Unusually Long Subtitling Time (Replying to Complaints)


I’m a QC who has been mostly on hiatus for the past few months due to moving and starting a new job. I’ve been noticing that several of my favorite on-air dramas (specifically School 2017 and Queen for 7 Days) have been taking longer than usual (multiple days) to be fully subtitled. I was wondering if there was something I should reply to the constant stream of complaints… I’m not sure if there’s been some technical issues or a shortage of subtitlers because I’m not working on any projects right now.

Is it best to ignore the complaints? Gently educate them about the Viki subtitling process? Post a notice on the page discussion telling people not to worry and check back later? I just feel bad for the viewers and the volunteers because I have experienced both sides of technical issues.

Thank you to all the volunteers currently subbing, segging, moderating, and managing right now!!! Fighting!

The reason is that Korean-English subbers and Translation Editors are few and spread thin, i.e. they have to work on many dramas at the same time.
Unfortunately this is not something that can be helped.


Another reason is lately a few on air dramas were licensed after they’d already started airing and so the team started with several episodes to play catch up with from the very beginning.


As a person who has touched on this subject a few times on different threads i find that there are two different kinds of replys to complaints. one is basically being told to shut up and deal with it because they are volunteers and they dont have a schedule. the other response is to try to explain the situations on a case by case basis rather than trying to give a general excuse for the delay. as a person who has got used to waiting a loooooooooooong time for subs as my preference is japanese tv and there a so few (as in none in years) and the two japanese shows that are on air are several dozen episodes still waiting to get subbed. i realize that the reason is probably the lack of japanese subbers or the lack of interest in japanese tv. so i usually just watch what is already done and am patient. but for korean watchers i would make the same claim. there may be several reason for the delay so be patient. and to people responding to complaints please also be patient with us viewers and understand our addiction (lol) and try to explain without telling us to shut up and quit complaining because that explanation really doesn,t work.

I am the Chief Editor for both School 2017 and Queen for 7 Days. I don’t understand what you are saying about “unusually long subtitling time” . Every episode of Queen for 7 Days has been completely subbed on the day of upload (it is uploaded at 5 am my time and usually finished by about noon my time). As for School, it is a little slower but we are hitting 90% within 48 hours and I believe it will be subbed faster in the coming weeks. But what is an
“unsually long time” – it is true that I have been Chief Editor on series in which each episode was completed in English within 4 hours of upload. But it is not unusual for me or my editing team to take 3 to 5 hours to edit because we spend our time fact checking, trying to put idiom into phrases that the other langauge subbers will understand, and trying to make dialogue consistent across several episodes. When people complain and say other sites have the subtitles up faster, they are speaking from relative ignorance. When I watch K drama on other sites i see many many examples of dialogue which is completely skipped, or translated wrong. Have you never had the experience of hearing about 10 words of Korean but only seeing a one or two word subtitle on screen? You will not see that happen in School 2017 or in Queen for Seven Days. The editing team will ensure that will not happen.
I never feel bad for viewers – I feel bad only for our volunteers in many languages who are here to share their enjoyment of K drama. As a chief editor for over 175 K dramas, I have never once wrote to the Korean to English subtitlers to tell them to hurry up or to ask them why so few showed up for this week’s attitudes. Life comes first, viki comes second.
If the viewers are true drama lovers they will learn to watch relatively unsubbed and then come back to savor the full flavor of 99-100% subbed episode.


I might say that a reason lately might be that people are starting to lose hope in Viki, they feel demotivated and maybe some older dramas will suffer. But most of the teams are very “professional volunteers” and will stay on and finish what they started anyway.

Also, I find it funny when people demand other language subs when it’s clear that the English team hasn’t even finished yet.

They just can’t get that it’s
then English subtitles…
then other language subtitles…

And each team at each step of the way have their own lives and commitments and time differences.


@dale_seymour196220 We tried to explain why some subs have some delay but the point is they are not satisfied with any excuse sometimes because they want subs and they want them NOW.
Honestly I think there is also a group of viewers who just keep demanding subs over and over again to annoy us and thinking that makes us work harder but it’s more the opposite. Really good Korean - English subbers (and subbers for other languages as well) left Viki because they where so fed up with the demanding viewers and Viki doing nothing about it. But instead add more to our plate with their bugs and changing things on Viki again.

Some even demand subs 5 minutes after upload. Are thy crazy?
Also the problem is some people are to lazy to read… they ask something while the answer is right below their question.

And I’m addicted too but that’s why I help out… Because my thinking goes: If I help out myself I make myself useful and can watch it fully subbed a bit faster. So no Kdrama/Jdrama addiction is not an excuse either.


Some may genuinely not know viki’s workflow.
It would be very helpful if there was an explanatory text on every single page, saying a couple of simple things. Of course there are many who don’t take the trouble to read, but if it were strategically placed, with nice bold and maybe deep red font, it would catch the eye of most.
You know, something like this:


  • Subtitles don’t come as soon as the video is uploaded. It must first be segmented, then subtitled in English.
  • Subtitles will appear gradually, in real time, as they are created.
  • Other language teams cannot start translating before the English subs are complete and fully edited. This may take from half a day to a few days - typically 24 hours for popular shows.
  • Subtitles are not guaranteed by viki, since they are made by volunteers. Viki cannot control whether subtitles will be availabe, or when, or in which languages. Thus this free service is not included in vikipass.
  • Asking the volunteers to work more quickly in comments makes no difference whatsoever.[/QUOTE]

I’d bet this would shut up 15% of the complainers, tops. Even people who don’t care about other languages and wouldn’t even need the 2nd point.

I feel we shouldn’t need to cover ourselves up in Disclaimers just so we can say to people “but it’s THERE”. I doubt all this people are 1st time users and really need the extra info.

Posting every possible explanation everywhere would just get irritating, after some point.


I’m not saying they are all 1st time users. But that they just don’t know. You can spend years not knowing if you’re not curious to know. It’s like saying that an older man is necessarily a better lover. One who doesn’t want to learn can get old without any progress whatsoever.

Most of the complainers are Spanish and Portuguese, that’s why point 2 is important.
And, well, 15% is better than nothing.

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That’s true. But not knowing, asking and then knowing is one thing, not knowing, asking and then refusing to acknowledge the answer is different.

We spend too much energy thinking about how we could make the rest 85% stop being annoying (put a text there, put a notification here, maybe a disclaimer), which will never happen. We are not obliged to educate everyone, that’s my point.

Kind and patient CMs and mods reply time after time to every single comment, but they just respawn. It is what it is. After we put notifications everywhere and still get those commenters, yes we’ll say “we did everything we could” but it will be doubly annoying because it will never stop. There’s not optimal way of treating this that could bring the complaints down to an acceptable level. There is a point where we just have to stop offering disclaimers.

Hmmm… Well, users are also not obliged to know. Some people are very curious, and like to put their nose everywhere (like me, I’m endlessly curious about everything - one reason I’ve never contemplated suicide), and some are not. Viki is pretty unique in the way it functions. So it is natural that a visitor will assume that it is like all the other sites.

Secondly, I’m saying it for us, as it takes much less effort to put an information box on top than to write personal explanations to each commenter.
In the main Channel Page, it could be included on the top of the cover page artwork.
About the pages of the individual videos… That’s more tricky if viki does not cooperate and we have to do it. Because the only fixed thing is the Channel Info under the video. It’s an excellent place, but it no formatting whatsoever and no line breaks, so this information would be attached to the synopsis. But hey, better than nothing.


I never said that, you misunderstand my point. People who are just curious and/ or just don’t know ask once (mostly nicely) and drop it. That’s the 15% (and I’m being generous).

People who will complain after that are probably too lazy to read the info box, the same way they won’t read the comment just below, like @dudie said. Trying to find ways to stop something that will, by nature, not stop seems counterproductive to me.

The 85% will bitch no matter what we do. We just have to accept that. Some people are like that and there’s no civil, kind, logical solution that will stop this.

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I remember someone said to me about the concept of Viki something about global learning and sharing. If we understand the concept of it, we no longer bother about this problems!

I used to see this happen on many fan-sub outside.

they used to put disclaimers but 90% of the people STILL complained and didn’t care since they expect everything instantly…I have seen several episodes of shows where the comment section looked like a pack of trolls had hacked in because even though the subbers explained things the same person complained 20 times in the same comment thread so I tend to side with the subbers since they have tons of shows to sub each day…


The same people who ask why viki has not uploaded the subs within 15 minutes of the upload of the raw video are the same ones who ask why we volunteers are depriving them of XX series (which hasn’t had it’s first episode broadcast yet) and insist it is fully subbed and available on YY site, and even though the number of episodes is posted on the cover page ask how many episodes are there. These are the people who don’t understand “network pre-emption” so accuse us of depriving them of their beloved drama when there is a national soccer or baseball championship game (which is explained in BOLD RED with Highlight on the cover page or results of a presidential election to announce. It is because of reasons like that I rarely reply now to these whiners and critics. It is truly casting pearls among the swine to give them factual information when they want subs NOW. As one of my viki friends said, you can’t talk to people who won’t listen or write something for people who can’t read!


I don’t know, you guys. I understand what you say, and in my 1,5 year here I’ve seen what you describe, people who will complain no matter what. But my view is that, forget 10 and 15%, if even ONE person understands the information and changes accordingly, becoming more educated on processes and stuff, then it’s a gain and it’s worth doing. Again and again, patiently. That person will gain something, we will gain something - because she will probably start informing others in turn.
Maybe it comes from my calling as a teacher. I have helped many people that other dance teachers insisted were hopeless or not worth spending time and energy for. They didn’t become Nagwa Fouad or Soheir Zaki, but they improved spectacularly from their departure point and for every little improvement I had this exhilarating feeling of accomplishment.

That’s why I’ll never be tired of trying to communicate and give information. To those, few or not, who are willing to receive it and propagate it. After all, most of the time we can copy-paste a little message we have saved on our hard drive, so it takes literally seconds.

It has happened - many times - that the person we reply to still not gets it. Others have written “Oh, that’s how it is? I didn’t know, thanks for explaining”.

Whatever the response, we must keep in mind that for the one person who replies to your post, there may be hundreds who also read it, those who are not into writing much. You never know its impact, whether it has reached only the person you are replying to or many more who had this question in their minds and now it has been answered.

It’s perfectly ok if some of you are sick and tired of doing it. But I think it’s also ok if some of us still insist on trying.


If I notice someone is really new and is willing to learn I will give them an answer. I actually help out quite a few newbies here and there but only those who are really willing to learn. In the past I wasted to much time on people who where not willing to learn.

And that aside: Is it really our (the volunteers) job to educate people or Viki’s? In my opinion it should be Viki as we volunteers already have enough on our plate and they get paid to do the job so. We asked Viki multiple times to educate newbies better but the sad truth is sometimes Viki staff doesn’t even get how we (volunteers) roll on their site.


I fully agree with you, of course. And we certainly shouldn’t stop bugging them and asking them to do it. But in the meanwhile, and since I don’t see any willingness on their part, somebody has to do it.


Here we go again, irmar for the win! :laughing: Dirty mind took over :wink:

Very much agree. Whiners will whine, nothing to do about it, but copy-paste that standard explanation and really just forget about it.

Let me just briefly tackle another aspect of this problem. Since this is like the gazillionth thread we had on this topic, I think it’s safe to say that every one of us has at some point felt… perhaps not guilty, but at least too slow in their work for the audience. I had one viewer saying “You can’t translate fast enough as much as I want to watch”. And that is a fair way of looking at things. It’s the passionate viewers that watch too much (and should really go outside and breathe in some fresh air), not the community working too slow.

Another issue brought up is comparing our work at Viki to the work on other sites. I cannot emphasise this enough: No other legal or illegal site provides this content accompanied by all of these language translations worldwide! For other language moderators there is really not much point to make to their viewers. Except the viewers are just going to have to wait. And be grateful in the process.