The golden way of editing ... Or is there one?


I will be back this evening to discuss with all of you further about this topic, I like it.
Write on …


But you know that measured by time, the editor takes longer to read and correct, then the subber, at least for smaller scentences, I am not talking about the complex ones now.


But both of you get the count?


I have only these not twenty my dear:
-Behind the white tower(CM)(ep 1-7 released to other languages)(we need help with TE for the rest of the episodes)
-The Duo(CM)(ep 1-6 released to other languages)(need help with TE)
-Special Investigation Team(CM)(ep 1-6,ep 8-12 translated into english,ep 7 46%)
-New Heart(CM)(ep 1-6 released to other languages)
-General Hospital 2(CM)(1-17 released and currently is being translated to other languages, recruiting language moderators)
-Medical Brothers(CM)(ep 1-6 translated into english)(need help translating the rest)
Yi San(CM) (fully translated into english,spanish, greek(needs a little more editing though), and other languages such as German, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Finnish, Portuguese are following(might need help), we also recruit moderators for other languages)


Wow, you managed to trim them so much compared to a year ago when you had a looong list! I really admire your dedication and hard work. (Of course you also have Saimdang, right? But still 7 is awesome)
I am now trying to do this to my crafts projects too. I am finishing a crochet square blanket started many years ago, but when I went to the shop yesterday, the main colour was discontinued, so now I have to think ways of making do with the rest of the colours. This will teach me not to leave projects for so long!


My dear my long list of forty or so projects I had was about projects I was only greek subber or only greek moderator. For some of them we lost the licence, some are fan channels so I have stopped working on them since we will lost them afterall. So now my list of series I am the greek moderator and need greek subtitlers are 31. When I have started volunteering here I didn’t know its better to recruit first the teams and then ask for the position of greek mod. so when I encountered a series I liked that didn’t have a greek moderator or subtitlers I asked it. I did that because I thought to myself if I find willing people to help why not give them more options to choose what they would like to translate. Moreover some I have taken because people asked me to take over since they were abandoned by their previous moderator.
Now that I have gained more experience here I understand that it wasn’t the wisest move because I appear as a hoarder. I really tell you if someone contacts me and asks me to give them one or more of the series I am the greek moderator to work themselves I will gladly agree.


Yes, I know what you mean. I also said “yes” as a subber to anybody who asked me, at the beginning!
Another thing is that Greek subbers are really really few. AND most of the series are not available in our region and not all subbers are QC.
I was just browsing the list of series and films you published the other day as potentially interesting for Greeks, and 99% of them were not viewable for non QCs. (I was checking them one by one because I have a friend/dance pupil whom I convinced to come to viki especially to work on my project Misaeng:Incomplete Life, but she has to achieve 3000 subs quickly. I finally found two of my films and another one, so we’re more or less good)
Even shows from 2008 are behind vikipass and that is enough of an obstacle, but if you add to this the region restrictions, then the list of content one can actually see becomes really small.


Why don’t you get your friend to help Mahoula caption? She should be QC’d in a couple hours.


@lutra started this thread by asking the rhetorical question, what is needed for a good edit?
I edit exclusively Korean to English drama. My first priority is understanding by the viewer, including the other language subbers. This is entirely subjective – If I can’t understand the dialogue I assume no one else can. Sometimes I can guess that the subber made a mistake in typing the word and that changing one letter in a word in the English sentence makes the sentence fit the plot perfectly. Sometime I write to the subber. And when I am lucky, I have the script or a kind subber who input the Korean so I can re-translate the sentence. Sometimes I have to listen many times to the dialogue, and then look up each word in the dictionary, hoping that the dictionary is going to give me alternate meanings to one or more of the keywords which will make the subtitle fit perfectly into the context of the story. And sometimes t I decide whether a parenthetical expression or a short explanation of some aspect of the subtitle which assists understanding by the consumer would be useful.
My second priority is getting the meaning as correct as possible. Or course this is essential to the first priority. As someone who will probably be forever a mere student of Korean, I have to rely first of all on great translation editors and second on constantly looking in the Korean to English dictionary. In order to get the meaning correct, I have to often guess at the screenwriter’s/ director’s intent because the Korean dialogue is so context dependent and because the language leaves out a lot of clues as to number, gender, tense, direct or indirect object etc. It is not at all unusual for both the subbers and the editors not to be sure about whether the character is talking about several people or just one, whether the person(s) is(are) male or female etc. Often I figure out little details like that many minutes in the episode after the sentence was uttered. And the way we work one person in a part at a time, the subber in the earlier part doesn’t know what the subber in a later part knows. So I cannot fault a subber for putting the wrong sex or number in a sub. I learned in linguistics that essentially for tenses in Korean there is past and non-past. So the same verb might be correctly interpreted as present or future – we just know for sure it is non-past.
Third priority is consistency with respect to the plot and perhaps an earlier version of a scene. Sometimes its hard to work on consistency because after I listen to the dialogue several times, I realize the director put a slightly different cut in the flashback – so then I have to decide, do I make the subs perfectly consistent, or should we be true to what was said in the flashback even if it is different than the original scene. Consistency in naming of places and characters, of who did what, of dates, etc.
Fourth in priority is correctness in grammar, spelling and punctuation because as a viewer it does irritate me when I see errors in any of these aspects of writing. Within this category, I prefer whenever possible to have the subtitles follow standard English word order: Subject, verb, object. Because Korean is Subject Object Verb and also there is tendency to put time and place at the beginning of the sentence, the Korean sentence is in fact like the examples Irmar wrote: sub 1: Director, Director, so that you can travel on the path of righteousness, to tell you good things,
sub 2: isn’t that my duty? Because our segmenters usually don’t understand Korean and some tend to end a segment every time a pause is encountered, the subtitlers often write subs in phrases instead of sentences. I would rewrite the subtitle as: Isn’t it my duty to tell you good things so that you can travel on the path of righteousness? It is highly likely the Korean was something like this: first segment: “Righteousness’ path on Director so can travel to Director to tell thing.” Second segment: " my responsibility is not?" Rather than saying you, the speaker correctly showed deference to the director by saying Director. The subtitler, faced with the word director twice in the Korean, put them both into the subtitle. For the second segment, (sub 2), there was no pronoun “that” but the subtitler inserted it.
“In this home, for a very long time, like when you were newlyweds, hold each other’s hands tightly, and enjoy a happy life.” You see how the sentence begins with place and time? "Hold each other’s hands tightly as you did when newly wed and enjoy a happy life in this home for a very long time. " Korean: this home in very very long time newlywed when like each other’s hands tightly hold and happily live.
Some of you have written that the subber should go back and check their own work. I have an opposing philosophy with respect to the subber spending time on grammar, spelling and punctuation. If the subber has the meaning correct and has a finite amount of time to contribute, I prefer they sub a lot and leave the grammar, spelling and punctuation to be fixed up by the editors. Far far too often, I see perfectly written sentences in English in a K drama which is dead wrong as to meaning or consistency with the plot. Those perfectly written sentences are going to lead the other language subbers and the viewers completely astray. So if the meaning is correct I am definitely not going to write to any subber for mistakes in grammar, spelling or punctuation. if the subber chooses one correct English definition of a Korean word when another definition is a better choice, I am not going to write to the subber about that choice.
Because I know my knowledge of Korean is incomplete, I rely on the translation editors to go over my subbing from raw Korean to English – I look forward to those edits because the edits increase my knowledge – and I am very very happy everytime anything I subbed withstood the translation edit and was left unchanged. Every day I get the “ah hah experience for something I subbed – so that’s what the screenwriter really meant!” when I review the edits of what i subbed. And when I chose to use a particular English meaning of a Korean word, when several alternatives are available, and the meaning I chose shows up in the next episode, i feel very gratified!
@irmar and @mahoula – if you find a good newbie subber who needs to be QC to help sub a current drama – after they have done a some subs (low hundreds in past six months is enough) on something older, you can write to viki staff and have them designated temporary QC’s to work on a specific drama.


As I said before, there are only a couple of these shows which are open for non QCs and non vikipass holders, and those are not for captioning - and from looking at them a little, I don’t think they would be of any interest to her. I don’t want my friend to leave viki running, the idea is to lure her with exciting stuff to keep her in my teams as she has good knowledge of languages.
But this has been solved. If she translates my two classic films and one more it’s done.


@irmar Don’t forget after she finishes misaeng to send her my way!!!


I use to see the sub count as mine too (when I did editing back then). I requested they change this this bc I felt it was so unfair to the subber I was editing their work that was not half as bad. That was back in 2012 0r 13. Now I have not checked to see if they still do that.

When they edit my work (unnecessarily) my sub was in the editors page which angered me a lot.


You sound like an excellent candidate for chief editor or language moderator!


I don’t think I ever wrote to anyone? I did get annoyed about some id’s that do not subtitle completely/comprehensively.

I think I am a consistency nazi when I want to be one… I like to have the OST match the dialogue and everything use the same overarching words that highlight the themes. (I adopted this tendency from some senior editor IDs as I worked with them).

The time factor is kind of frustrating. I want to go faster but I cannot. A lot of my edits are usually a change of the verb or adjective. I sometimes unflip the flipped sentences (I think if it is in correct English order in a segment that is okay), but that’s about it.

I am an editor with other editors around me, so we work together to find something that works. I didn’t feel like it ever goes under-appreciated because!!! I can explain things in paragraphs and essays to my heart’s desire!!! I was always worried some connotation would be lost.

Sometimes it is because we mishear. I think in some show we were trying to figure out if it was the diaphragm or the sternum (both sound similar enough). I make sure to play them again if I wasn’t sure I heard clearly. I find it hard to subtitle when the actors do not speak clearly.


Ha ha, you wish! :grin: No, seriously, let’s not count our eggs before they are hatched. Let’s see if she gets hooked on Korean drama first and subtitling suits her, if she has time etc. If if if, then there is Beethoven I’d put her in, because she’s a pianist too and I think she will be especially interested in that.


Well, if I would go for productivity, I would never chose editing. I would rather only make subtitles.

That means either you are pretty sure about your subs, or what?
I wonder, if every language moderator has that aspiration to tell every subber, I heard to often “please do not demotivate the subbers” … But who asks about the motivation of an editor? Or maybe I am just not out to be one?


That is a good point - I always told my team, if they can’t do a subtitle segment just to let it be.
In earlier days when you could write posts at viki, I made one where German subbers could leave a not, when they were stuck with translation. And I always got them some choices, but left it for them to chose the “right” subtitle. The other thing was that I told them to translate carefully, that they should take their time, as with time they would get faster anyway.

I had that too, but was lucky enough that there was always someone to reach out from the translators, who would give me feedback about it, and some changed it because they realised that for the “3rd” languages it could be misleading. Because while translating they had a mental picture in mind, but they realised that the subtitle sometimes didn’t carry the meaning, they thought it would deliver.

Other things that irritate me are often the usage of US dollar, while it is talked about won, or renminbi … I never understand why when a drama/movie plays in Korea you would use US dollar in the subtitles, when it’s about the Korean currency.

There could be a lot to talk about the quality of subs. I often hear from others that they are not watching in their native language, German, but stay with the English subtitles, because they can’t handle it, when the subs are lacking. I actually do the same. Then I am asking myself that as well, for whom do we sub? Are viewers just accepting the lacking subs, for better something than nothing. Or, they don’t care about better subs for whatever reason, or do they actually not use them either …?


I am lazy so I like to leave the original currency. I have heard it is viki who wants us to create fake viki dollars.

For larger sums like tens of billions of won, I write in parentheses around how much it is in dollars based on the day’s currency conversions. I know on some teams they will convert all the native currency into target language currency and use some kind of conversion.

The won is a weaker currency than the dollar so about 100 million won is not 100,000 USD but 87,000 ish. Euro is stronger than the dollar. 20 Euros are about 30 dollars (based on the yesstyle discussion).

The rule of thumb for renminbi is divide it by 7 to get USD.

I think for these reasons viki prefers fake viki dollars and euros. 1,000 won is always one fake viki dollar (even though the won was stronger than the dollar in the 80s. I tracked the currency conversion for reply 1988) or 1 fake viki euro.


It depends on who’s subtitle you edit, or how your moderators oppinion is about it. If the subber is protectiv about the subs, then you will get a taste, because you are “stealing” their subs. Which I find nonsense, since minor mistakes or typos could easily be corrected by themselves, but then again, they say I won’t read my subs a second time. So I do not get those “fast typers” have a problem with the edit work of others since it is needed. When they take the risk that there are mistakes in the subtitles, okay. But shouldn’t they accept that another person will fix it?
But it is one think to have some mistakes, in an episode or in a part of 10 minutes run, but how about in every 1 to 2 lines?
And I may talk here about translating from English to German, two languages that are way more similar, than Korean and [quote=“irmar, post:7, topic:15607”]
For instance, some subbers make a child speak in the same language as a company president as a young cosmopolitan clubber, as a peasant ahjumma.

We would say that is already high-level subbing, I would be happy, if they would master the honorifcs only. I remember, I had a lot of fun once subbing the lines of an old lady ranting, I put all those old words in her mouth my granny would have used.[quote=“irmar, post:7, topic:15607”]
My goal is subtitles as close in meaning
Dito, here. First the meaning, second the possibility for the viewer to take that subtitle in in the amount of time it is segmented.

Me too, I will translate metaphors “picture-like” it was used in the sentence and only look for a substitute, if that metaphors is totally not working in my native language. But I will add a note if necessary.

Oh, don’t remind me, I saw subtitles in German throughout the drama with the informally “du” being used for you since …
The informally you is tranlated into “du”, but the formally you should be translated to “Sie”. In historical it is yet another level. And yes no emperor will say “okay or yep”, unless it is a real slapstick comedy.[quote=“irmar, post:7, topic:15607”]
I don’t assume anything.

I do neither, and I also am not a fan, when subtitlers give two options for the viewer, as why would there be a part of a dialog be in brackets. It’s not a thought, it’s not that the character says two different things. So why? I will always go for one line that fits the situation the best.

(Oops, midnight, I need to hurry a bit … Would have to add more but will leave it at that.)


I always try to keep the won f.e., in the drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, there is the infamous amout about 50 milllion won, which becomes later a dog’s name. So this joke and the repeated talk about that amount would totally get lost in translation, when I would use dollar/euro.
That viki wants it this way, is a first for me and I am here now for about 7 years and yes the amount in the original language will never change, but you never know what will happen at the stock market …