Subtitle upload practice

I understand where you are coming from. All other sites will release the content only when the subtitles are already there. But those sites have paid translators who are on strict deadline to complete the subtitles as soon as the show is available before releasing to the general public. But Viki’s model is different. I’m not going to get into why Viki doesn’t follow other sites and pay the translators. There are tons of other threads and discussions about that. But no matter what, nothing will ever make everyone happy.

Viki pays for for the license to stream these shows, with or without subtitles. Users pay for Viki for contents without any ads, not for subtitles. So they have the right to watch it even before subtitles are completed.

Some people are bilingual and do not need the subs to watch. Others are learning the language and have partial knowledge of the language, and they like watching even when the sub isn’t complete, so they can practice (or test themselves), and then they re-watch it with the subs later to check their progress.

Some shows that are not as popular take weeks and months and even years for the subtitles to be completed, and some others are never even completed. So then should these show never be released even though Viki bought the license to show them? (No need to answer. It’s just a rhetorical question. :wink: )


I am glad that we have a friendly and open discussion of this topic. Because Viki has its constraints, I agree that there will always complaints no matter what.

I did notice certain shows do not have subtitle team listed. For examples, My Teen Girl (on air) has the subtitles complete 100% the next day the show was available on Viki. I also went back to look at some of the year end Awards show, as well as a few others. They all do not have subtitle teams listed. Does Viki hire professionals to do the subtitles on those shows or do you think the license include subtitles?


All drama that doesn’t have a team is managed by Viki and is subbed by Viki Staff or maybe the license came with subs. Who knows…


The shows you are talking about are indeed managed by Viki staff and not volunteers as @dudie said. It’s shows coming only with English subs. Because of the license contract, some shows are only available in US and only with English subs, so Viki staff is managing these channels.
You can see for example on “My Teen Girl” channel, there’s this sentence written " This show has English subtitles only. Learn more"


Thanks, great find. I understand the international licensing is a complicated topic, at the same time, feel bad for non English speaking fans in the US.


No matter which platform it is, half or even majority of the viewers will always have to wait for the subs. Because, as someone aptly said, subs don’t appear out of nowhere. Personally, I much prefer Viki’s transparent video-subtitle workflow than Netflix’s which offers compelte subs at the time the video is uploaded.

For example, there are two types of workflow for Korean dramas on Netflix:

  1. English-speaking regions get the video (and sub) uploaded the same week as in Korea (meaning, Korean-English subbers get the episodes probably one week ahead). Every other region has to wait for the WHOLE series to end before they can get first two episodes.
    -> So, in essence, the rest of the world has to wait eight weeks longer to watch the series because of the secondary translation (English-to-other language). Ridiculous!

  2. Everybody waits for the series to end on Korean television and then the English region gets two episodes one week before the rest of the world. So, in this scenario everybody waits for eight weeks, some wait for nine.

How is any of these alternatives any good? In both cases the audience in non-English speaking regions has to wait for the show to end before they can have the video even available. Even though many of them speak English fluently. Or the original language (Korean).

At least at Viki it’s fair: either the show is or isn’t available in your region. And if it is and if you need subs, you’ll get them the moment they are available.

As to whether it’s possible to withhold the subs from being published the second that they are created (aka uploading them all at once when they are at 100%), I believe I’ve read somewhere that that cannot be changed because it’s just the way that the Subtitle Editor works. It doesn’t have a large server to store all the sub files, but sends to in batches all subs created from every user in the world every… 10th second, was it?

I had an idea, though, how to appease sub whiners (or simply those who don’t know how Viki’s subtitling works). Not sure if it’s feasible, though.


To be honest, I’m regularly tempted not to wait that long because later on I’m not that interested anymore.


N. is confusing to begin with. Everytime I think shall I give it a try and buy a subscription I find something that makes me go nah….

Like with their originals. You would assume they are on N. at the same time around the world. I mean it’s an original, not some other random content. No, I found out some regions still have to wait weeks while a subscription is not cheap to begin with in my opinion.


Missing subtitles is why I decided to learn Korean and working as a segmenter is why I am learning Mandarin and Japanese now. You too can learn a language to avoid the frustration of missing subtitles. :sunglasses:


I agree. I usually are quite patient. Depends on the type of dramas, I can connect the dots sometimes and follow the story to some degree. The most challenging ones are the suspense kind (which unfortunately also one of my favorites kinds as well), one really needs to understand the conversations as they usually give you all kind of hints. There have been a few dramas I decided to watch later on when the whole series is completed. It’s different for sure.


That’s impressive. Good on you and for us. I know a few Korean words now and like others, I guess you can say that I can just about guess what the dialogue is about (some of the time). LOL. I get by. I just have to bite my tongue, grin and bear it when subtitles are late.


Right. Unless I find the program interesting from the start, then I can wait. If it doesn’t grab me from the 1st or 2nd episodes, I just go bye-bye.


I usually wait for the show to be over or almost over before I start watching. I prefer to binge. I hate waiting a week because of a cliffhanger ending.


Me too! Maybe that’s why I find it so hard to understand how people can be so impatient. :sweat_smile:


In Germany sometimes we have to wait until the whole drama was on TV in Korea plus some weeks for the translators. And often they split the drama into two “seasons”, so we have to wait longer.


They split 16 episodes into two??


I only wrote about Netflix. When the series/movies come out for other countries two months later, I’ve already been so spoiled with trailers and teasers that I’m often no longer interested.
And I consciously write countries, because iI have English as a basic setting. Otherwise many things would not be shown to me at all.


I saw the discussion here but as a viewer who requires subs for watching a drama, i’d be pretty annoyed if the episode is not subbed properly/ partially subbed or have gaps in it. I think releasing a show after complete subbing is an ideal thing to do. But here volunteers have their regular life and only handful of them can work according to a deadline. ( i am not a fan of deadlines because it ruins the fun for me while subbing)
I also agree that some people love watching the series raw but what can we do then? can It depend on the majority?
do people who prefer watching a drama raw have majority or those who need subs for watching a drama have a high number. then what? maybe giving the viewers, who wait for subs, a notice?
I think for viewers*, it should be like premiering an episode per week or so according to the availability of the volunteers.


Does Viki need to come up with another business model, maybe another pass and there only fully subbed episodes would be accessible to the respective pass holders and that would limit their available content, but would it solve the problem?
One other thing, not all subtitle complainers are paying for a pass.
So, who is the majority?
What about other languages?
And isn’t it possibly like every so often that complainers are loud and visible, but by no means the majority?


People like to have their entertainment as fast as possible too, though… if the episode is released late, they all migrate to sketchy sites to watch. They’re scared of getting unnecessary spoilers. Additionally, there are huge discussions about the drama on MDL and other platforms and people like to participate in them.
@lutra thats an interesting idea, but then it would have to be a totally separate Pass that none of the volunteers should have. I wonder if you can restrict a certain group of viewers and let others access it in the same region. And how would you advertise it? "Tired of incomplete subs? Buy this Pass and never see unfinished subs again! In tiny font: Depending on language, pass holders will have to wait for an undetermined period of time to access videos. Some may never see the show in this life if there is no OL team for the language. A viewer would just have to keep coming to Viki to check when an episode will get released in their language.

Why can’t people just NOT click on the episode when they see a less than 100% sign?