Retrieving my older subtitles

Hi everyone! :smile:

I’m new to Viki, and have just recently started on my first project as a Chinese-English subber. I would love to be able to compare my subtitles before and after the editors do their magic, so that I can learn from my mistakes. Unfortunately, I had failed to realise that Viki only keeps the records of my most recent contributions, and thus, am unable to do the comparisons now, when the episodes have been edited.

I’m guessing that there’s no way for me to obtain them anymore, but I thought to try asking, just in case.

Thank you!


If you are a subber who fills in empty lines in every other part and do not have a part to call your own, and wishes to save your subtitle contributions in the quickest way possible, I have found a method involving Javascript and Python that takes less than 5 minutes per episode. Drop me a PM if you want to learn more!


If you click on “Activities” in the subtitle editor you get a list of everything everyone did on the episode you’re looking at. It says “soyamilkbeancurdpudd created an English subtitle”, but also “… [Moderator] updated an English subtitle from … to …”
In the updates only the moderator’s name is mentioned though, so you have to recognise that it was yours.
You can also ask the moderators what they changed. Some actually tell you that by themselves without you asking, but it depends on the person.


That is, if they didn’t deleted the whole subtitle (but only the CM can do that) as far as I know bc she should be able to see all her subs (non edited on recent contributions).

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I suggest you go to profile page of the editor in the drama or moderator you think edited your subtitles, and you can see the edited version in their page. Edited version can not be seen in our profile page.

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Oh no, you’ve got me wrong. I’m not a returning user. I was referring to the subtitles that are no longer available on my “Recent Contributions” page because they are replaced by newer subtitles that I have contributed. The editors would usually only edit an episode a few days after I have contributed to said episode. By then, the contributions I had made for that episode may have already disappeared on my “Recent Contributions” page.

Thank you for your suggestions though! But I don’t think it’s wise of me to bother the Viki staffs every time I want to learn. :sweat_smile:

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I’ve tried doing that already, but all I see is “[Moderator] created an English subtitle” for everything the editors did, so I’m assuming that it’s a bug that’s reading all edits as a new subtitle instead.

I had thought of that, but I didn’t want to trouble them. :sweat_smile: I’m afraid that they might have changed a lot, since I’m new and inexperienced, and is probably not up to standards yet.

Either way, thank you for your suggestions! :slightly_smiling_face: I suppose I’ll just download the subtitle file right after I have contributed now.


You can easily see what has been changed in the editor if the episode has not yet been locked by the moderator or CM. If it’s already locked, just write to the moderator or CM and ask if they can reopen the episode because you want to see the changes so you can improve.
I hope this will help you.



I know…:smiley: I realized I understood wrong, and tried deleting the first message but it keeps showing up

I never heard before that your subtitle gets deleted from your recent contribution page because it was edited. But I do know the edited subtitle will definitely won’t appear on your page, but on the page of the person who edited your subtitle.

When I was a CM in a drama my editor requested I delete the whole subtitle because the whole sentence/subtitle was wrong, and I would delete the whole sentence/subtitle, and once deleted there is no way you can retrieve the old one ( the one you wrote). That action is permanent. So I’m guessing your entire subtitle was deleted completely?

Your idea of learning/improving translation that way, it’s a great idea! I hope someone here (Rviki staff) can help you out.


What you can do is go to Bulk Translation and copy those subtitles and paste it in a Google spreadsheet(main credits go to piranna for the idea and secondary credits to irmar for also creating one of her own helpful sheets). After the editors are done, you can go back to Bulk translation and copy it again. Paste that into another bar and you can compare the subtitles side by side.



You learn something new here all the time. Thanks, I didn’t know this one.


Not because they’re edited but because they’re not recent anymore. It might have been different in the past, you’ve been around longer, but nowadays there’s only a limited amount of “recent subtitles” on our profiles. Whatever we wrote before still exists in the shows and subtitle editors, but not on our profile anymore. I’ve noticed this on my own profile as well as on others. And the ones I’m not seeing on my profile anymore are not deleted from the shows.


That’s brilliant! I never knew …

Thank you for the suggestion! :smile: I never knew such a feature existed so that’s useful! The episodes are already locked, but I’ll think about dropping the moderator or CM a message. I’m just so afraid of giving them more work to do though, since they’re already so busy!

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I never knew of the Bulk Translation feature! Thank you so much! :smile: It’s much easier to copy lines these way, so I’ll probably do that for the coming episodes since the previous episodes were already edited (and thus, cannot be compared). I can’t believe I failed to notice the “recent” in “recent contributions” (whatever went wrong with my eyes?!). I would have done this earlier if I had known. :disappointed_relieved:



I see…well, I really can’t tell if this happened when I subbed in the past years bc I never paid attention to that. Thankfully, you was able confirm that your subtitles were there in the show/drama you worked in, which is a good thing. I always do/did that, too. When I see/saw a change in my sub I don’t/didn’t agree with, I always contact the moderator/editor, and request an explanation. I just hope she does contact the moderator and get helped with retrieving her older subtitles (if that’s possible now bc with so many changes at this point I have no clue if that’s possible).

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It’s so good to see your keen interest to learn. This is an excellent way to learn what you may have done incorrectly, grammar-wise (post-Eng edits), or how it could have been translated better (post-TE). In fact, I believe this is the best way to learn and improve in both the source and target languages.

I think the least time-consuming way is to download the subtitles as soon as you are done, and download them again post-release to compare both sets. Another step further is to “copy-paste-compare” both sets of subtitles on a google sheet, in two columns.

Btw, I (and likely others) have suggested to Viki (several times) to enable an option to auto-send edited subtitles for contributors who opt in. I still believe this is the best way for every contributor to learn, or to alert (in a civil and respectful way, not to confront or disparage) any editor or moderator of any typo error or any edit that the original/previous contributor disagrees with. After all, we are here to help/learn from one another. Not to lord over or “boss” anyone around, regardless of seniority, whether in one’s role (in the team), or in years of one’s contribution, or in years of one’s age.

I can already see you improving in leaps and bounds in the near future. Way to go! :muscle::+1: Jia You! :clap:


You can ask the Editor to not lock the episode immediately, to leave it open for one day so that you can check.
But if you don’t want to ask that, or if you want to keep a record to revisit now and then, there is only one really good way. Saving your subs before and after, just as helenawang5717_57 suggested above. I’ll show you how.

Preparing a Google sheet for all your Viki projects

Of course, to create and save a Google sheet you have to have a Google account and a Google drive. You can use a sheet created by other people and saved in their own drives, if they enabled editing by whoever has the link, but it’s not yours and you can’t save it on your own drive online.

Create a new Google sheet from here:
I am a moderator and I have one for each project because I don’t only have the subs but all the necessary info for the subbers (Status, character names, OST, terms etc.), but if you’re a subber, one Google sheet for all your projects, one page/tab for every project is plenty.
Rename each tab with the name of the drama (Right click the tab title and then choose “Rename”).
Inside each tab, make two columns for each episode number: one column is Original, the next is Edited.
In the “Original” will go your English before the editing, just after you did it and in the “Edited”, the English after the edits.
See here
The upper row, with the episode numbers, has two cells for each episode, which then I have merged into one, so that each episode has two columns below it. (To do this, you go to Format, choose “Merge cells” and then “Merge horizontally”).
You may also want to give different colour backgrounds to the original and the edited columns OR a different colour for each episode.

Just in case you’re not very comfortable making Google sheets, I’ve prepared one for you. Feel free to save a copy in your drive. I made the access public for anyone with the link, but I will delete it in a short while, after you tell me you’ve copied it.

It’s convenient, instead of preparing the tab for each drama afresh, to make copies of your first, nicely formatted tab, to have several ready for your next projects. To do this, right click on the tab and choose “Duplicate”. Do this several times.
This way all the work you did, merging, choosing font and writing episode numbers, maybe giving colours etc., is done only once, and not again and again with each new drama.
You may want to save this Google sheet on the Bookmarks bar of your browser, for easy access. Just as the Bookmark of the dramas you’re currently working on.

Preparation is over. The next steps are saving your subs, and it only takes a couple of minutes.

Saving your subs
Open a Notepad text document. You know, the simple little program that comes with Windows. That is not really essential but it helps clean up unwanted stuff in case you want to keep the whole episode.

Okay, the moment you have finished your translation, start saving your subs and copying them on the Google sheet. Here is how.

Go to Bulk Editor and make sure that one of the two columns is English (the one you made) and the other is blank (one of the rare languages nobody translates, for instance Afar). Now you have two options.
Option A: You save the whole episode and then you choose the part you made deleting the un-needed parts. For this you do CTRL+A to select all, then you copy-paste (CTRL+C to copy on the Clipboard, CTRL+V to paste) on the Notepad text document, and then clean everything that is unneeded before transferring to the Google sheet.
Option B: You select only the part you made. It makes sense if you only did one part, or even two, out of six. First, while in Editor, note down the minutes where your part starts and ends, and then, on Bulk Editor, select only that part.
selecting%20on%20Bulk%20Editor In this case you don’t need Notepad, you can copy (CTRL+C) on the Clipboard and then paste directly on Google sheets.
But careful! When you want to paste onto Google sheets, you shouldn’t use regular “Paste”, which is CTRL+V. You should use “Paste Special, Values only”.(CTRL+Shift+V). You can also find it by right-clicking, it will appear on the drop-down menu. Choose “Paste Special” and from that choose “Values Only”.
Because if you don’t, you will get the minutes on one row and the subtitle on another one, and in a stupid grey font. You don’t want that!

With the “Paste Special - Values only” you get this. Much better, right?


All of this really takes 2-3 minutes.
Now you can tell your Editor that you have finished translating. Wait until she edits and then go back and do the same, copying on the next column, the edited one. So you will have the two versions side by side.
You may want to repeat the operation once after TE and once after English edit. In which case you will need three columns for each episode. Just make three columns from the beginning, or, on my sheet, select a column, go to the Insert menu and choose “Add column to the right” (or to the left) and remember, in the episode name row, to merge the extra cell with the existing ones. That’s it, very simple.

The beauty of this is that you can copy paste the edited subs even if the episode is locked. Just have the English on the left column, and select as usual.

Make text not overflow but wrap (from the Edit menu), so that the whole subtitle shows without the columns being too wide.

For Other Language Subbers
If other people are reading this, who are Other Language subbers, the process is more or less the same. But
on Bulk Editor, make sure English is on the left and your language on the right. Then in the “Original” column there will be English AND your language.
And in the “Edited” column there will be English AND the edited language.
But this won’t work if the moderator has locked the Episodes, because the subs won’t be side by side.
Therefore it is more convenient to do three columns instead of two: English, Your Language original, Your Language edited. Even if the copy pasting involves one more step.
In Bulk Editor, in the beginning make sure there is only English on the left column (right one blank, use a rare language like Afar) and copy paste that.
Then make sure there is only Your Language on the left column (the right one blank) and copy paste that.
And when the moderator has locked your language, you can still put your language on the left column (and the right one blank), and copy paste that.

Here is an example of a show where there were two Italian editors.

More resources on using Google sheets:
Paste options in MS Excel (they are the same in Google sheets)
Getting started with Google sheets. Good basic tutorial with screenshots.
Tutorial from Google.
Google sheets shortcuts
Spreadsheet Class. Useful tips and tricks.


Wow! Thank you so much for taking your time to write this out. It’s really detailed! I really appreciate it! :grinning:

I’ve already made a copy of the “Viki Projects” Google sheets. Once again, thank you!

I have started doing this for a few episodes of the drama I’m working on and it works very well! However, this is a currently airing drama, and since I’m usually the last few to go in due to time difference, most of the parts are at least 50% or more. Therefore, my contributions are usually all over the place as I try to finish up the remaining percentages of as many parts as possible. Thus, it takes me longer to copy and paste the lines, as I would need to refer to the “Activities” tab to check which lines I have subbed. I’m still trying to think of the least time-consuming way to go about doing this, since I have around 200+ lines of contribution in one of the newer episodes, but this method is the best so far.

I hope that anyone who stumbles across this thread will find this as useful as I did!

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Thank you so much for your encouraging words! :grin:

I believe I have still much to learn for English and Chinese, and I would love to improve in them through what I love best - dramas! I had actually wanted to compare the original Chinese captions, my subs, and the edited subs, but that’d be way too much work for me to put together. If there were Chinese captions for the drama, I might actually consider putting in the effort.


Then just copy the whole thing, no? If you don’t remember which ones are yours, you can also check the corrections done on other subbers’ work, which is also useful anyway.

To select the whole episode, go with CTRL+A and then copy the whole thing to Notepad, then eliminate the useless stuff at the beginning and end before copy-pasting to the Google sheets.
Once it’s there, IF you remember which parts you did, you can give them a special colour, but frankly I wouldn’t bother doing this.