Should viki's paid subbers be overwriting volunteers


Viki is not afraid of this, because its volunteers put the joy of their fellow viewers above their own. It’s an occupational hazard of being a volunteer.

It would be a good idea, though.



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Excellently thought out and expressed.

I know how fast our competent subbers are and have verified that they are as fast or faster than professionals with a viki-an who works for a large international agency which provides translation services globally. So I cannot agree that the paid subbers are “fast”. The paid subbers are paid to arrive at a set time and that is something we cannot do to a volunteer. We can’t “fire” volunteers nor can we withhold paychecks for not following a pre-determined schedule.


I don’t think it’s just about the viewers. I think it’s about social bonds within the teams, similar to social bonds within progress guilds in online games.

Even the addictness is similar for some: When a game gets some nerfs that making it harder to achieve certain things, some players quit or stop playing frequently while others play even more although it’s less fun. The same happens here on Viki, certain circumstances are less fair than before, yet some volunteers do even more than before.

It’s about people’s mindset and psychological aspects and the pandemic for sure pushed some volunteers deeper into the addictive part of Viki.


But our competent subbers aren’t on every single show… that’s why I added the clause that we should be able to request them and not have them jump on every show when there is already a team that can handle it.


Could you explain? I don’t know about the Spanish teams.

They have so many subbers that their moderators usually divide one part among a few subbers and then those subbers are in the same part at the same time, each working on their own share of that part.


Yes, this issue needs to be resolved. However, limiting the number of subbers might cause another issue. What if subber stops working, but forgets the screen open and leaves?Then the part will be inaccessible to others. It will cause a problem if the team is trying to meet a deadline. Maybe instead a pop-up message or some kind of warning message can be sent to both parties.


In a way, this article reminds me of how some volunteers might feel, in addition to not getting paid for their work, while this guy actually is paid for his work (by a company) but became desparated by the negative work environments:

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I am not a subber, but was interested in this thread as a viewer for many years. I LOVE YOUR POSTING!! I come here BECAUSE of the awesome subbing by the volunteers. Paid subbers on Nfx are the worst on earth. It’s my thought that Viki is doing this because there is so much whining about subs and they don’t want to hear it. I like your suggestion that the video does not get uploaded until you’ve had time to sub and edit. That’s what a lot of people are used to on other sites, so they expect it here. It would cut down on the sub-whining a lot! I also agree that they need to remove sub-whining from the timed comments. Those are truly irritating to everyone. I cannot express how much I truly, truly love and respect all the wonderful volunteers here. You are all saints to put up with this abuse and still devote your free time for us. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!


Why, thank you! I wasn’t expecting this when I wrote the post.

As I said already, with the current system on Viki it is not possible to withhold subtitles until they are completed. And what counts as completion exactly? Should the episodes be released as soon as the English subtitles are done? Then you might get complainers from other languages claiming English speakers get their subtitles right away, so why do they have to wait?
Or should the system be build in such a way that it only releases the episodes when all languages are finished? Well, imagine the chaos and anger that would bring.

There is no one size fits all for this subtitle problem on Viki. Both volunteers and viewers must be aware of this.

One thing Viki can and should do, is explaining more clearly that the work is done by volunteers and how, because not all volunteer work is the same.
I remember a post from someone who is now a subber. She said that even though she knew the work was done by volunteers, she thought they would go to an office and write their translations for a couple of hours and then go home again.
In reality, we all work from home and might work as short as 2 minutes or as long as 2 hours on a day.


Ever since college, I have always loved those glossy little Japanese rice crackers in different shapes. And when I found out about little candies in edible rice paper . . . how cool are those? Yes, indeed, the top producers in the volunteer community deserve the package you propose.

[I did not know until this very moment that Pop Rocks, which my college roommates and I bought to annoy each other–no, I don’t want to listen to your mouth–is one of Japan’s less obvious gifts to the world.]


(Viki screen cap)

Discofart is watching. We’d better sub right or no Japanese-style cheese nips for us.


This is unbelievable but also inevitable. Viki is driven by $$ like any company and getting subs out quicker means more viewers in their eyes, although the English subs by volunteers are not by any means slow. You do great work by the way, cgwm808. It’s disheartening to see that the time of volunteers are being disregarded and not valued. I’m sure anyone would agree that it’s not an easy endeavor and to do it for free no less. At this rate, I’m sure Viki will start losing a lot of the volunteer subbers or perhaps that may be part of their goal to push out volunteers on the newer, popular dramas. I hope that is not the case and Viki can find a resolution to help their paid subbers and community volunteers to work efficiently together by following rules and etiquette already put in place through the hard work of volunteers.


Which is why we have rules as segmenters and subtitlers. One of my CM’s said no more than 40 min parked in a part!! I try to sign out as soon as possible if I know I’m not going to be there for awhile.

On on-air shows, I think parking is rude because soooo many seggers want to seg. I’m slow so I prefer not to seg. We have some ways of dealing with what you said internally for segging and subbing.


Does that still happen a lot though? That one claims parts and not seg right away?

And I’m all for a snack box as the next QC gift, or extra gifts throughout the year. They don’t even have to send us an actual snackbox if they really don’t want too, would be nice though so you know they really do care. There are many Asian snackbox services with international shipping. They could pair up with one or more of them and give us coupons to order one with free shipping. Kind of like the Yesstyle coupon years ago.


@aziana01, I think that you may have hit on something very troubling for the @vikicommunity . If Viki is actually making enough for Rakuten Viki because (for the moment) Asian dramas are trending HOT (or if Rakuten Viki’s CEO is in some kind of professional pissing match with Netflix’s CEO) then they can afford in some way to use professional subbers and segmenters. I assume (based on what has gone on for some time) they are or will be poorly paid and incredibly browbeaten employees who are desperate for work in order to survive in Korea.

Korea is about the size of Indiana. Living expenses except in the most rural areas are astoundingly burdensome. People who are the primary support of a family for whatever reason will do anything for money because they have to. Every year, the education system dumps out eager job-seekers the way a mother guppy dumps out babies.

We all know this because we are all intelligent, literate, and experienced when it comes to understanding Korean culture WITHOUT being Koreaboos.

Pity the poor PAID subbers and segmenters because they are not being paid what they are worth either. A truly and fairly compensated subber/segmenter is worth 300,000 to 600,000 USD, or 383,834,380 ₩ to 767,668,760 ₩.

However, according to

“An entry level office clerk (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of ₩20,861,702 . On the other end, a senior level office clerk (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of ₩33,115,148.”

Does Viki compensate its PAID subbing and segmenting employees in a manner that recognizes THEIR long hours and various struggles to do well and be adequately rewarded? What do you think?

My view is that, by using and treating PAID employees as badly as it treats Viki volunteers, Viki may be able to go head to head with Netflix, but it does run the risk of alienating and losing a lot of viewers and subscribers.

If people talk trash now on the timed comments, they are surely going to talk trash if underpaid and overworked paid employees cannot keep up with all the prep work of providing subs and pre-subs in English before they are translated into other languages for “niche viewing markets.”

If those employees DO somehow manage to keep up with the English-language work, then where will Viki find paid employees to do subs in all the other languages of Asian drama fans?

(Viki screen cap)

Devoted volunteer members of the @vikicommunity who have proven their worth over and over have every right to be annoyed that materialistic money sources are interfering with their work.

They have every reason to be unhappy that their loyalty and love are being disrespected.

But in the end, it’s important to remember that, however things fall out, Viki volunteers are the among the brightest and best at what they do. And volunteers DO have the freedom, as opposed to paid employees, to walk away from dysfunction.

If there is another streaming platform out there that is hungry for volunteers–and these days there has to be–we can go there and enjoy what we do.

I feel ya, @dlgustnrr. One of my favorite sayings is from Aesop’s Fables: “Slowly but surely wins the race.” I prefer to call how I operate careful, not slow. For good subs, what else is there?

I started out last year thinking that the best way to learn my way around subbing was to start with segmenting since my “other” language of Spanish is not textbook perfect (though I am getting tutoring now).

So I signed up for that then got into pre-subs and then The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog and then After School Club. When I was notified that I had reached the top of the segging wait list, I had just come out of the hospital after a horrible experience with COVID. It was all I could do to watch one episode of anything without crying and falling asleep in the middle of it. (Meds and fatigue and late night Viki watching don’t work well together). So I declined.

Now five months later, I feel remarkable. I can think straight and have energy to do subs, but I’ve realized that I don’t have the patience or fine motor skills to “think inside the box.”

It takes all kinds to make a world. I think it’s only natural that people who are very capable in both segging and subbing would end up taking lead roles in various projects. And I certainly could not work as “just a subber” without people who work as “just a segger.”

However, those who claim to care about volunteers would certainly get a much better product than they have now if they made it easier and more rewarding for ALL volunteers to provide that product.