[Survey] What do you find most unbearable about Viki subs quality?

For me, incomplete sentences when the original is complete itself.

And also, awkward wording in target language.

Yes, I suppose that’s what most of us don’t like. Although I would reverse your order. I find awkward wording (usually the result of literal,“blind idiot translation”) much worse than missing a couple of words. I don’t find anything “unbearable”, though, just irritating.

Here is my list of things I don’t like to see.

1. Subtitles translated word by word, keeping native word order syntax and expressions, which sound extremely alien in English, if not downright incomprehensible. I want to read proper English.
2. Dumbing down subs by trying to make it seem like an American show, with American references, anything pertaining to the local culture ironed out, made to disappear.
(You might think that those two are conflicting, yet they are not. I want the cultural references, but rendered in good fluent English. )
3. Language unsuitable to the character (age, social status, relationship to others, job), time period and situation (A Joseon official saying to his superior “Okay” or using words like “punk”)
4. Old-style Romanization, which is intuitive only for English speakers. (There are a zillion people from all over the world who are not native English speakers but choose to watch with English subs for various good reasons). Korean Romanization has changed 17 freaking years ago, and still you use the colonial style? Even worse, it’s a hybrid, a combination of old and new rules, so you’re never sure how it’s pronounced unless you rely on your ears. (ex.: “hyung Yeon Woo”)
5. Incomplete translation. As when the character speaks for two minutes non-stop, and you only see a very short, 3-4 word sentence.
6. Too many lines in too short a time. Condense, my friends, condense!


And it’s hard to find a balance between keeping the original cultural flavor and fluid language in target subs, isn’t it?

I found that fans do love literal translations for idioms and cultural references, but at the same time, they hate overly literal translation, as you say, “blind idiot translation”.

Yes, you may read this discussion too.
About blind idiot translation. There is a hilarious site with many examples: from real life, from movies and TV-shows, games etc. and it also explains where this name came from.

I didn’t see this one, the lip syncing too, sometimes I watch a drama the the mouth goes faster than the words or the other way around. as for the subbing, oh yeah english words for the asian words, and as an american I can tell it! cn’t think of one at the moment. on and characters of a different country and are substitutes korean or the other ones, and looks weird when they speak and the subs just aren’t right.

Sorry Irmar, I just found your brilliant reply!

A lot thanks!

Your ideas will surely help me improve my work on Viki!


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i hate when peoples translate it “formal” when it’s informal !
specially in french, we have formal way and informal way more used for personal matters family friend but people translate subtitle the way a book is translated, but subtitle is not a book ! so stop put formal sentance everywhere please


my sight isn’t as good as it used to be, and when the words are so small that I am not able to read them, then they use white for the words! sure I have tried to do the yellow with black background, words are sometimes still too small. as for some of what people wrote, best time to learn a language, just guess what they are saying, not my cup of tea either… do the subs, huh?