the more usual situations.
  2. Because if you have too many, it’s difficult to keep track. Yes, a person with limited mobility who rarely leaves the house, a pensioner without kids who lives alone can easily find the time to translate many episode parts every day. But it’s more difficult to find the time to watch all the episodes of your projects. You’d have to literally be on Viki all day, which is not the healthiest thing to encourage.
    And in my opinion watching the whole drama/film is essential. You cannot just jump in, without knowing anything, and produce a decent translation.
    That’s the very reason why, back in 2016, we were so opposed to those bubble things which allowed casual viewers to provide a spot translation of a single subtitle (old-timers will remember it), and we were so happy when Viki got rid of this feature.

I’ve caught some of my Italian subbers recently doing this. And, heck, it wasn’t even a drama, it was a freaking 2-hour film, how difficult it is to find two hours to watch it? Their parts mentioned “the director” without showing the person. If you had seen the previous parts of the film, you would have known that the director was a woman. But those two subbers wrote everything in the masculine (in Italian you have to choose a gender for the adjectives, possessive pronouns and past participle). Obviously they hadn’t taken the trouble to watch it, as I had specifically asked everybody to, when doing the recruitment. They had said “yes, yes, of course” and then they didn’t (there were other tell-tale signs too).

Shall I ask those people again to be on my teams? I will let you guess the answer.


A counter will be a good thing actually!!

As my preferences, I prefer working in 1 to 2 projects at a time, 3 to four is a maximum for me! I love watching what I have done! I am intending of doing so after finishing the projects I have.

Over 5 projects is too much for anyone!

This will make the subbers focus on what they have!

But 1 project for the trainee is a bit little quantity!

When I was a trainee sometimes I have to stop for days waiting for the mod to review my work, working in two projects with 2 different mods helped me in so many levels!

So I guess 2 for trainee , and 5 for the QCs will be fair enough!


Because I belong to a small language, I don’t have a feeling of how big of an issue this is.

But I’d just like to add that if you are a golden QC, you are in s position to be a:

  1. Moderator on 5 projects
  2. Editor on 5 projects
  3. Subtitler on 5 projects

Aren’t 15 active projects good enough number for 99,9% of this community?

Precisely because of this, working on only one project is perfect! Imagine if a QC Trainee with less than 1000 subs goes into three different projects with three different moderators making the same mistakes. Is this overall productive for your language community? Not so much. Each of those Moderators will have to spend their time to give you the same feedback :sweat_smile:

Becoming a Gold QC is not a race, but a journey. You have to take your time to understand the feedback you’ve been given and to adopt it in practice. Sometimes your Mod might have to repeat something important three times before the trainee fully understands it.


I didn’t say that it should be unlimited, but I think 2 is a good number to start!

Different mod = different style = Different experience

In addition to that not every language mod is perfect in the sub field or the training field

The learning process is a continuous process

The subbing itself is not hard to pickup with, if someone as bad as to do the same mistake with three different mods and never learn from his mistake, will never learn!

Actully, I think every language mod must review the first 1, to 2 parts for any new member join the team as a subtitler, even if the member was gold QC, before letting them continue in their own pace. To ensure they are following what he/she wants and to give them feedback if they are doing as expected or they have something to keep an eye for! And even say bye to them if they are soo bad :speak_no_evil: that will make the editing process much easer!

At the end 1 or 2 or 10, without a counter like what they do with mod role, they can’t enforce the role

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I think that one or two projects is perfect when starting with subtitles because it takes time to understand it. When I started I was waiting for a sensei in the academy (learning segmenting) and wanted something whilst waiting and didn’t want something that had to be done quickly. Today I’m a OL and I ask anyone that contacts me to watch the videos and read the rules before I let anyone in on my projects, I don’t want to add someone that doesn’t really have an understanding how things work here on viki.
So putting a regulated limit for everyone sounds good.


That is my point. A person isn’t bad if they make the same mistake in three different projects, working on the projects at the same time. They just have not been told by anyone yet because they didn’t get any feedback yet. To avoid that, a QC trainee really only needs one project at the time. And I very much agree with the project limits already set.

I limit newbies’ contribution pace very heavily at first. They are allowed to translate only one part the first time. If they’re good enough, they can translate 2 parts next time. If not, they will have only one part available and will have to wait for my feedback. The maximum they are allowed to translate in one go is one episode. Why? Because if they come across a new term, name or form of addressing and they choose wrongly, I don’t want to edit 62 wrong instances of the same error.


Something just came to my mind!

Finding a first project actually is not as easy as we make it sound.

Newbies struggle sometimes for weeks to find a project to work with, so the tempting to say no to any offer is almost zero to anyone and many as me didn’t know about the limit of projects.

Plus as a small community, that is already struggling with the lack of subbers out-there, any interested person will be a gift! :speak_no_evil:

Doing a project all alone is overwhelming and time consuming, now I prefer to welcome newbies and teach them, hopefully that they will stay around and may be they could help me in other projects I have, and perhaps building a good team to take over projects and finish it quickly one project at a time :ok_hand:t2:

Surely! It is beneficial to work with different people and get exposed to different requests and styles. This makes you more flexible too.
But what we’re saying is, not all three at the same time. You actually learn more slowly that way, because you haven’t reaped all the benefits of one before passing to the other. I saw the benefits in segmenting school, where you get exposed to different senseis in turn (they sometimes had different opinions on small details, some had a liking for slightly longer segments, some the opposite), and this variety was eye-opening.
It will also be confusing for a complete newbie if the moderators/editors of the two or more different projects done contemporarily have vastly different opinions for things like where to capitalize and where to use square brackets (or not use them at all) and other things.
One example among many: I don’t allow American words unless they’re said in English in the video or there’s really no equivalent in my language (strangely enough, Italian has no local equivalent for the word computer or computer mouse). So no “wow”, no “hey”, no “okay” etc. Other moderators/editors have zero problem with this, the issue is not important to them at all. Or they capitalize all job titles, and also Mother, Father, which in Italian is never done, it’s ridiculous. Subbers who have mainly worked with those other moderators frequently write these things out of habit, and it’s a bother to correct them every single time.
Although I give them the guidelines, how many really read them? Let’s be real! And even if they do, it’s human to forget.
Yes, I know that us editors having differing opinions about stuff makes life difficult for subbers. But 1) it can’t be helped and 2) it’s a good mental exercise in adaptability. After all, exactly the same thing happens in professional translating for different publishers.


I completely agree with everything you said.

Another huge problem is the abandonment of projects:

  • Subbers: We all know subbers that have ‘‘abandoned’’ a project. They seem to be willing to work on a series and when they join the team, they do zero work and they simultaneously start working on other projects. That creates huge problems in a team especially in small communities and in less popular projects that not many people are willing to work on.
  • Mods or editors: Imo the subbers need to be fully informed of some things like the number of subbers and if they can ask for help from the mod any time, especially if they are new and are not sure how the site works. If the mod takes a project, promises to help and then gets completely inactive, then it is a pity for the subber to have to take all the responsibility for a project, especially when it is a big one and there was help promised.

I would like to add something else that I consider a huge problem and I am talking about the fact that in smaller language communities one person may have many roles in a project (for example they may be the editor and simultaneously the mod or sole subber -or both-).

That creates many problems:

  • No deadlines: If the CM doesn’t provide a deadline (that they don’t most of the times), a contributor can end up with many projects that they may finish even a year later and there is nothing to stop that…
  • Zero editing: Just because the editor is the sole subber and there is no mod (or they were the mods themselves and they finished with subtitling just to free a slot) Viki ends up with tons of unedited projects that will be edited even years later (or not at all).
  • Working alone: Many people are used to working alone and they don’t want to cooperate with others for multiple reasons. It is fine by me if they provide quality subs.
    However, when they have many projects, not only the delay is huge, but there are many subbers (especially newcomers) that can’t really find anything to sub besides some older projects that they probably haven’t watched -or are willing to watch (and I agree that it is essential for someone to have watched a project to work on it)-. Not to even mention that when they are also mods, the moment they free a slot, they tend to get in charge of a new project and leave the previous ones unedited.

One thing is for sure; there needs to be a limit for everyone.


That’s a terrifying idea. Viki should interfere less with the volunteers, not more. CMs and moderators have the responsibility to choose people who are able to do the job. Let them. If they make the wrong choice, it will be a learning moment that will make them better CMs/moderators in the future. And nobody knows better how much the subber can handle than the subber. A fixed counter without any room for exceptions will also filter out useful, capable people. And what about the big communities where a subber should be happy to get half a part per episode? Or the small ones with 1 or a few volunteers? The moderator rule was applied overnight without taking the situations of every single community into account. Do we really want to repeat that scenario?

With that part, I agree. And I can also understand the tendency not to choose people with too many projects. But that should still be a choice, not a restriction with no way around it whatsoever.

Understandably. Yet occasionally, people might surprise you if you give them a second chance on a future occasion.

In reality, though, each of them could only become subber or editor in 5 projects per role if at least 2 others in their community are moderators.

I agree, but many newbies tend to run off to another project if you do that. So maybe we should have that counter only for newbies… :thinking:
Hmm… we might even get a feature that disables NSSA students from being added to a project in their field of study. But we definitely should not obstruct the entire community. Guidelines? Yes. Obstacles? No.

We do have those words in Dutch, but of course they should be spelled the Dutch way: “wauw, hé, oké.” And of course “huh?” should be “hè?” But sadly, most people use the English versions. Well, not if I can help it.

Indeed. And they also just take over the English punctuation.

None, I’m afraid.

But that is a result of the implementation of the moderator rule. People quickly “finish” a current project so that they can apply for a desired new one or even help out when no other person can do the job.

And if they do, some moderators add subbers who might be fast but whose subtitles are total crap, just to meet the deadline. And that’s not only bad for the project itself; it also gives those crappy subbers the chance to become Gold QCs the easy way. And then they become mods themselves and you can imagine the consequences.

This is not necessarily about what they want. Some communities have little to no other volunteers or little to no capable volunteers.


I can’t talk on behalf of any other community aside from the Portuguese/Brazilian community about this. But, as far as I see, this is completely counterproductive. The only one that should have completely knowledge about the plot and really watch the whole series in the one editing the translation. This person is the reasonable to make all the translation in harmony throughout the whole series. Limit the subers to have only a handful of projects and make them watch everything before translation will make even harder to get people to translate. So, as far as Brazilian/Portuguese community goes, this will only make Viki to come up with more pre subed shows. Completely the opposite of what we want.


First of all, like I mentioned in my answer I am mostly talking about a specific problem in smaller communities; contributors getting different roles in one project.

A person that doesn’t take subtitling/editing/moderating etc. seriously will do a bad job whatever the circumstances are.

The restriction imo is a good choice. The thing is that if there is a restriction in only one role it is bound to create problems.

As I mentioned, I am talking specifically about smaller communities where people get multiple roles in a project. In that case there is a huge problem being created when it comes to editing.

When a person is simultaneously the mod and the editor, even if they do a good job and finish translating, most of the times they leave the projects unedited for ages and get new ones. Why? Because there are no restrictions and no pressure from anyone when it comes to editing.

Who will pressure the editor to finish when the mod is also the editor and the sole subber of the series? Who will pressure the editor to finish when they are the only ones doing the translation even if that is not their role? A restriction to the editing would solve lots of problems.

Let’s be honest. That happens regardless of deadlines. A person that doesn’t care about quality will give the viewers bad quality subs just to get the benefits of viki or for whatever other reason.

What I meant is that most of the times CMs don’t provide deadlines to begin with and the projects stay unfinished for months.

And I am not talking about bad quality contributions. The subbers/editors/mods may be great, but what if they have many projects and they have different roles on a channel?

Most of the times (at least in my case) the mod is the one providing a deadline, because they deal with the team and know the capabilities of their contributors.
But again, like I mentioned, what if the mod that is supposed to give the team the deadline is the editor and the sole subber of a project? What if the project simply doesn’t have a mod and the editor is doing all the job?

No one and nothing is pressuring them to edit a project and they just end up staying unfinished for ages, while they keep taking new projects to ‘‘secure’’ their position in a series.

Yes in some languages there are not many contributors and some people may end up working on their own regardless of what they want, but I am not talking about them.

All I am saying is that in smaller communities some people get multiple roles in one project knowing they will work alone or knowing that they won’t accept anyone else in the project, even if they ask.

But that is not the problem in my book. Working alone and doing a relatively fast and quality job is okay. The problem is that there is no restriction in the amount of projects they can take.

They know it beforehand that they will work alone (because they want to or because there is no choice; doesn’t matter). Then what is the point of joining 10 projects at the same time and leaving them unfinished for years, while also joining new ones?

That doesn’t only limit the projects people -especially newcomers- can join, but also leads to a huge delay in their projects -be it in the editing department or not-, because there are just too many for them.

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I really, really don’t agree with this! The absurd mistakes it leads to are many, and it makes editing take twice as long.
(Moreover, here we all start as viewers and lovers of Asian drama. If you’re not interested in a drama enough to watch it, why volunteer to translate it in the first place?)

From what I know, the Brazilian community is - together with the Spanish - the larger OL community on Viki. I often see more than 20 subbers on shows. So it would be the least affected by this, I think?
I was expecting this kind of reply by a representative of the really small communities, not by someone of the Brazilian Portuguese!

Well, now that a moderator cannot have more than 5 unfinished projects, this problem is getting much better.


Your community is different from mine, you don’t have to agree with anything that doesn’t work for your community. But, as for mine, I get more work editing subs when they are presubs from viki and when they release the episodes right after the CS gives the go than when I have a bunch of subbers having more than 10 projects at a time. This has nothing to do with loving drama or not, this has to do with time. We all love dramas, we all watch dramas and we all ask to help on dramas we have passion for, but we have jobs, and we have limited time to do things aside from replying to dozens of messages asking for subs right away, My language is the most pressured to release the ep translated. I accept all the help I can get to have this done. Is my neck on the line when viki decides to just rule off a whole team in order to get faster subs. So, no, I don’t think that limiting and making impositions on people that are willing to help will affect our community in a good way. If this is a problem in your community or other communities, you can start by rejecting requests from people that have over this limit. You don’t need viki to do that. But is not fair to others to go under the same presets when we don’t have the same problem.


Imagine that LoL maybe things are not so clear about the larger and smaller communities after all.


Hmm… Do you mean those Mods who add themselves also as Editors and Subbers? I’ve seen that and never really understood it. It’s not like the CM doesn’t see that they are a one-man team. I think adding yourself into multiple lesser roles within the same project is highly unnecessary and shows me that the volunteer doesn’t really understand how teams and roles work on Viki.

You are still automatically limited by the 5 projects you can hold as a Mod.

The only person who can truly leave a project unfinished is the Mod, seeing as they hold most of the responsibility for completing it. And they are limited to only 5 projects, luckily.

Sometimes there is a general lack of motivation, sometimes you realise the English is horrible only after you’ve already joined the project and you’re almost stuck, sometimes you just need something new to translate etc.

With regards to the quality of editing, there is nothing automatic that can be done from Viki’s side. Only random peer-reviewing (more frequent for newbies) and relying on the integrity of the Mod.


OMG I do that only if I have another members in the team, I thought it is the way to make things more clear about roles of the members! so correct me if I am wrong, The language mod is the top editor, subber, so he can sub and edit after subbers, and edit after editors. the editor can sub and edit other subbers work, and the subber only can sub and edit what they done and can not edit what editors and mods do! and no need to the mod to assign his self as editor or to assign the role of a subber for an editor.

not all of this roles and counters are clear to everyone, as most of us just jump in, so if the CM / mod didn’t point it out to the specific member who have done it wrong, he will carry it on to other projects until it become the norm.

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Correct! :blush:

It does take time to familiarise yourself with the roles and their functions within the team. Which is why slow starts are good starts.

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Viki wants that.

“As Channel Managers of teams, you have to assign yourself in positions on the team that you want to participate in. Example: As a CM, I have to add myself as a Greek Moderator & Greek Subtitler if I plan to hold these positions and participate in these roles.”

They explicitaly stated that here:

So I guess you have to assign yourself mod + editor + subber, if you want to moderate a team, edit subtitles and write new subs

Why? If I am moderator it does not follow automatically that I am an editor, so I usually add myself as an editor as well (not subber though, this is really unnecessary, although I sometimes have to chip in and sub as well, if a subber cannot show up).
So that, when people go to the Team tab and click on editors, they know who is for each language, they know whom to complain about and whom to write to if they see a mistake. Otherwise my language would show as having no editor. Yes, yes, there’s the cover page, but how many people really scroll down to read that - or know of its existence, except for us volunteers?
It’s not a given that the moderator is always the editor as well. In my case it’s always like that. Although I sometimes put a second editor among my best subbers, to have a look at the finished subs to catch things I might have missed.
In the Italian community it’s very frequent there are two editors (editor A who does the basic things and editor B who passes after her for a final look) who are not the moderator. It used to happen much more in the past, where powerful people hoarded moderating jobs even when they had zero time to edit. Now of course, with the beneficial 5-project limit, this is not as prevalent. Nowadays, usually the moderator is one of the two editors. (Whether they do edit or not, or they do it after 8 months or one year, is another pair of sleeves, which has no place on this thread).
In English teams it’s the opposite. I am often General Editor but I also have to be added as moderator (English moderator or All languages moderator in order to be able to change/delete segments if needed) because the Editor role is limited in its “powers”.

As a last note, I believe that in reality the editor is not a “lesser” role than the moderator. Apart from choosing the team (in English teams the editor usually does that as well) and announcing when episodes are released, the moderator doesn’t do that much. As for the Team Notes and/or worksheet and subbing guidelines - it depends on the cases, As I said I always have both roles, so I’m not sure of who does it when they are two different people.
In English teams I do know I’m always the one to do this thankless job of spending half a day to make something that almost nobody except for us editors will ever consult (English subbers are notorious for never reading Team Notes, and paid subbers follow this tradition to a T). The Chief Editor then looks at it and makes any needed changes and that’s it. In English teams, whenever you see someone listed as moderator, you never know whether s/he’s an editor, a page designer or something else.

Incorrect. It vastly varies within communities and within projects.

So you’re saying that the Brazilian volunteer community is not one of the large ones? Whenever I have a project as CM, I am FLOODED by requests for Brazilian Portuguese. Like 10 Brazilians and 10 Spanish for 1 or 2 of each other language. And whenever I go to the Manage section and look at the teams, they always have many more subbers (not as many as the Spanish, but still much more than other languages).
Yes, they also have the most sub-whiners, so I do understand the pressure.

The two are totally unrelated. I of course agree that pre-subs are a curse and make our lives difficult. And if you tell me that the paid subbers are worse than your usual teams, I have to believe your word for it. In English, for instance, it’s not necessarily true, there are some paid subbers who are better, some who are worse, and some who are more or less same. Great variety there. For instance now, in “Love Affairs in the Afternoon”, I can do a full pass of editing pretty quickly, because the paid subber was good. But I get pissed anyway because s/he didn’t bother reading Team Notes and I have to change those things that she disregarded, every single time. All in all, though, I don’t see that awkward, incomprehensible English that some Korean subbers produce.

But it’s not subbers who get those messages and have to reply to them, no? So it doesn’t take up their time. Yours, as a moderator/editor, yes.

Viki did this anyway, so your method, our methods, didn’t help. They took this decision regardless of our efforts to be as quick as we could.

You do know how difficult it is to determine this for each single volunteer, right? On their profile page there’s a list of projects, but it doesn’t say which ones are finished in your language and which are not. You have to go to every single drama and check the episodes for the given language. It takes AGES to do that and here it is appropriate to say what you said, “we also have other stuff to do in our life”!
How nice, how helpful it would be if this kind of info was immediately visible on profile pages?