Viki as Translation Editors


Lately, there have been attempts by Viki to use paid Translation Editors for different shows to “reduce the workload” and in order to speed up the releasing procedure.
While I understand it’s currently quite difficult to find people who are accepting this job for languages such as Thai or Korean and that it’s an issue if no one does it (as various changes after release demonstrate in some shows)… the communication doesn’t exist in the first place.

These people (whoever those TEs are, I haven’t seen them) don’t add new segments (because the editing is done before the QC), they don’t care about Team Notes, and they keep repeating the very same mistake. If you’re an inexperienced CM and actually believe they did a good job… what are you supposed to do?

In a show I checked change (money) became “money for fishing” [because the word can be translated like that in the original language], “hate” and “shine” are repeatedly mixed up (because no one bothers to check the lyrics from the Team Notes - this is an error that can be easily determined in both reference subs and the song’s official title) and lately tomorrow became yesterday…
Of course, a few mistakes can and will happen, but it doesn’t feel like anyone checked this. It’s about the same error quota you get from Viki presubs. Still, some presubbers were more talkative than the people who are supposed to do Translation editing now (and they actually checked the Team Notes).

Who are you supposed to consult if there are logical errors such as the money for fishing? The person who’s selecting CMs and already receives a lot of messages? Should I possibly consult a pendulum?
I do think that this could be helpful if it’s done properly for the languages where it’s actually necessary… and if the communication was better in the first place. But the current state I consider a failure.


I’m curious, are these paid TEs doing the editing before the video is released to the public?

The idea that an English team can work well where one or two paid members are not allowed or expected to communicate with the rest of the team is preposterous.

It states in many Viki’s guidelines that team members have to communicate with each other. And there is a very, very good reason for that. So why are those rules null and void when it comes to their paid subbers and editors?


That’s the theory, I guess. They tell the CMs that there’ll be a TE and that they don’t have to recruit one.


Do volunteers ever get recruited for these paid positions? Viki should at least, first, offer the opportunity to the volunteer community. This, of course, is my opinion.


I have so many complaints right now, you don’t even know!!! I will most likely start a new thread in discussions… but you are right that the “Viki TEs” are horrible. I’ve had many translators come back to me and say that is wrong… especially in the Korean side. A lot of valuable historic and cultural nuances are being ignored or the “TE” from Viki has no clue about them.

In any case, the English teams are slowly being obliterated and there is nothing I or anyone can do. I have so many translators BEGGING for a job because they are about to lose their QC. NOT JUST KOREAN BUT ALL OF THEM!!!


Well, I can understand it if they recruit people who have certificates etc. proving their experience in translating. Considering that there’ve been major issues finding TE’s in some languages, I do understand the approach as well to some extent.

On the other hand, I’m not happy about the way it’s done. They pick shows as well that wouldn’t have been an issue (such as a BL drama) and there are the issues mentioned above. I could as well name a bunch of paid subtitlers that do an excellent job. :woman_shrugging:

But Translation Editing requires communication and a certain exchange in my opinion.

I didn’t even address the issue with translators. Currently, there is about one drama available in the major languages for translation into English. However, the last Japanese drama was released around 1 a.m. JST, was segmented around 3-4 a.m. JST and fully subbed around noon. Lots of Japanese subtitlers are in Japan - it’s nearly impossible to jump in here (but the responsible staff at least consulted the CM).
Still, these 12 hours are an issue. On the other hand, we have a very impatient audience, so I can somewhat understand that they may feel pressured or receive complaints. They attempted to solve this by delayed releases, and this might’ve been a solution, but it’s a rather small timeframe. Especially, if they release 6 episodes at once (this doesn’t mean that 1 25-min episode of a Japanese drama per week is much better - that’s the other extreme).


Dear @vikicommunity, @amm11,
Your consideration on the issues raised in this thread, thanks! Any assistance with bringing it forward to Viki is greatly appreciated.


I am so happy that you wrote this here because this is such a true statement, and now we won’t continue to have that problem here because this is one of the new changes RakutenViki has implemented; that no TE will be required in dramas/movies/etc. from now on.

In regards to ‘‘English teams being obliterated’’ (quote/unquote), I don’t think that’s what will happen here because in my opinion, they will keep those that like you, do a great job, and they will only eliminate/obliterate? those that are not doing the quality work viewers want to see in the dramas/movies/shows etc. This was something I was waiting to see for years, and now finally, has come true.

PS. I think the QC status needs some revamp or eliminated completely. They need to look into some changes there because (imo), that’s the main cause that we have so many volunteering here that are not qualified to be subbers, TE, moderators and CMand they are affecting the Quality in the subtitles of dramas/movies/shows/etc.

In regards to the new TE (paid subbers) we need to give them time to see if they are doing a great job or not bc as far as I know, I still haven’t seen a drama done with a paid TE. If there’s any titles you can mention here I would appreciate if u can offer the link, if possible. To be fair to all/everyone, we do have great TE here at RViki, and I know they know who they really are, and that is why they eliminated the TE’s for the time being, and will work on adding the great TE’s volunteers at some point.


If they are getting paid editors as well I think it’s time for us all to just leave. They clearly seem to want us gone already.

@vikicommunity @amm11 @amyk @giant_sean @fsl_viki


@dudie They clearly seem to want us gone already.

I know I’m not ‘‘your cup of tea’’ but I don’t think that’s what they want to do. Why would they get rid of faithful and good working volunteers like yourself and many others in here?

They are just trying to make these changes that will benefit everyone in general, but in doing this, they need to analyze what was done wrong in the past that got to this point where you have to admit we have here some that are not even qualified to be TE’s (in any OL language) I believe they are trying to find the mistakes done in the past, get rid of these mistakes, and then start bringing back a system that will offer both Quality and Quantity to the viewers.

There are so many different language offered here, and we also have great TE’s in those OL language; so I doubt they will loose the great asset they have as faithful, committed. volunteers for years and years. We have to give them time bc no company in their right mind * would bite the hand that feeds them.* That would only work against them as a business person/company. I honestly think we should give them time to sort out things, and remain faithful to them as many have done for so many years.

Don’t forget that during these economic hard times they need to survive, and they can only do that by removing the bad apples from the good ones so they can have a bountiful harvest. At this point personally, I think people with bad intentions has joined here as volunteers just to find a way to do more harm than good, and we have a good example when we read a confessed repentant abuser give us all the full details of all his/her misdeed. In a way, ironically this abuser stated that it was a good person and it a way it was because it made many aware of all the wrong things that was happening, and how easy if was for all this wrong things to continue going on in here. IT was an EYE OPENER; at least for me it was.


You’re right.


I am done speculating, I don’t know if I will get a useful reply to it, but I had to get it “off my liver” as we in Germany say:
If you don’t mind, feel free to read it and vote if you like/dislike to get to know more about it.


As a TE, I’ll give my two cents.

From what I have gathered within the past few months, most shows’ presubs are not actually done by Viki’s paid subbers. Usually, Viki’s paid subbers come in when there are shows that have no subtitles. The presubs are generally from the distributor themselves, which can either be translated by people from the distribution company or machine translated, we don’t know.

Now, I have yet to run into a show has been TE’d by a paid subber, but I do know that recent shows that have been coming in are claimed by Viki to already have been TE’d — the messages state that TEs are not needed, or rather, reworded so that it states that the CM should find a general/chief editor only.

But often in these presubbed shows there are still errors.

What Viki’s volunteer TEs do is that they not only correct these errors, but more importantly (in my opinion), provide cultural context that you won’t get on platforms like Netflix or the presubs from the distributor themselves.

Example 1:

A character said literally, "You just threw a stone over a wall and killed two people."

What was presubbed/“TE’d” by Viki was that “You killed two birds with one stone.”

Now this seems like it makes sense (both have the words "stone" and "killed two"), but what the character was crudely saying was that the person had blindly tossed out a name and it happened to be an actual person in the company. Which is very different from "killing two birds with one stone" which indicates that you were able to achieve more than one thing. This is an example of an incorrect translation made by presubs.

Example 2:

In historical/period dramas, quoting famous people is very common. This typically can be past emperors of China, poets, or ancient texts. These quotes often contain a lot of valuable meaning that adds context to the dialogue. For instance, there was this scene where a woman was commenting on a painting of an eagle another character drew using the quote from a poem called “Drawing an Eagle” by Du Fu. The first two lines of the poem are a description of the eagle drawing which is what she quotes, but the poem as a whole is a commentary on the poet’s views of ambition and loathing of mediocracy. So this line in the poem emphasizes the painter’s character and values as it foreshadows his lofty ambitions which come later in the show.

Example 3:

PUNS. Puns are a huge part of jokes made in these shows. There was a show where a character’s nickname 路兄 (lu xiong) which is a homonym with 露胸 (lu/lou xiong) which meant “to be bare-chested/show your bare chest” And so another character was calling him by the nickname and he responded with “pervert.” The presubs had no context which may cause confusion among viewers.


I think we have to differentiate between Chinese and other languages. Except for movies and especially the Chinese shows’ (and maybe Thai) presubs are usually done by Viki’s paid translators:
(just some examples)
It’s often not necessarily visible since it’s subbed in a different channel and then added by another general account.

The whole “paid TE” matter so far mainly concerned Viki Originals (Korean and Japanese) and some Thai show. That’s what I heard so far.
I don’t know about the Thai show as I’m only involved in Japanese. However, from the Korean show mentioned, I heard there were issues with the segments that were added later on - because it’s difficult to find a solution for those without an approachable TE - not to mention a solution for logical errors. In the Japanese show wasn’t much to add, but some mistakes including those that are repeated all the times (something I put in the TN along with the original subs, but nothing changes).

The Chinese shows often get their subtitles from WeTV, Youku, Iqiyi… and Mango. Especially Mango/Hunan TV are known for bad subs which lead to dramas being “oversubbed” because there were too many changes necessary. If Viki checked these first, I’m sure everyone would appreciate it (or add them without subtitles).

Did they actually say this, or is this an assumption? The only statement I read about this change was a faster editing progress. So other languages will be available faster too (something I find slightly funny if I consider that I had to complain for a year to receive the chance to even finish some short drama).

Anyway, while I agree that not everyone is necessarily good enough in the source language or English to be a TE or subtitler I can say from the point of a GE that “less impressive” TEs usually don’t tend to ruin a drama. They rather tend to apply superficial changes by changing the formatting only. So those dramas don’t necessarily become better, but not worse either. :woman_shrugging:
I would assume there are rather more subtitlers who don’t necessarily know a language and copy subtitles from elsewhere rather than throwing them into some sort of translator. But that’s another matter.

The statements made so far here only covered a small part. Other cases showed that anyone could do this. Even if the community says they’re innocent while they’re not.
Just like someone “regretting things” isn’t necessarily honest, either.


As to the reason why Viki would hire both paid subbers and TEs, we’ve had that discussion before.

Relying on the volunteers who are by no means bound to Viki to fulfil their duties (although they often do) and to fulfil them in the time Viki would like them to (time which nobody knows because it’s not being communicated to the volunteers), all that left their business vulnerable.

Not to mention that we have striked before during which very little progress was made.

What irks me is that while volunteers were for YEARS plucking their hair out in stress how to translate an episode asap and staying up late or waking up at 4 AM for the release of the episodes, while at the same time Viki claiming it’s impossible to translate shows before they are released to the public due to “technical” reasons, now it seems… that was a pure lie.


Thanks Unnie for writing this up, as we know Viki isn’t available on weekend, but hopefully they will read it on Monday. I agree with everything you said!:+1:

This one looks like a paid subber too, often the episode is subbed by this profile before released:


… there are new subs, and what do I see? Using -br- when it is only a short sentence and no blank space between the words …

Weren’t we told exactly the opposite in the past years?


I mentioned this in another thread somewhere… or perhaps on KKT… who does check the accuracy???


The editors … Which is why an English team is still crucial even if the shows are presubbed.


That’s not what I meant, when Viki gives the translating job to a paid translator, who checks the accuracy including the the usage terms in the editor like breaks, italics etc…

I assume that person must go through some test… and if so, are these well checked… I’ve seen discrepancies, like creating breaks in one short message and that sort of…