Should viki's paid subbers be overwriting volunteers

This happened on “Storm Eye” and other C dramas already some time ago :(. I got run over by a paid subber and had to write to an overlord to ask them to rein in their “help”. Not once…but twice in a couple episodes. :frowning: I am not the fastest translator but I was not only in the part but as you were, actively performing it and run over. Also, though I am not fast, few of my words require a revision…and again, with editors in short supply, this too is a consideration? After being run over enough to really convince me it would not change, I went to edit because yes, we were short of what else, EDITORS.

In addition, the threats started some time ago from the overlords to push paid subbers in over the top of everybody as well, they need it “now”. never mind it takes time to put together the information and yes, properly subtitle a drama, the first few episodes in particular on a historical really are critical!

Couple this with the ridiculous idea we should now all PROUDLY BE INTERVIEWED to PROMOTE how lovely it is and make this sham appear LEGITIMATE…as we are forced to edit garbage YES GARBAGE brought in by hapless yoyos who know nothing about the dynastic world and give us “SHUTTLE BUSES”…rather than the IMPERIAL CARRIAGE?

The careless ABUSE OF ENGLISH TEAMS HERE MUST END. The hounding, the hassling, the pressure to go FASTER rather than go with good QUALITY IS ANATHEMA! We barely have volunteers left on ENGLISH AS IT IS. Edit the trash they bring in regularly, with its missing phrases and ridiculous anachronistic nonsense, and feel you have been very stupid to join a team sentenced to this labor, the same suffering as the good segmenters feel when they receive the same choppy, flashy TRASH!

Thank you, Connie, for your post. I am sorry you suffered the disruptive behavior now happening where this company forgets its MANNERS and plows over the work done with love and care.

You were read…even if this is taken down, YOU WERE HEARD.

GeNie of the Lamp
Editor to the Stars…and paid people who can’t sub historical…sigh


last job opening I saw with viki for what I do was in Singapore…good luck with that lol.


THIS exactly! I put up a post here on Discussions about the MODERATION of Team Discussion - and people did not hear what I was saying. This has happened a lot recently and you cannot communicate effectively to work with your team when people can’t read your posts. :frowning:


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Viki was 80% -90% free to watch before the pandemic happened and the subscription fee was only to remove ads which is similar to the free to play game system.

Just after the pandemic happened Viki locked 80-90% of its content behind a paywall for making much money because during pandemic people has nothing offline available for entertainment.
Although Viki is probably quite good in making money since then they never reward (pay) the volunteers. I’m not saying every volunteer might be suitable as a paid translator but there are definately some in every language who are skilled enough to deserve a payment for their work.

Let’s play a mind game: Imagine all OL volunteers stop working for free - how long would Viki exists by then? How many subscriptions would they lose?

Maybe the % of OL subs is so low that it doesn’t matter for them - we don’t know.

Netflix probably needs OL areas besides the USA - otherwise they wouldn’t get a lack of profit since they blocked Russian viewers - and EU in total has more citizens than the USA - and only 60-70 millions of native English speakers while the rest of EU speaks: ~60 mio Italian, ~70 mio French (who are not a fan of other languages and have an institute for protection of French language in public areas), ~90 mio German speakers, ~50 mio Spanish speakers (EU) etc.

Besides lately couple of shows are available not only at Viki but also at other legal platforms at the same time, such as Netflix and official Chinese studio pages. Especially K/J shows are the new favourite genre for Netflix. So why paying for Viki when Netflix has the same shows plus movies plus many other that are also interesting plus either in a synced version or own language subtitled version - right away and not months after the English version is released as it happened on Viki many many times and then as a OL mod you get PMs from viewers asking if a drama will ever be finished or why you abandoned that drama - even on social media some are wondering why - because the average viewer has no clue about how Viki works nor does the average viewer understand why the English subtitles are available very very fast and the OL subtitles are delayed for months or over a year (in some cases).

So when you’re talking about Viki and volunteers who just wanna “play around” it’s very unfair to say they’re not serious in regard of their projects when most OL teams can’t do anything to change that delay issue.


“Volunteering” in my language stands for charity. Working for free for a profit-oriented company is the opposite of that

There are profit-oriented gaming companies that strongely rely on fan created content in a similar way Viki does with OL subs (at the moment). Different to Viki those gaming companies Do Not Treat their content creators like peons, instead they support them! And create possibilities that offer options for fan content creators to make a living out of that.

So why Viki is NOT doing the same?

May it be that a Japanese company thinks it’s “honored” enough working for them?


Perhaps one day Viki will hire OL translators such as yourself, and compensate the volunteers generously, but until then I hope we can all try to find joy in “giving freely, by self-initiated choice, without any expectation of compensation”, the spirit of volunteerism I believe in.


Regarding Japanese, we usually had good paid translators so far and in my Korean project they acknowledged the team notes and adjusted things. I can’t complain about that. On the other hand, people usually praise Viki for their English subs on Chinese dramas since Mango, Iqiyi etc. have rather bad subs compared to us. On the other hand, everyone wants to watch Korean dramas fast and there are other streaming services that provide good (and fast) subs. The debate about idealism and economy is an old one. But so far there hasn’t been a solution, I guess. I don’t know if Viki rather relies on these English subs or the OL subs here, as some services just provide English (or East Asian) subtitles.

Lately, I’ve had another case where an OL subtitler became a Chinese to English translator and copied about 2000 subs from some other streaming service. It’s the most active subtitler of this project so far. Paid subtitlers at least allow Viki in theory to check their references and experience. If they don’t do this, they can be blamed. Still, there’s a lower risk to have very bad/stolen subs. What I consider as not necessary instead are the horrible “bought” subs from Mango TV and so on (especially in movies as well), which just delay everyone’s progress and the viewers hate them as well. Here they could really rather go for paid translators instead of this mess.
However, a balance should keep existing between pre-subbed shows and those without subs. Anyway, the audiences will wait for English subs for some shows, for most OL subs, but probably not for English subs of dramas that aren’t limited to Viki.

They lately ran some similar tests as well. Dunno what happened to those.

In my position as an OL moderator, I just hope for timely releases with a good English editing where my subtitlers and I don’t have to guess if a character with 3 different name spellings is one and the same. :hugs: Still, I hope that we’ll make the most of this coexistence as it doesn’t only offer risks or frustration, but chances as well in my personal opinion.


Viki seems to have more content, though. Sure, the quality is varied and NF may have a higher number of wildly popular shows, but Viki’s content quantity is more - especially when it comes to Chinese dramas.


And the series are NOT right away shown in other languages.
They aren’t even shown if English is selected as the setting.
2125, for example, cannot be seen until today, MLN at least from 06.06.
(regarding NF)


That’s true.

Anyway, recently I prefer movies or shorter series over 40+ episodes long series (mostly bc of reading, not bc of the actors/settings/storyline).


That’s the annoying change Netflix made some time ago when only audio and subtitles of your account are visible even when you add other languages within your profile’s menu.

I asked Netflix about that and they said it’s due to copyright issues (bit silly though bc the account’s language can be changed at any time while the geo-id of a country stays the same unless someone uses VPN).


From your experience, what is the possibility of a seasoned volunteer CM and volunteer Editor accepting and okaying the subs below? I think lower than 3%.


Mind you, these are some of their best quality professional subs of that non-Viki drama (VIP). The quality of the rest is so sub-standard it hurts.


The problem of quality vs quantity (or in this specific aspect the speed vs. the accuracy) is an “eternal” issue here. I encountered different paid subbers - some of them are great and they adhere to the rules, some are aware of their own greatness and they do not listen to any suggestions. as for the quality of subs, I always say that there are as many ways to translate a sentence as many subbers will take a look at it, but many of the historical dramas were really butchered because Viki Team was all for the speedy delivery and not the accuracy of the subbing so they bombed our channels with the helpers that were not helping at all. we have tried multiple times to explain to the overlords that translating a drama does not only mean translating the dialogues but also explaining the background, the idioms, the context of some jokes, etc., but we always lost against the clock.

I totally get the need to deliver subs fast as we have all seen the viewers here who write comments like “I pay so I demand subs right now”, the need of the company to deliver hundreds of episodes in a timely manner and the expectations of the viewers to get all the dramas possible. but I am really sad that the amount of the time that each and every CM, chief editor, segmenter, OL Mods and all subbers spent here for free, honing and embellishing the drama they fell in love with is not cherished and nurtured by the Viki but rather discouraged because someone they hire will make it faster and earn more money for them. the rat race that is currently going on here is not what I and many of my old friends here signed for years ago. it is no wonder that we are slowly and silently bidding this place goodbye.


I think we have close to 2K titles now. That’s pretty hefty compared to 10 years ago.:purple_heart:


Yes but Korean shows are very few. They try padding with more Chinese dramas - and lately a few Japanese - as well as variety and films (of which many are only for rent). Of course we all know the reasons for that, but it’s heartbreaking nevertheless.


Straight from NYSE’s company profile for Rakuten, “Rakuten Group, Inc. offers internet services in Japan and internationally. It operates through three segments: Internet Services, FinTech, and Mobile segments. The Internet Services segment operates Rakuten Ichiba, an internet shopping mall; Rakuten Travel, online travel and reservation website; Rakuten Rewards, a membership-based online cashback site; Rakuten Fashion, a fashion mail order site; Rakuten Books, an online book, CD, and DVD stores; Rakuten 24 daily necessities sales service; Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, an online grocery delivery service; Rakuten Bic, an electronics e-commerce site; Rakuten Rebates, a point-back service; Rakuma, a consumer-to-consumer mobile e-commerce app; Rakuten Super Logistics, a distribution and fulfillment services; Rakuten Drone, Drone/UGV delivery service; Rakuten Gora, an online golf course reservations; and Rakuten Marketing that provides performance marketing services. This segment also offers Rakuten Capital, an investment company; Rakuten Farm, an agricultural service; Rakuten Super English, an English language learning service; and Rakuten AirMap, which provides airspace management services for drones. The FinTech segment provides Rakuten Card services; payment services, including Rakuten Pay; and internet banking financial services, such as Rakuten Bank; Rakuten Securities, an online brokerage services; and Rakuten Life and General Insurance products. The Mobile segment provides Rakuten Mobile, a mobile communications service; Rakuten Communications, a telecommunication service provider; Rakuten Energy that offer electricity and energy-related services and solutions; Rakuten TV, a video distribution service; Rakuten Music, an online music streaming service; Rakuten Ticket, an online ticket store; NBA Rakuten; and Rakuten DX.”

As you can see, Viki is but a small part of Rakuten. Personal feelings aside, I think the general consensus is faster subtitles make most viewers happier. Rat race, capitalism, or whatever else we might want to call it, without consumers, the sad truth is that a business will eventually perish. I, for one, do not want the fate of DF to visit upon Viki.

I do not condone any ill manners. I just want everyone to be open to the idea of co-existing and cooperating through better communication.


I get what you’re saying. Personally I’m not offended by the gradual transformation of Viki as a company. It is predictable. However, you make a good point about communication - that thing which has to go both ways. So, I’d like to just continue a bit on that topic.

If our Community bases its importance in this collaboration it has with Viki on communication, then I would say the Community and Viki are not partners in any way. I could count the occasions when Viki listened to the desperate cries of this Community on the fingers of one hand. And there were ZERO times this Community asked for privileges and received them.

Throughout the years we have been broken in to expect less and less. We delude ourselves thinking that Viki’s decisions, even though sometimes at the benefit of the Community, are not even more beneficial to the company itself.

Viki has Community Managers who, in all honesty are tremendous, lovely people and probably work around the clock. They are the kind face that Viki, the Company, portrays towards us. They are the ears that listen and the mouths that speak. But they are not the brain. And the corporate brain of Viki is naturally thinking how to get as much from others with the least amount of effort. Nothing wrong with that, it’s to be expected.

What I say next might surprise many.

The reason we are getting less and less from Viki, whether being less heard or just having less privileges, is mostly our own fault. Because we stopped demanding from Viki as a whole, global, wonderful Community that we are.

Albeit bigger communities are harder to organise. But it’s not impossible. We are just overworked with Volunteering at Viki to demand anything for ourselves.

And now, to wrap this up in something relevant to this topic.

Dear CMs, a paid Viki translator is just another team member. They are to follow your guidance, not some anonymous orders of some anonymous boss. Saying that you shouldn’t even communicate with paid translators is incredibly disrespectful. Work-wise they are a valuable member to the team. But they are not more valuable than a volunteer who does an equally good job, quite the contrary. So, treat them with respect, but don’t give them any more respect than you would a volunteer.

Demand that the paid translators answer to you, not the other way around. And if you decide to do that, you will have my full support and my time dedicated to this cause.


I absolutely agree with you that communication is a two-way street. As you mentioned, Viki Community Team does try to listen to the volunteers, and do its best with a limited staff. Unfortunately, Viki’s answer to the many issues have been short of satisfying, but like you said, in part because the volunteers themselves often are not sending unified messages. Take for example, the issue of hoarding by some OL moderators. It is true that there had been many complaints regarding the issue, so Viki decided to step in, but since the volunteers failed to present a constructive solution to satisfy all, Viki did what it thought was best. This is why I proposed the idea of forming a council made up of representatives from each volunteer communities (i.e. segmenters, English subbers, English editors, large OLs, small OLs, etc.) to regularly discuss matters of importance with the Viki staff.


Yes, we need a council/union ASAP.


I’d go full-in so Viki pays everyone no matter in which language because only then you’ll see if they are really able to co-exist with professionals on Netflix, Disney+, Amazon etc.

It would also show how “great” and “precise” in cultural aspects Viki subs would be when they’re a professional paid translators streaming service and how many licences they’d buy if they actually have to pay people for working for them.


As years go by, it’s getting harder for me to find the motivation to be a subber. This is not the first time I have heard this kind of story and it’s very disheartening.


To be honest I feel the same

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