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


By “productivity”, I don’t mean “quantity”.


In regards to currency I love to know how much that would be in US money, so I put the original amount in won/yen and US amount (in parenthesis) but my only interest is bc i live in US.

If I was from Germany and was doing subs in German I would put the currency value from Germany in parenthesis. Remember you are writing for Germans viewers so the info pertain to them. In that sense you are the only one to blame for leaving the amount in US dollars.

Since the translation was English it makes a lot of sense to put the amount in US dollars. I think that many things here should be based on our better judgement from us. When making your subs always put yourself in the place of the viewer you are translating for and what you want from the information in the subs.

Another example I can give you in Spanish, English and German there is no translation for Oppa: What I do is in English or Spanish and in your case German we should write a short description of the meaning of Oppa so the viewer is not wondering why every cute guy has the same name. Once they see it once and see the word again they’ll say like I did OH…oppa(boyfriend/guy she likes…cute).
Let’s not forget Oppa can also refer as the Brother of the girl.

The same goes for honorifics I will not use the honorifics from the original language translated. I use honorifics based on the Spanish people I am translating for. I stay as close as I can to the original translation so the viewer understands and enjoys what they are reading…

If we had that options here of having more teams and volunteers added from many other countries, then we could have drama translated into so many different languages not just English and ‘‘sometimes’’ Spanish. I bet viki site would become known worldwide and many would be willing to pay those more extra bucks $$$ to watch their fave drama in their native language.

But let’s remember that is only possible if viki expands their horizons and for that to happen they need to allow more volunteers from all over the world that are willing to join and work for free here in a team. Open more doors bc there are so many ppl from different countries willing to work for FREE and translate dramas but they are not added in the teams for who knows what reason. Their english is good enough so I see no reason why they can’t be part as viki subbers.

My dream world for viki would be just that more teams were available here and enough so that all dramas can be translated FULLY in many other language too.

PS. for money conversion I always go here:


Re: money conversion.
I think they should put everything in won and then each language can put their own currency in parenthesis - including the English.
Because it makes zero sense to have dollars in a European or a Middle Eastern country or whatever.
Sometimes I have to convert dollars in won first, in order to eliminate the dollars and put the won and euros on my subtitle. (The fact that dollars are usually lazily converted by taking off three zeros helps in this) But I would be happier if the Ko-En subbers and English editors had left the won in the first place.
Generally, Ko-En subbers often only think of the English audience and seem to forget about us Other Language subbers who have no use for references to US stuff.


You are a good editor and it shows the way you are so concern with certain issues here. The biggest disadvantage you have in my opinion is not having enough German subbers in your team and the ones you do have, have grammatical errors issue, I’m guessing.


This is why I try to get the Koreanisms across whenever possible. Won over dollar 119 and 112 over 911. I also am not sure how to subtitle this eighth grader? Should I write second form middle schooler??

Today I felt I need to study more Korean (chinese characters) because I am lost in some subtitles of Chinese drama :frowning:


I see that point different, if I would watch a Norwegian movie for instance, I would like the usage of the original Norwegian kroner and not get it converted into Euros, just because I am living in Germany. Norway doesn’t have no Euro. I would want to stay with the local currecy. So I would take away the pound from the Brits, … I do add for those interested under the dialog how much the money is, most of the time, were in the English subtitle you rarely get offered the original amount.

Well even an old movie goes with a title “Für eine Handvoll Dollars”, in America it did run with "A Fistful of Dollar ". Would it made have sense to name it "- A Handful of D-Mark " that would be the currency back then in Germany, so what if the currency you translated it in get’s changed? So now you would have changed it into “A Handful of Euro”. That wouldn’t make sense to me …

I think on this topic we will not find a consensus.

I do that with Oppa and Ahjumma at time, if it’s kind of repeatedly in use, with explaining, at times I replace it at a person were it’s only a one time usage and an adaquat replacement is possible.

What is sometime hard to translate, the part about “are you talking informally to me?”? For an editor what do you do, when the dialog is used with the informal “du”, because someone thought it’s about working buddies and now, one of them feel disrespected that the other one is dropping from formal to informal, but the subber is already at informal and now you could only get to the point of writing in an offensive manner, with indignities … Or go back all the way to put the form of address prior to this dialog.

It would be nice though if everyone could enjoy the dramas/movies here in their native language.


Me neither - just a “constant flow” of volunteering as editing for me is like hiking, there a ways you follow easily and on the other hand there are paths making it hard on you. So it’s up and down, not a steady process.


Well, I don’t have a team at all. I became a “lone wolf”. For personal, time restricted and unnervig reasons.
The first two I needn’t explain the “unnerving” part is, that at times as a moderator you had to kind of apologize that you had a certain aspiration on subs and some subbers just couldn’t reach that level.

I did always provide a special kind of dictionairy for my teams, where I would add the special words in usage, be it financially related or whatever. I would bring out a spreadsheet on how which character addresses the other, and if there are changes I would write from where on.

If I do an editor job, most of the time, I will check on my own subs.
If I do it for others it will be an older project that is no longer on the run, I avoid on air shows, that can be still an unfinished project though. F.e. in an episode with an amount about 700 subtitles, I got a badge for making 300 subs and the edit isn’t done, because there is still the matter of the honorifics, I only did correct syntax error, typos, other grammar issues, wrong translation, … So I did correct 300 subtitles, that doesn’t mean it were only 300 mistakes. Will I be patient enough to continue, that is what I am asking myself right now?


Oh, there you have an excellent point. About 119, if one ever get’s to Korea, they would know what number to call at least, if they were in need, but after that communication (?), … Haha! Oops on the matter of pupils and such … We do not use it that much in Germany, and we have another school system, the Korean one is either pretty close to the American one, since the Korean War and after that South Korea used the “American Way” to change their system. Or the Ko-Eng subbers just take an American term that labels it for American viewers. I do have my trouble with that to be honest.
First-grader and such is easy to translate, but a high-school student, in Germany can be at the age of 10-18. It is trouble to translate so often subbers will only take the American name, without any further explaining, because they don’t know it better.


I looked it up in Wikipedia and elsewhera, I made this little table and put it on all my spreadsheets, so I tell the subtitlers to adapt.
For instance, in Italian we have elementary school (5 years), middle school (3 years) and high school (4 years) , it’s just the number of years that are slightly different than in Korea. The Korean years are exactly like the Greek system, though, which has 6 years elementary school, 3 middle and 3 high.
AND you have to decide whether to use Korean age or Western age. If you use Korean age you have to find the place to explain in a note, otherwise people will get confused by seeing an almost 20 year-old still in school and not yet an adult, as in “Goblin” or in “The Liar and his Lover”.

(International age and in parenthesis Korean age)
Infant School /Preschool
Nursery School 0-3 (1-4)
Kindergarten 4-6 (5-7)
Primary/Elementary School
1st Grade 6-7 (7-8)
2nd Grade 7-8 (8-9)
3rd Grade 8-9 (9-10)
4th Grade 9-10 (10-11)
5th Grade 10-11 (11-12)
6th Grade 11-12 (12-13)
Middle School (Gymnasium)
7th grade 12-13 (13-14)
8th Grade 13-14 (14-15)
9th Grade 14-15 (15-16)
High School (Lyceum)
10th Grade 15-16 (16-17)
11th Grade 16-17 (17-18)
12th Grade 17-18 (18-19)
Post-secondary education (university/college)
Tertiary education (College or University) Usually four years,
3.Junior and

Moreover, by asking people while doing Solomon’s Perjury, I learned that the school year ends in February, there is a break between years and the new year starts in March!
gripstar_385 (one of the team people who made Solomon’s Perjury such a happy, happy experience for me) wrote: “The school year in Korea is from March to Feb. They get a short break in Feb right before new school year starts. Kids can still go to school for club activities or self study”.

"Middle schools in South Korea consist of three grades.
Most students enter at age 12 or 13 and graduate at age 15 or 16 (western years).
These three grades correspond roughly to grades 7-9 in the North American system
and Years 8-10 in England and Wales’s system.

In South Korea, the grade of a student is reset as the student progresses through elementary, middle and high school. To differentiate the grades between students, one would often state the grade based on the level of education he/she is in. For example, a student in a first year of middle school would be referred to as “First grade in Middle School (중학교 1학년)”.

“High schools in South Korea teach students for three years, from first grade (age 15-17)
to third grade (age 17-19), and students commonly graduate at age 18 or 19.”

In the U.S.A. there are 4 years of high school: freshmen, sophomores, juniors e seniors. In Korea,as you see, there are only three. The English term “Sophomore” means, in the U.S., students in their second year, be it high school or university, whereas 1st year students are called “freshmen”.

Here is my “Useful Korean” spreadsheet. Feel free to consult when needed:



I have no idea where you got the idea that “We are not short of Korean… to English subbers,” and that people are “hogging” the drama and we are not allowing more ppl to work in dramas, “giving better quality subtitles here.”

I’ve been subbing for Viki since 2012 and we’ve never had enough Ko-En subbers. For the first couple years when I joined, the majority of Ko-En subbers were not even Koreans and their Korean proficiency was about 30-50%. There were literally only a couple who were truly bilingual enough to sub a part completely. I have to say that a lot more Korean-Americans and Korean-Canadians have joined past couple years and we now have a lot more “quality” Ko-En subbers. But that doesn’t mean we have enough subbers. All the fluent subbers I know are stretched thinly to try to do as much as they can but there just are too many projects.

We are always trying to recruit more subbers who can help out and I usually end up soliciting other subbers that I had worked with for the projects I sign up for. Even then, there aren’t enough subbers. The last two projects (Saimdang and Legend of the Blue Sea) I worked on had only about 3-5 subbers (and not everyone is 100% fluent subber) come for each episode, if we are lucky. Sometimes we only got 2. For Legend of Blue Sea, the viewers were complaining SO much for “slow sub” even though we had finished subbing each episode within 4-10 hours! Saimdang took a lot longer because it was a lot harder drama to sub for and we had even less subbers than Blue Sea. Luckily(?), Saimdang wasn’t as popular so we had a lot less viewers, thus a lot less complaints!

I personally have very little free time and I really wish there are other subbers who could help out more. But what can you do when people who signed up end up not showing up or dropping out in the middle of the drama? If something came up in their real life or if they decided that the drama is not interesting enough for them to invest their time in it, I’m not going to force them to stay in the team. After all, this is their hobby and it should be fun for them.

Also, I don’t understand why you would actually get “so angry” over a subber’s word choice of “reckless” instead of “aggressive.” “Reckless” and “aggressive” have different meanings. So if a subber chose the word “reckless,” that’s probably because that was the meaning of the word that was said.


Thank you, I will use it well, when I need it in the future.
In Germany there is compulsory education till the age of 16, I don’t really know how this is handled in other countries.

Before school it’s “Kindergarten”, that famous German word that made it into so many languages, which I as a native speaker find truly fascinating. It’s usually for kids age 3 to 6.

For school years:

class 1-4 is elementary school - average age 6 to 10
after that it is either main school ends with class 9 (lowest level, if possible parents will bring their child on another school), - average age 10 to 15
middle school ends with class 10 - average age 10 to 16
or gymnasium ends with class 13; or 12 if it’s the G8 model (the highest level). - average age 10 to 18
The gymnasium was newly structured the past years so children could graduate in 8 years, some places offer the Abitur after 8 and some the “old style” 9 years these years on top of the elemtary classes. It’s also called G8 or G9, some schools go back to the old ways since pupils often end up like you see it in K-drama, there is nothing left but studying in the schedule.And there are schools you can enter after elementary school that will an orientation stage of 2 years, classes 5 and 6, where pupil and parents can figure out which way is the best.

The age differs from the time you got into school between 5-7 years old, to have to repeat a class can happen, but it would be too complicated to go into detail because we do not have the percentage count like in Korea. except for most teachers will use 50 percentage as the break between satisfactury and adaquate or adaquate and inadaquate…

But that is only the way most pupils use, there are so many other ways to graduate and give you the possibility to study at a college or university. It’s a clutter, if you are not used to it.

Btw. schoolyears in Germany start in summer with a summer holiday of 6 weeks in between but it’s not the same 6 weeks all over the country. So it can happen, that if you move to another part in Germany that you either would have 12 weeks summer break or all.

Thank you again for the link, I will read it all.


I meant we are not short of korean or Chinese subbers we need to have more teams(ppl recruited) available here at the site but the ‘‘hoggers’’ to me are people taking many projects/dramas instead of saying we have our hands full already let’s make more teams find more volunteers to work in those projects I CAN"T DO IT simple as that is not like they are getting paid and can get fired.I see here in discussion a lot of messages of ppl. willing to translate from Korean/Chinese to English and I HAVE NEVER seen those ppl recruited as translators

.I also read here so many volunteers segmenters, subbers and editors complaining they are overworked and tired of people complaining for subtitles but common sense should let us know we do have a shortage of people working here. The one’s we have working here keep taking project after project worst yet, they leave dramas halfway to start another one that was on air drama (those we all know takes up all the time until the 16 or 20 something episodes are done) and viewers disappointed and asking why they stopped working in the other dramas.Then, they finish their on air dramas and all of a sudden find out the drama they request License for is ready uploaded and madness begins again.

I don’t know why you are getting so uptight about bc you yourself wrote somewhere around here that you stopped working at this site bc you was fed up of feeling unappreciated by the constant ppl. who complained. Now you are saying you worked in The Legend of the Blue Sea that was months ago already. You rarely do work here and if you do is here and there you are not a regular in any team for a while now that means someone that can replace is needed here.

Viewers are not been demanding they have a right to ask for subs whether we want to get annoyed or not we also have no right to be insulting them like some do here.That is why, I said they don’t put a knife in our neck to volunteer here we chose to volunteer knowing we would not get paid for it. I can’t prove this but I know those claiming to be tired can be the same ones with at least 2 different profiles names and bull story they’re from here blah blah blah but they are the same person working here and there rushing bc 1 person has to be in different places doing the work of 2 and who knows how many more bc they want to (I called those ‘‘hoggers’’ and I know we have a few here)
Someone came into one of the dramas I work in with 2 different names and from ‘‘2 different countries’’ but I knew it was the same person bc no way in hell 2 people can make the same mistakes when writing subtitles. Another giveaway the person confused the page it was supposed to be subbing from and started working with the wrong name. That is why I know some ppl are making several profiles and work in multiple dramas why? I don’t have a clue but those are the one’s I call ‘‘hoggers’’

About getting angry with the reckless word is bc IT MAKES NO SENSE in the sentence it was used for. So, I have no right to say that and it offends you? Because Korean and Chinese dramas use this same word and out of so many words in the vocabulary why they have to chose only that one? Because the volunteer is tired has too many projects and will take whatever comes first doesn’t take its time to see if another word would make more sense in the context of the sentence.

The job of a volunteer here at viki should not be consider a hobby like you wrote here. If we volunteer here as a hobby we have no place here. When Volunteering we have the same responsibility and obligation as a real job.We decided to volunteer and we do what we have to do and if we can’t handle the heat then we just move on.

Korean dramas have a sharp decline here in segmenting (missing segs person talking no subtitles) even in some on air dramas that’s happening now too. I saw it with my own eyes complete segs and subtitles were missing in the drama. Most say the same lame excuse ‘‘we need to rush’’ WHY? you guys say over and over again ‘‘we volunteers don’t get paid here. We have families and things to attend to.’’ That means I can’t do it let me give this place to someone else instead of giving crumbs here and there.

I am so glad changes are been made here and I hope they also see the need to look for more segmenters Korean Chinese translators willing to work IN ALL DRAMAS not the genre they like to work in. Much less, treated like a hobby but as a commitment to the Public who pay or don’t pay (that’s not our problem). People need to stop playing martyrs and punishing viewers like I see them doing here.

Viki owners need to resolve this issue and the best way is by recruiting more people as volunteers segmenters, subbers and editors. Something as simple as that will bring positive changes, less stress since they will have less workload and of course will resolve the big issue we have here of people having so many projects in their hand and leave things undone bc they are human and there is so much a human can do. Also it gives room for improvement bc new volunteers, new minds, fresh ideas, fresh vocabulary (I doubt reckless will continue to be used in the sentence).

Right now, we don’t have the manpower here to keep up with the demands.On that same note I may add the volunteer work needs to be treated as a paying job with the same respect and obligations. No more empty poor excuses. Don’t stay occupying a space you hate so much and that is the reason the work you do here doesn’t exudes the quality it needs and deserves to have.

Don’t stay with 7 projects and leave ppl waiting years for you to finish the darn thing whenever you can. Open that space so others can come in too. Another thing they should make a rule for volunteers to work rotating not only in the dramas they like or with the same team: unacceptable.


… I’m at loss for words (and it doesn’t happen often).
You just said… those things… to that person?..


Me too. Should I spend my valuable time explain that what she says is totally wrong?Is she the same person who really thanked sophie ten hours ago in the new drama favourites thread?


Oops, I say …
I can totally relate to your frustration. I really can and in that context.
This, should I say outburst of yours, is not much different than some volunteers getting angry of the so called “demands for subtitles”. I actually make a difference, if someone asks in a kind way, or it sounds harsh, or even brazen.

I do take in consideration that some think they are only human, so no need to have manners, how much courtesy fits in 140 characters. So many people reduce their communication on just throwing words like dices. At the moment you can watch politicians throwing words, because some only can use words and no other strategy attack. It starts in microcosm, how one behaves at home, school, …
And I know, that when frustration starts to eat you up, one will be closer to verbal incontinence than some other.
I still prefer a mindful and mannered discussion. I know it doesn’t help that on viki it always comes to the same problem at the end. The dream of an open society and the harm it could be suffering. No one should know that better than people right now in this world. Of course one dreams of an ideal, but it is always hard to achieve it. Only once had I experienced something like an eye level communication from viki to the volunteers. That was at the times of the Flower Revolution, haha …
I would really like to know how many in here remember the time, when volunteers started a strike, because they were fed up with some ill comments, shit storms, people damaging subtitles, …
It needed a thing like a strike, something that would shake up the basics this community runs on to finally get viki’s attention. But since then many things have change, viki the most, now being a full fleshed company under the roof of rakuten.
At least I wish for the volunteers to not only strike in quality for their work but also quality in how they socialize. Make it on an eye level, even you can’t see the other person, talk like people on good terms, even if you have opposite views. The only way to get another world with showing empathy is not waiting for it but giving it in advance. At least this much.

In this matter I still understand your feelings but why take it out on another person, who experiences the same things as you, the problem starts at another place. As volunteers why should we attack each other, when the root lies somewhere else. There is a saying “A fish rots from the head down.”

So if there is still energy left on your side, think about what we could do to get the fish head talking. Think of a strategy to get them around their executive chair. Back then we were able to at least get one talking and reaching some agreement and script guidlines. Does a mere 20 or 30 bucks coupon make you ignore all the problems, or will it keep you at viki. No, there are other things that make or break your relation with viki.

Exhausted from viki? I was once very much that I even took a pretty long break, but I came back, but many others left for good (they said their farewells) and there were many who just vanished. The thing I really hate to experience to see people’s spirit getting broken and never hearing of them again.



I have no idea why you are calling me “uptight” because I am merely trying to point out the fact that we do not have enough competent KO-En subbers.

There may seem like there are a lot of Ko-En subbers but most of them are not fluent enough to complete a project. Also, some of them may have time to do just a few times, and not for the the entire duration of the drama. I think some of them sign up for multiple dramas and sub whatever they can, be it 10% or 20% and then move to another drama to sub on another day. Even if there are 20 subbers signed up already, we still accept more subbers because we know that not everyone will be able to come every week and not everyone can complete a part. So I am not sure why you see them as “hoggers.” Just because they are signed up for multiple dramas does not mean that other subbers cannot sign up for the same drama. It’s just that there aren’t any more who are willing to sign up.

I don’t know of any Ko-En subbers with multiple profiles trying to work on several dramas with different profiles. Why would they need to do that? We always welcome competent Ko-En subbers, even if they are already signed up for other dramas.

And just because you don’t see active recruitment because you are not recruiting for Ko-En subbers yourself doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Whenever I see a new Ko-En subber posting that she/he is available, I send a PM with a subbing guideline for new subbers and ask to join the team or else send them to other CMs who are looking. But I’ll be lucky to hear back from them. I think I heard back from 2 people out of 10 that I had tried to recruit. And out of those two, only one decided to actually sub. I even notice people translating in Timed Comment and send them a PM asking if they would like to join the team. Again, out of all those people I PM’ed, only one responded back. And she is more like a 5-10% subber.

Here’s my response back to your accusation of me “rarely do work here.” Just like you had wished for, I only sign up for one or two projects at a time because I have very limited time and can usually only commit to one project at a time. So as soon as Blue Sea finished, Saimdang started, which just finished this week. Because we didn’t have enough subbers for neither of the project (despite the popularity of Blue Sea), I was the main subber for both, subbing over 3700 lines for Blue and over 7000 lines for Saimdang. And I hated Saimdang starting Ep. 1. But only because I had already committed for that drama and there weren’t other subbers who were willing to do it, I stuck through the end. Thank goodness it’s over! Trust me! I so wished that there were other subbers who would come in to “replace” me, like you said!

Yes, I did state that I sometimes take a break from Viki, not only because of my personal schedule, but also because I do get fed up by those people with a sense of entitlement. Yes, it’s a volunteer work, but I do take my commitment seriously and that’s why I personally don’t sign up for multiple dramas at a time. But no matter how fast you do it and how much you do it, people complain so much. When you try to explain to people the process, some of them get still say they pay money for it and that we need to work harder. Then they accuse the subbers of being “lazy,” “holding them hostage by not producing the subs,” “not responsible,” “not committed,” etc. etc.

It’s one thing to be ignorant of the Viki subbing process, which I am willing to explain, but there are those who heard the explanation multiple times, and yet still demand that we put them before our own real jobs, family, and real friends outside of Viki. Well, you know what? Too bad for them because them complaining will actually slow down the subbing process as more subbers will get tired of it and eventually be burned out and end up quitting.

If a word or a sentence doesn’t make sense to you, you can simply ask the subber or the translation editor or in the team section for clarification instead of getting angry about it. Most of the time, team members will be kind enough to either explain or catch the mistake and correct it, if it was a mistake.


Thank you so much for saying what needed to be said and in such a classy and polite way. It’s hard to read a thread that you’re interested in and it suddenly goes off-topic because of misunderstandings. Sometimes as an editor, I often have to slip out of my slippers and step into someone else’s before I write a reply. Then I take ten deep breaths. This works as a golden way of editing too, I think. “Do I really want to touch that sub” kind of thing.


Now that I let some time pass…
While reading that post, scenes and words passed instantly in front of my eyes (in the same way they say your life passes in front of your eyes in a second on the moment you die). My one year here at viki.
The many times when ajumma2 generously stepped in to help me and many others by providing inside knowledge about Korean language and culture. About formality levels, about the nyang and won, about swearwords. She even took the time to check and correct my spreadsheet about Korean swear words and idioms, filling in the Korean script where it was missing.
The time she completed missing subtitles for an obscure film, when for weeks I hadn’t been able to find anybody to do it.
The patience and civility with which she always answers my numerous questions even when I once reacted a bit childishly to things I don’t like about her country’s culture (I rushed to edit my post and then the PC froze and I had to leave for work!).
The extensive Google spreadsheets (legal, historical, medical) she took the time to prepare and shared with all of us, a reference work used again and again by many teams: even if these were her only contribution here, it would be enough to make her a viki hero.

And then another scene came flashing to my mind. Viki without ajumma2. And I felt a knot in my stomach. I don’t want to know that viki without her, and I wish I will never have to.


Word reached me by PM about this thread while taking a break from editing one of my dramas, Frankly, the thread could well, use a major edit at this point. Or maybe just closure? :slight_smile:

JIA YOU to all good editors, you are known by your work and your patience.

The best editing is the unseen hand that makes a drama more watchable by all, while maintaining the craft of those before us.

We are the polishing, the final coat given to well-crafted wood and good intentions to make it all blissfully usable.

And now, back to my editing.

The Scarlet Pimpernel