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


I just watched this and I remembered your post.


Good discussions such as this shouldn’t be buried.


After reading most of the comments on this thread, I realized that being an English editor is no easy feat. I have been toying with the idea of working on a few projects as an English editor since that position seems to be hard fill and I want to help out, but now I am not so sure. I usually sub from English to Spanish, so I know how the subtitling process works. I am fluent in English and am currently pursuing my B.A. in Creative Writing, so I know the grammar rules and all that jazz. However, I am wondering if there is a way I could test as an English editor to see what the job is like? Many of the other editors in this thread have expressed that being an English editor is not only about knowing the grammar, but about knowing the nuances of the language and making a connection between the characters, their culture, and the English language. With this in mind, I wanted to see if I can do this in the form of a test.


That sounds like a great idea, and I also tried to test my girls in the team when I was a moderator for a very difficult to understand spanish telenovela.

But …guess what? Some of the girls were from Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and one guy was from France but lived in Mexico for many years and knew very good spanish and did French subtitles in the spanish telenovela.

There was no way I could test them since every country teaches things/grammar differently. So let’s say I told them: Why are you adding so many commas in the sentence? They would answer me that’s the way I learned in my country. The commas were used as pause when the actor stop talking and started again a while later etc…

I know they were telling me the truth because I had a hard time adapting to the grammar here in US, and when I did my essays in College I was using the grammar I learned in PR. (in PR. you put a comma way too many times in a sentence and it was acceptable but in US College it was incorrect) I had to start with remedial courses to start learning everything better (it wasn’t easy at all).

What you can do is design an easy testing method (nothing fancy or complicated).
You will have to do your research well but if you have the time, you can do it since we have many sites that offer simple quiz and they grade your answers. I couldn’t do it before or now bc I have too many Doctor’s appointments and personal issues that don’t allow me to have the time to do all the research, and start giving test to the girls to see how proficient they are in the language they claim to know so well.

By the way, creative writing was the best class I took in College although it was so hard I cried many times (my professor was the most strict SOB and he made many cry not just me) Let me know if I can be of any help. Good luck.


True, even in Dutch, for example Dutch in the Netherlands vs. Belgium. So I have to look up things on grammar websites to make sure that I’m not correcting something that looks odd to me (because it’s Belgian Dutch), vs. something that is wrong. Then I try to look up if there is a way to say it that is correct / common in both countries. Takes more work, but makes it more understandable.


I think we have one official guideline for all German speaking countries, with few exceptions related to “ss” vs “ß” in Switzerland (they usually use ss while all other German speakers use ß).

Sometimes it’s not about grammar/mistakes but more about expressions/wordings. It can happen that different subbers use different styles and if the editor wants a more united style for a complete drama s/he has to adapt that (what will take much more time than just editing grammer stuff).



Not much expressions/wordings will be there in dramas anymore from here on now with the takeover of the ‘‘vikibot’’ system. Here to stay.The other day I went to do some spanish subs thinking ‘‘if the drama’s english subs were translated with a ‘‘bot’’ it had to improved a lot’’ (I stopped working in that drama bc most of the dialogue in the drama was too confusing for me to logically understand and translate in spanish) since I refuse to use the suggestion tool sub bc most of the time they are way too off.

As I’m starting my part I realized there were no exclamation point/mark, although the actor was loud and surprised several times in the scenes. I let it pass. I also noticed that many of the English sentence I was reading made no sense to me. The sentence that should have been in the beginning was at the end of the sentence, and vice versa. I struggled to fix the ‘‘terrible suggested subs’’ in spanish at times, and you know what this new system does? IT KICKS YOU OUT! Kept kicking me out of the SE (NOT A BUG) Trying to go back into the drama to finish my work was a whole odyssey, too. When I finally got back 1/2 an hour or more later! ALL MY CORRECTED SPANISH SUBTITLES WERE DELETED. Ungrateful thing!

My subs that match the suggestion tool stayed there w/o getting deleted. I was furious! Here I am trying to fix the bad suggested subs in spanish, and they get deleted by this new system. After an exhausting back and forth trying to fix the bad translation and adding question/exclamation points where they were needed I realized one thing: the bot system is not a suggestion tool it’s a demanding tool! and they don’t care if their ‘‘bot’’ translated the sentence wrong, they want them to stay like that.

I left 2 segs empty bc I knew that the actor had said something else, and not the word they wrote in there, and in the next seg it said the same words but when I paid close attention, the actor said two totally different things (I think, not sure bc it was korean language).

The scene should have been that he told the parting guest Goodbye or Be careful (something like that) since my Korean is not that great I couldn’t tell what he was really saying so I requested the very nice Spanish moderator to enquire what was said there, which she very nicely agreed to do.I’m waiting patiently for her answer since I know she’s very busy.

So the issues with the ‘‘bot’’ is a done deal takeover, and many volunteers soon will be optional in here. Of course, they mainly have their viki staff working in there who are also currently working here in several teams (they will keep their loyal controlling team and give them new viki logos).

I always say that no matter how good a drama is, or how much we like the actors/actress, no one needs to be breaking their heads off trying to figure out what all that mess in that sub really means. Grammar may not mean much to many here but it is what ii is, what makes the scene come alive that lets the enjoyment for the viewer to be real.

I guess I should be saying my goodbye too. Not much to be done around here. My dreams of Quality over Quantity won’t cut it anymore, and just came to bite me in the a** bc Quantity won over Quality this time the way I see this going so far…Shame, shame, shame lol


Few days ago I tried to add the missing end lyrics in one episode and… first it didn’t save the lyrics, then after reloading the page what often helped in the past I was unable to do anything at all so in the end I had to leave it like that (VIKI tool had the NEW layout again instead of the old layout plus a message like an error occured/you can’t add anything yet or something like that).

I could have added the lyrics in maybe 5-10 minutes because I just needed to use (copy paste) the lyrics that all use for this song but because of the bugs I was unable to finish it in over 20-30 minutes and then I thought it is again just stolen time.

Sometimes, even when within the tool an episode has 100% for each part the overview doesn’t say 100%. I wonder how often that’s happening recently, that subs may get deleted after being completed… (I assume it has to do with their software experiments because some time ago these things didn’t occur and I could add lyrics/subs without any problems - and the tool saved it).


So unfair. They are so disrespectful and don’t communicate with us at least so we don’t waste our PRECIOUS time HERE. I’m done with the drama. This is a total disrespect bc when we work here we give our 110% not a half a** job some do and get all the praise.


True. Sometimes I watch dramas on other platforms and it annoys me when a subtitle is translated way in a weird way (f.e. Netflix does this from time to time), especially when I understand the sentence in the OL. Hope that Viki and the translators can keep working together, because I really like the quality subtitles on this platform (by the volunteers).


Once another volunteer expressed the same desire, so a kind Chief Editor added us both as General Editors, and we met on Skype with Share Screen. She edited and I commented on it, we looked for the best word together etc. We had a fun time - except that sometimes it was too late and I fell asleep in front of my screen, while talking. Fortunately she was understanding, she later said that it was cute. And that it was useful.


I thought she was talking about being tested as an editor with a written test. What was the outcome on your part? Did it work? How long it lasted?
I think written would be easier since we some of us have different hours, and that could be very conflicting.I mean you probably fell asleep because of the difference in hour, right?


Mmm, I never thought that English grammar is taught differently in different countries. I guess I thought there was a universal English standard…but then, this goes back to the regional differences.

Yup, my Creative writing professor was also strict, yet I grew so much as a writer because of him. He taught the short story and poetry classes, and I took the opportunity to take his classes because he gave honest opinions on the students’ work, even though many students were offended because of this. When I talked with him one-on-one, he was nice and gave me constructive criticism. This helped me to face other criticisms in regards to my writing with an open mind. I was hoping that if there was a test system for the English Editor position, that would serve as a sort of constructive criticism. I would know the areas I need to improve in and the areas that I am good in.

Maybe it is like using slang from the southern California area and then using slang from the East Coast, the Midwest, or the South in the same drama. That would be jarring to the viewer, to say the least. An example would be ‘soda.’ There are different ways of saying it: pop, soda, even cola (even if the soda is not, in actuality, Coca-Cola). Would the General Editor be the one to set the standard, or would the individual editor choose which style he or she prefers?



Ironically, the complaints from viewers of having the subtitles faster brought in my opinion a bigger mess. The English subtitles done with ‘‘vikibot’’ can sometimes be a nightmare to keep up with, and like you wrote here NFLX has certain dramas that you’d think a mentally challenged person wrote them.

No normal person can possibly write this completely ridiculous subtitles (oddly enough I see it happening mainly in Chinese dramas/movies). Sometimes I write them down so I can send an e-mail to complain about them, and I end up laughing hysterically because some have words that are hilarious. I can imagine the people reading my e-mail laughing, too


That would be a fun experience! But as @angelight313_168 mentioned, there might be a discrepancy in the time zones :no_mouth:


Well, in Puerto Rico for example when I came here to USA what I thought was the ‘‘right’’ place to add a comma etc… was wrong. I believe I told you that I had to take remedial courses in College for almost a year to catch up with the English grammar rules.


English isn’t an easy language to learn. While I was a senior in high school, I happened to look over some essays by the freshmen, and I was shocked at the lack of proper grammar and the lack of clarity in the essays. However, now that I look back, there is a reason why we spend 12 years learning English in school. It isn’t easy, so I can understand those freshmen (well, they aren’t freshmen anymore).
My mother had to learn English from scratch when she moved to the US, and after being here for more than 15 years, she still has some trouble with some conjugations. However, she was the one who helped me with my English homework when I was in elementary and middle school.


What kind of course is that? For screen writing or so? Or for books? If it is for books I find the today’s attitude towards written arts so strange because I doubt that one can be taught how to imagine a whole new world plus in the past great authors didn’t go to lessons to ‘learn’ it.

If it is for mainstream media I can understand why there are lessons today because then one can learn how to use the psychologic tricks in e.g. writing scripts for a TV show or so, also based and related to statistics and datas that are collected in the modern internet and streaming world.

Here it is said English is one of the easiest to learn languages but I found it harder than learning Latin and French that are considered as hard to learn languages.

About grammar etc. … it’s not just about foreigners, it is the same with native speakers, otherwise all kids at school would have best marks and no mistakes at all but many native speakers do have lacks in using their own language in a correct way. From my experiences people that are good in one (usually their native language) are also good in other languages as long as the languages are connected, with same alphabet e.g. I also met people who had more problems with their native language than with our Latin alphabetic language.


No, not because of the difference in hour. My mother had just had a stroke and I had moved in with her to take care of her. I was exhausted.
The time zone can be worked out easily.
I don’t remember how long it lasted, but surely we did it quite a few times. I think we were both happy with the outcome.
How many times will depend upon the person, the starting point, and of course how easily she can adapt.
For instance I do this with subbers, and there was one of them who just couldn’t forget some hold habits such as translating word by word. It was impossible, and she told me that their English teacher at school insisted at this kind of translation, and if they didn’t, they got very bad grades. So now this method had become ingrained in her, after six years and more, and she couldn’t get rid of it no matter what. That particular subber (she was Greek) also had a serious spelling problem. This kind of thing I couldn’t fix for her, I mean it’s not my job to teach the language.

Editing is something different, though. You have to know everything a subber knows plus spot others’ mistakes even if superficially they seem okay. “Okay” doesn’t mean good. It’s so easy to overlook subs that seem okay… Because somehow our brain fills in the gaps and then the sentence seems to be perfectly good - when it isn’t.



Sorry about your mom and I hope all is well.