Some Serbian subtitles has low quality

Even though my English is good, it’s sometimes hard for me to read fast while listening to the audio in some other language, so I prefer local subs (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian).

I really do not want to be ungrateful and disrespectful, because someone used their own free time to do something voluntarily, but I really can’t understand some of the translation errors in Serbian subtitles.

Some small errors here and there are expected, but some of those translations have the completely opposite meaning of what was actually said. This is very frustrating since conversations become meaningless and confusing just because of the translator’s mistake. Sometimes you even start to hate a character because of some of those statements.

I am not sure if the problem is their level of understanding of the English language or if they are not literate enough in their own (Serbian) language, or both.

The most common error I noticed is switching the subject and object. I guess some people should learn what is passive and how it is used.

The second problem is the lack of understanding of the negations in the English language. Unlike in English, where double negations are not used, we have those in the Serbian language. Combine this with a previous error and you have a recipe for disaster.

The next very common problem is the use of wrong subject and object pronouns, meant for use with the opposite gender. He instead of she, him instead of her, and vice versa. This continues with verbs since in Serbian verbs can be gender-related.

So I started to do doubt subtitles. When I read something odd I switch to other languages to check what was actually said. After a few of those switches, I usually continue watching with English subtitles.

EDIT: as I already wrote, I do not want to be ungrateful, so I need to clary point out the fact that many of the Serbian subtitles are actually good.


What you should do to fix these kind of things is see who is the Channel Manager and the language moderator of the show you found the mistakes in. You can always send a PM to the language mod and point out the mistakes you found in the project so they can correct it. If the mod is unavailable or unwilling to fix the mistakes, you can always go to the Channel Manger and tell them what is happening so they can find another mod to fix it. Don’t be afraid of being ungrateful or rude, because this is not it, this is simply about the quality of the subs and how well you, a native, can understand them. If neither the CM or the MOD fix the mistakes, report it to Viki.

Unfortunately sometimes the mod can be an abuser and it’s using google translate or some sort of auto translate to sub the project and the CM doesn’t know because they can’t understand the language.


Those things happen unfortunately. It’s impossible for Viki to make sure all subs in every language you can sub into are of good quality. And it’s impossible for CM’s too because they don’t know all the languages in the world and can only hope they selected a good moderator for a language. Some languages have the quality in check but for others the community is little or almost none so there is no way to figure out if mod A or B is good. And if subber C. really knows English and the language they sub into well enough to make good quality subs. There isn’t much CM’s can do the options are limited. Yes it’s good to pm the CM about it so they know but don’t expect them to fix the issue if you cannot help out solving the issue.

If you see this happening you can do 2 things:

  1. Offer your help and make good quality subs.
  2. If you suspect the subs are bad because someone uses an online translator and simply copy pastes. Check if that’s the case, collect all the proof you found and report to Viki. Let the CM know and tell them you reported the issue.
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This is the point SOME people here refuse to see, and that is they need to find a way to stop these types of abusers affecting the quality of the subtitles BEFORE it starts happening. There is no need for anyone to have to report a bad subber since a MODERATOR in the serbian language should know better BEFORE adding a person into their TEAM (whatever language it may be).

ALL stream services have the responsibility to maintain quality in their subtitles, and they can do this by creating new ways to track/ study these unscrupulous subbers with no conscience that in my opinion want to discredit and affect the good quality RVIKI has been carrying for many years, but lately has gone into such a STEEP decline.

As a viewer once I see subtitles that makes no sense to me, now I DROP the drama because ONE: no matter how many messages I send to whomever I send it too, they ‘‘flush it down the toilet’’ and ignored it, and continue to allow the subber in question write bad subs after bad subs.

Why act all offended when all we are trying to do is to let the higher ups (since SOME team members/staff ignores what we report) so they solve this problem that is getting at this point out of hand. How many paying subscriber anyone here thinks will stay paying for something that makes no sense to them? All it takes for the good quality volunteers in that language to take a look, and report the situation. If they need to get rid of the bad quality subber do it, and don’t say the editors will take care of that bc we all know it Can’t happen! Editing is 7 times the added work so is best to get rid of them, then to keep them, and not be able to clean their mess.

If you see this happening you can do 2 things: 1. Offer your help and make good quality subs.

NO ONE needs to become a subber, if they want good quality subtitles. Especially, if they are a paying subscriber. When we pay for something we deserve to get quality service. You know that better than anyone here that have been here for many, many years.

Viki Pass Plus • Joined July 28, 2020 • Male

Everyone deserves here the best quality possible, and we have the resources to do so, if only we put a bit more effort in that Department. ESPECIALLY not adding volunteers that are not capable of giving Good Quality Subtitles. We had this GOOD QUALITY in the past, we can have it now too with a bit more effort and team work.


As a Croatian subber I know exactly what you mean. And I can assure you, those subs are almost certainly from Google Translate. And there are hundreds of thousands of them. Using GT is not allowed, and a few of these people have been reported. But Viki doesn’t do anything to stop them.

As for correcting them, that would be so incredibly annoying, that no one wants to do it. Best would be to delete them and start anew.


It wouldn’t be fair for you that for years have been giving good quality Croatian subtitles in here, to be fixing the mess someone else makes, and to make matters worse, they’ll get contribution count, on account of all the hard work you’ll do by editing those bad subtitles (you or any other great Croatian language subber for that matter). It only takes a few sentence for anyone to notice a GT/Bad subber, in any given language. In my native language [Spanish] I can spot them right away.

What’s weird that some of them can mask they are really good sometimes, but in the long run they get lazy and leave their guard down, and that’s when ‘‘we’’ can catch them.

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As a Croatian translator I can’t do anything with Serbian subtitles, I don’t feel myself 100% fluent enough to correct Serbian. But my fellow Serbian translators have lots to say about this issue. We have all plucked our hair out trying to correct that type of a mess, in both Serbian and Croatian.

Funny thing is, my Mom, who doesn’t speak English, threw her tablet in frustration one day, watching bad subs. So I feel sorry for all the viewers who don’t have a choice but to watch in our Balkan languages. And not only because the quality is sometimes bad (mostly good). But also, because we are so few in translators in total among all these languages, that we don’t get to translate many shows.

This is the curse of any small language (language with few volunteers) on Viki - even the less competent volunteers gain their own projects as Moderators, and there is no one to oversee their quality.



I don’t know why I thought you knew both. But I see although there is a possibility you can understand Serbian on a basic level, it’s a different dialect with totally different grammar usage, syntax and many other stuff.

It is very frustrating when one is eager to watch a drama/movie in a certain language, and the reader/viewer can’t make sense of the subtitles…:anguished:


@angelight313_168 you know very well that people do not pay for subtitles so don’t talk rubbish.


I am willing to report the bad subs as soon as I notice them, and even correct them if I have enough free time, but I was not sure what is the best way to do it in case of old ended shows. I will PM the moderators when I notice something like this in the future.

Auto-translate can easily be spotted by anyone. Errors that I am talking about are more sophisticated and sometimes very hard to notice for a casual viewer and even for a moderator for that language if they do not closely check the translation. The overall translation is not bad, the grammar is mostly correct, but some things are completely wrong.

In some cases, translation is grammatically absolutely fine, and even if you check and compare it with English, translation is still good, but as soon as you watch it, you will notice the problem.

For example, watching “Kangchi, the Beginning” with Serbian subs will give you a completely wrong point of view. With both English and Croatian subs, viewers clearly know that in the beginning, Kang Chi thinks that Yeo Wool is a man, but when they watch it with Serbian subs, they will think that he knows she is a girl from the start.

This one was actually the reason I started this discussion.

As I described, those errors are not easy to spot, unless you actually watch the content with those subs.

I just partially agree. Yes, I am the paying customer, but the main reason for that is to be able to watch Plus content. I also have a Netflix subscription, but even there I need to watch most of the content with English subs, since only a small amount of titles have Croatian subs.

I would like to have better subs, but I am fully aware of the situation that @bozoli described (not enough good translators for ex-YU languages willing to do things for free).

Even though Serbian and Croatian were actually one language before (Serbo-Croatian), there are a lot of differences. The closest comparison I can make is the difference between American and UK English, but with many additional grammatical differences which only complicate things. So, yes, we can perfectly understand each other in most cases, but it’s not easy to properly write in the other language.

After you read my comment above, you will clearly understand that this lady (@bozoli) respects the viewers and does not want to make some unintentional mistakes.



I’ll only believe that when the CEO/Manager of RakutenViki puts it down here in writing, and I really mean the CEO or manager, so I won’t read any articles or links.

excerpt from Rakutenviki article.
The audience for a particular movie or TV show on Viki is typically not just people who speak the language it was shot in. The reason: A robust community of 200,000 users who actively translate movies and TV shows on the platform into more than 200 different languages. “There are some users who literally spend 40 hours a week or more subtitling on the site,” said CEO Tammy Nam. (2015).


I remember that very well and it bothered me a lot in that drama but as much as I complained they never fixed that. I have also encountered that same situation many times before, and found out some of this things can also be related to the Korean translation itself (Original translation to English). When OL translate into their language, they are not aware of these mistakes because some subbers choose not to get acquainted with the drama’s story. Something that should be emphasized by all the moderators, but is never mandated, and that’s a plus when we are translating into any given language. They don’t need to watch the whole episode since we have many places we can find a recap of the episode, and even the whole story.

I have also noticed that a good portion of OL subbers work through BULK TRANSLATION some of them, for two main reasons; to have access to the suggested subtitle (bot) or they want to avoid watching the drama, and work much faster so they can jump to their next project. Although a lot of people here want to say the use of ‘‘bot’’ is prohibited and they *don’t use it, I actually have screenshot of the bot being available when we sub through the BULK TRANSLATION. I am talking only about English to Spanish. If it does happen in any other language I have no idea about that.

Another issue and a good example I can give you: I was working on a show that the English sentence didn’t matched what the person was saying in Spanish, and as anyone should know, this constitute a copyright infringement because by LAW no one is suppose to change things that comes from the mouth of the speaker (better explained the original author). Some of the things translated were completely off to a great level, but they ignored me completely so I refuse to work anymore in that show because I will not risk breaking a law since I know what I will write in Spanish will match the wrong sentence added in English. I will also be comitting the crime of copyright infringement that protects the original author.

Besides, if you translate something wrong you are depraving the viewer to enjoy the drama as the original writer intended. The best example is yourself it’s obvious this mistake in translation took away the whole meaning the writer intended when she/he wanted the character to stay as male at the beginning of the drama, and as it went along the truth was discovered as ‘‘he’’ really being a Girl. The magic in the story was trampled over, and in the process they destroy the real enjoyment for yourself and the many viewers that encounter this wrong translation In English, Serbian or any OL for that matter.

PS. Another fun fact we have many countries that speak Spanish, and I myself have a hard time understanding them because some use different words that in my Island we don’t use. Some of these words are even offending/curse in my language while in certain countries it’s just a regular word.

I can give you one funny example.

Some countries use BICHO to refer as to an insect. But Bicho to us in my Island, is a disrespectful word to say so openly like that because it refers to the men’s private part. When I was young I was horrified to hear that word by my Ecuadorian friend, and it took me a while to hear this word without running away in shame, and feeling offended over it.

PS. I’m in my 60’s, and that word and many other words, still make me uncomfortable when I have to hear them from my friends, and I think they get a kick out of seeing my face change when they say certain words. lol

By the way what threw me off from your original intention on the subject was mainly your… heading in your topic

Some Serbian subtitles has low quality

In regards to “Kangchi, the Beginning” I think it was more a mistranslation/wrong translation in the sentence because in this case the subber/translator in the Korean language should have written HE all the time, when describing the (female) character, until it was intentionally recognized as Female by the Original writer (author) in the written story. These incident is right out a copyright infringement, and should be corrected as soon as possible.


Unfortunately, this is not the only problem with those subtitles. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many sentences start with lowercase instead of a capital letter, there are many double spaces, and grammar is not always 100% accurate. Those are all clear indications of an inexperienced translator. So, the subject applies. Those are low-quality Serbian subtitles even though they are not auto-translated.

The original English translation is proper. Everything is clear without any doubt. The same applies to Croatian translation made from that one. Unfortunately, the Serbian translator obviously intentionally changed the gender because the character is played by a female actor.

I am not a translator by profession but I made a lot of translations in the last 20 years. I translated user interfaces and manuals for different devices and software.

Even though I didn’t do many subtitles (only one documentary), I think I have more than enough experience in translation to give some advice to people who want to translate well.

People need to understand that you can’t always translate everything as it is said or written, because sometimes the literal translation is meaningless or not good enough.

For example, do not translate an idiom if there is a “domestic” idiom used in the same situation. Just use the one people are used to. This does not apply to most Chinese idioms, since those are very specific and need to be explained instead.

Do not be afraid to switch the order of words, because with a different order things might sound much more logical and natural to people who read your translation. The same applies to passive. Do not be afraid to switch from passive to active and vice versa, since passive is less used in some languages (Serbian, Croatian…) than in English.

Do not be afraid to add or remove some words, since the structure of your language might be different than English.

Learn how negations work in English, especially if your language can have more than one negation in a sentence (this mostly applies to some Serbian translators).


how can some people get that much time to write thaaat long paragraphs here?
i am dying to have free time and even if i have i will spend it else where than discussing about some topics here and waste my time unnecessarily.
please god…
give me some free time…

this post is for god to see


so, in this article they are saying that, watch if the subs are available or you contribute.
if not just watch it raw hhahahahaah

I agree, and I hope you can work as a Serbian Language volunteer since you would bring so much quality to those subtitles/translations.

I bet most Serbian volunteers are not aware of the rules of grammar of not using double negative in an English sentence. It would be nice to keep this in your notes if you become a Moderator you can add notes to your team members.
excerpt from Effective writings

Are double negatives allowed in English?

Double negatives are two negative words used in the same sentence. Using two negatives usually turns the thought or sentence into a positive one. Double negatives are generally discouraged in English because they are considered to be poor grammar and they can be confusing.

In Spanish, we can also use double negative in a sentence, but when I translate from English to Spanish I always follow the English rules since double negative in any sentence contradict itself, making it a sentence that can’t be so easily understood, and can be considered by most grammatically incorrect (which in my opinion it is). If viewers have a hard time understanding a subtitle, that makes them less likely to fully enjoy watching the drama.


Some people can write LONG paragraph because they don’t need to be searching in translation tools to make sense when they write stuff NOR they need to keep checking their spelling because they don’t know how to spell English words.

i agree with this.

@angelight313_168 Instead of being rude and criticizing those that have the ability to communicate well through their writing, you should praise them more, and maybe you would have more time in your HAND if you knew how to manage your time; like not wanting to be up in people’s business, and just DO YOUR OWN THING.

with my post above i guess i haven’t poked my nose in anyone’s business…

@angelight313_168 Personally, you don’t have much time in your hands because you have to bust yourself to finish your projects on a decent time schedule.

yes, i do finish my projects on time

@angelight313_168 I never forget how you offended @irmar over a trivial stuff she wrote, and I was so shocked/appalled in your lack of sensitiveness towards her simple/normal comment. I SUGGEST you bark in another tree since the subject is too big for you to understand.

if you hadn’t mentioned her name and the issue, i would not dare to reply/ react to your post, you surely know how to provoke others. and that thing happened between me and irene, it has nothing to do with you…, it was just a mere misunderstanding and it got settled between us and we talked later too on several topics and we even worked together and i am not a person who bear grudges. and i don’t think that i need to explain you that issue.

@angelight313_168 I SUGGEST you bark in another tree since the subject is too big for you to understand.

can you explain this, i am not a pro in english and google did not tell me which one you are referring to.

@angelight313_168 Your rudeness is greater because I bet if this was related to your native language

are rudeness and language siblings? :joy: and may i know why did you react, i did not mention your name and there are many people who write long paragraphs, i can tag them but i will not disturb others like you by tagging them.

@angelight313_168 HINDI? maybe you would be all for it.

did you consider that hindi speaking people are rude?
FYI i am a telugu speaker

@angelight313_168 Talking about self-centerd people…you surely cut the cake.

i dont think i am self centered as i dont point my fingers towards others like you

@angelight313_168 Goggle it or ask @shraddhasingh not only she’s intelligent, but very cultured and has manners when posting things even when she disagrees with the subject.

i dont think i need to learn manners from others, i know myself and i am not here to impress you
shraddha and i are friends and we are pros in our languages. dont try to drive a wedge

@angelight313_168 There’s a saying: ‘‘He who laughs last, laughs better.’’

what are you trying to imply by this?

@angelight313_168 > Please, invest some of your terribly busy time, and do your capital [I] not those teeny winney [i] it doesn’t take much time, and it looks so much better. It will also show how smart you really are. Thanks.

you are the first person on viki who judged me by my level of english, and previously you even offended me by that… and i just behaved like i did take it lightly, but i felt very bad and from that day i avoided you as much as i can.

english is just a language for communication, i never told anyone that i am a pro in english and why did you delete your post?
and i am not smart so i wont correct my “i” and its my wish.

i guess you misunderstood me here.
i implied that this post is not targeted towards anyone.
and i dont know why you reacted…

and today is a record that out of all the posts i wrote in the forum, this is the longest…
and i am not here to impress anyone

PS: sorry for the late reply

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I think this is a nice help center page as well.
Feel free to ask for subtitles, but we won’t guarantee they’ll be added :grimacing:

As for the CEO, I think they’ve got better things to do than answering some message in Viki Discussions

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