[Viki Community Team] An Update on A&C Segmenting and Rewards

Hi everyone,

As 2024 began, we wanted to work towards properly rewarding contributions. Specifically, we understand that our current system is not adequately rewarding A&C (adjust & combine) segmenting for the amount of effort that is being put in.

For those unfamiliar with the term “adjust and combine,” imagine one sentence that’s been split into two separate segments. Because each segment only contains half the sentence, the subtitles are not on screen long enough to be properly read. To improve the experience, Segmenters will “combine” the subtitles so the entire sentence appears in one segment. They will then “adjust” or lengthen the segment so viewers have ample time to read and enjoy. This series of steps is called A&C (adjust and combine).

We had several conversations with Ninja Academy (NSSA) to better understand the complexities and level of effort involved in A&C – especially now that A&C is a required part of the Ninja Segmenting Academy training.

During this time, we discovered that while the system was already awarding the act of “combining”, the act of “adjusting” was being overlooked. We believed that “adjusting” also deserved to be rewarded by itself, and NSSA confirmed this.

We have already begun to fix the current system to ensure that adjusting one (1) segment is awarded one (1) point, and we plan to release this update in mid-June. Please note that the contribution point awarded for adjusting one segment will be in addition to the point that is already being given for combining subtitles into one segment.

Something else important to note is that while the new point for “adjusting” will count as a segmenting point, the existing point for “combining” will continue being counted as a subtitle point. This is because any changes to words are counted as subtitling not segmenting.

We would also like to share related news about the availability of segmenting shows from scratch. As some of you may have noticed, many shows have been arriving pre-subbed in English before reaching the Community. Moving forward, due to operational changes, every drama will now be pre-subbed in English, which means they will also be coming pre-segmented, leaving only A&C opportunities available for Contributors.

We understand this is a big change for those who have been with Viki since the beginning and are accustomed to segmenting from scratch. While it may be taking on a new form, we hope that your passion for segmenting will encourage you to evolve with this small but mighty community.

For those who are interested in A&C segmenting (and taking advantage of the new rewards system coming soon) but are not familiar with this new way of segmenting, we hope you’ll consider attending the Ninja Segmenting & Subbing Academy. NSSA has been training Segmenters in the art of A&C for months now, and are more than happy to take on anyone open to learning.

We realize that this change is just a small step towards creating a more balanced rewards system and understand there is much more work to be done.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for a followup announcement coming very soon.

Love,
Viki Community Team

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I am happy that they are rewarding this, but sad, that everything comes with pre subs and we don’t get chances to segment from the scratch, what makes a lot of fun :face_exhaling:

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Well done, @vikicommunity, for listening to us and changing the rewards system for segmenters. Thank you for that! :partying_face: I believe it will really make a difference for many, many contributors who spend hours volunteering on Viki :clap::clap::clap:

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It’s surely a good thing that Viki took care of this significant problem.
Sad, though, that our months of struggle in the NSSA (both for us students and for the dedicated senseis) have been made almost useless, and there’s nowhere else to apply those hard-gained skills.
But then, haven’t Korean/Chinese/Japanese to English subbers been made almost completely redundant as well, except for captioning? Viki is sure (D)“evolving” and there’s nothing to be done. If we want to stay here, that’s the way it is and we have to make our peace with it.

Of course now the risk is that there will be a lot of combining and adjusting even when it isn’t needed, just for points.
But I understand that there was no other way to ensure a reward without this risk. At least I cannot think of any.
But maybe, who knows, there will be less of those irritating redundant segments that are being created lately for the sake of contribution points.
(You know what I mean: every time we go into the office of the male lead who is a CEO, and he is sitting at his desk, we have to get a segment for the plaque with his name and position, which by now we know by heart)
And Chief Segmenters don’t delete them, it is just an extra chore for those who came after, i.e. the editors.

Awarding two points for work on one segment seemed a bit bizarre, at first. So should editors be awarded two points when correcting formatting as well as syntax of a subtitle?
But, thinking about it, I understand that this “generosity” is probably due to technical reasons. If changing the text counts as 1 subtitle contribution (as it always has), and adjusting, as per new rules, counts as 1 segment contribution, it is probably difficult to put an exception in the code for when both are done by the same person at once.

“You know what I mean: every time we go into the office of the male lead who is a CEO, and he is sitting at his desk, we have to get a segment for the plaque with his name and position, which by now we know by heart.”
As a segmenter we have a saying"if in doubt segment" but regarding the text if there’s on-screen text it should be segmented it’s one of the rules (the CS can delete it and the editor etc can asked to have a segment removed), that said a segmenter can’t delete an existing segment and sometimes the team working on it before us segmenters have made a segment already.
There are many rules for us to follow and I honestly think it’s hard to abuse the system as a segger.

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The rules are rules but surely common sense should also be exercised when something is repeated so many times that it is annoying and tiresome for the viewers (we got it, he’s a CEO and he’s called So-and-so!) Even phone companies have “unlimited calls/data” packages but then if you look closely, there’s something called “fair use” or “reasonable use”. For intance, for roaming my so-called “unlimited data” is only 76 GB per month, which is good but not unlimited. The phone company is basically saying “Yes, I know I promised unlimited data, but you also have to not take advantage of it and be online all day watching dramas, okay? Go out and do some sightseeing!”

I have seen segments even for the brand of beer the characters are drinking, or a random poster on the restaurant wall behind their table, completely irrelevant to the story!!! Not to mention brands on shopping bags - we all know it’s product placement, but do we have to cater to that, when we are not even the original viewers it’s meant for?

And yes, these segments were not there, they were added by our volunteers, not the Viki paid staff. How do I know? Because when I am working on a project I start watching the episode as soon as it’s available. From outside, as a viewer (the inside is locked anyway). The segmenters have just started their QC and usually I see no “text”, “musical notes” or “credits” placeholders anywhere. That’s how I can tell what was before, done by Viki staff, and what is added by our team.
Sometimes even the CS adds more of such things (I see their name under the subtitle when I enter the S.E. later)
And many of them are not happy when you tell them to delete those segments, it’s as if you are telling them to ki.ll their babies. (Not all are like that, for sure!)

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So happy to hear that you are finally rewarding the hardworking segmenters for doing A&C, even though it’s sad that there won’t be any future projects for our segmenters to segment from scratch. Love hearing that you have been communicating with the NSSA community before making a final decision :heart:

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It is indeed a sad thing that we will never get an unsubbed show anymore, but does that mean our skills have become useless? Or that the NSSA should from now on teach nothing but A&C instead of starting with the basics?

Until now, at least Chinese subbers could hope for an unsubbed drama now and then. That’s over now, but apart from captioning, there are still options as TE, just like segmenters can A&C even if it’s not necessarily their first preference.

If you see it that way, segmenters now also have an extra risk at being mistrusted. For combining, nothing changes, though, only for adjusting and rightfully so.
Besides, so far, segmenting has never been the most lucrative option for abusers. And if abusing is your goal, why put yourself through the stress of NSSA first if you can start subbing right away?

I agree with @maria_lavendula_77 on this point. You can’t just assume that those segments were created out of ill will. If they are really that unwanted, they end up getting deleted at some point anyway and then the segmenter hasn’t gained anything so what would be the point?

I don’t see what is so bizarre about that. You get 1 point for the segment and 1 point for the subtitle.

If you remember the survey from some time ago, Viki does have plans in that direction.
A big difference between segmenters and subbers/editors is still that the latter can always be sure that their contributions are there to stay, even if someone changes them, while segmenters lose contributions just because someone decides to change something.

However, the views on that differ per person. A new segmenter often has more trouble seeing the difference than an experienced one. Also, if the on-screen text is in a foreign language let alone a foreign script, it may not always be that clear. In the end, the English team decides what goes. And CEs are quite different in what they want to keep and what not. But since they don’t get to see all scenes in the editor (unless they look in-between subs), it’s better to create a segment that they don’t want than to not create one that they do want. Hence the rule, ïn case of doubt, create a segment.

Wasn’t the whole point of Viki’s existence to make shows available for everyone in the world?

That means the CS views them as potentially important. The CE can still ask for them to be deleted if they feel differently. Btw, being unnecessary is not the only reason why segments get deleted. It also happens when no one is able to translate them. Then the segment was without a doubt rightfully there but gets deleted either way.

Segmenters don’t QC; they A&C. QC-ing is the job of the CS.

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I was clearly not talking about such instances!

[quote="mirjam_465]
Wasn’t the whole point of Viki’s existence to make shows available for everyone in the world?[/quote]

This twisted reasoning is so tiring!
We’re talking about PPL! Advertisement! Which is completely worthless to anybody but the producers who get necessary funding for the production. Viewers are more or less patient with those advertisements because they know that without them they wouldn’t be able to enjoy their favourite shows, but there’s zero point in translating them, like putting a segment for a sign saying “Subway sandwiches” or “X (Korean jewellery brand)” or “Y (Korean brand of dried fruits and nuts)”. Yes, the characters will say “Oh, these nuts are so nutritious and I love them”, and you have to translate that BS as it’s in the script, but the actual brand shown on the paper bag is irrelevant.
All serious editors I know immediately have those deleted.

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What is really tiring is that when there is finally a serious attempt from Viki’s side to make contributing more fair for segmenters, the first thing that crosses your mind is that we might now use those changes to abuse the system. I agree that not everything is worth segmenting, but to just assume that someone who segments something that you don’t get value from is an abuser goes too far. They might be ignorant, they might have different opinions or they might simply not be able to read the text they are segmenting. If it ends up gettting deleted, they won’t gain anything either way. The viewer might end up seeing the show before those segments get deleted, but that’s only because they are impatient.

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Thank you, Viki, for making sure that Segmenters are rewarded fully for their contributions! This is great!

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@irmar
More common sense decision making in A & C.
Ninja Academy Guidelines on segmenting say that text on screen should have a segment when the camera zooms in on the text. Incidental text on screen like the name of stores as a character walks on the street, a building directory listing offices that is seen next to an elevator, a highway sign as cars are moving 60 kmh, a poster on the wall, book titles of books on a shelf or stacked on a table, these are text on screen which usually does NOT need a segment. When the text on screen is on a sign or poster or anything else is only one-half visible (top or bottom, left or right) then no segment should be cut.
Ninja guidelines say cut segments for lyrics only if the lyrics are clearly audible or on screen for 30 seconds or more. The volume and length of time are indicative that the director wanted the viewer to be cognizant of the lyrics. Ninja guidelines also say do not cut lyric segments for background music such as on an elevator or barely audible lyrics.
In the same way, if a sound is heard only through noise-cancelling earphones, common sense will tell you that no subber can translate the barely audible sound. When a number of people are talking very briefly and seemingly at random, no segment is required.
I NEVER think unnecessary segments are abusive or attempts to unfairly gain points, but they are indicative that more attention and thought should go into cutting segments in the A & C process rather than mechanically cutting a segment when one sees text on screen or for sounds/lyrics one can barely hear. Even though the characters, letters, one sees on screen may be in a language the segmenter does not know, if the sign, or deskplate is the same with the same characters, then repeatedly cutting for that text on screen every few seconds is unnecessary.

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I think that segmenters deserve the new method of credits. I worked on two dramas where pre-subs were difficult to understand. The segmenters worked very hard, but for a whole part, they were lucky to get 1-2 segmenting credits for hours of work. After such a discouraging situation, we could hardly get the segmenters to continue, then the burden was on the poor CS.

I applaud Viki for this much-needed change. It’s not likely that anyone would abuse in segmenting. It’s a long, difficult road to earn your segmenting badge, which weeds out those who are not serious and diligent about segmenting.

As a viewer, I really appreciate that one can understand more of the drama because signs and missing dialogue are subbed on Viki. In English, we may read a sign and think it is unimportant, but don’t forget that Other Languages are curious to know what we may take for granted.

As a CE, I don’t delete the segmenters’ hard work. If I see it is a segment to check an early or late start and was mistakenly left behind, then I get that taken care of.

I always have a team of TEs so if one cannot decipher it, then another one can. I go the second mile for the sake of viewers. I watched shows on other sites and understood half of what’s happening because of so many missing subs. I value Viki’s reputation of working to ensure we have the best subs. If I can watch a drama on Viki that is available on other sites, I will wait to watch it on Viki.

My husband is one who complains if the timing isn’t fixed, because English is his second language, and he can’t read it as fast as his mother tongue. We watch historical dramas together, and we wait for proper timing. Other sites don’t fix the timing like Viki volunteers do.

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The problem of unnecessary segments is precisely stated in the adjective “unnecessary.” I am capable of subbing the signs and any legible text on screen in Korean so don’t need to rely on someone else to read and understand the sign. But a subtitle of an “unnecessary segment” is by definition, unnecessary. The CEO’s title and name are already subbed in the first instance in the episode. The name of the street/ restaurant, etc., are known if the camera zoomed in and we filled in the first segment for the text. If there is yellow crime scene tape around the dead body, we don’t need to know again that you shouldn’t cross the barrier.
Non-segmenters. If you want to understand what segmenters do in A & C, watch the first two minutes of this. Connection | Watch with English Subtitles, Reviews & Cast Info | Viki This video has not been adjusted by volunteers. That blinking sensation you have between some of the subtitles is caused by what we call a “flash gap”. There is gap of a fraction of a second between the ending of a segment and the beginning of the next. Sometimes this can be quite a dizzy experience!

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I appreciate this contribution to the discussion, especially coming from someone like you, who wears both hats: a senior English editor with a 15-year experience here on Viki, and also a senior sensei at the Segmenting Academy.

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Yet you can’t be respectful to other people who wear exactly those hats and more…

What?!!! When? How?

First you randomly accuse segmenters of abusing the system, then when I try to explain that most of them are not abusive, you pick out a few random lines out of all the things I said and twist it into something ridiculous. If you respect Connie for being both an English editor and a CS, then why not take what I say seriously?

I never said everyone is doing it! I said that since segmenting jobs became so few, addition of new segments to existing ones has become more prevalent, and I suspect this is the reason for some of them. And I stand by that.

You wrote that translating advertisement and product placement was a service to viewers, that is in line with the whole point of Viki’s existence to make shows available for everyone in the world.
Another excuse you found was that sometimes segments are not useless but they get deleted anyway because nobody can translate them - which is true of course, this does indeed happen, but has NOTHING to do with what was discussed here.
Really clutching at straws. In Italian we call that “arrampicarsi sugli specchi” = climbing on mirrors.
So, after hearing all this climbing on mirrors, I said that this reasoning is just an excuse, twisting and evading the main point of the discussion, to the point of being tiresome.
And I stand by that.
Thinking of it, you’re probably right, I tend to respect more those who discuss in a straightforward manner, presenting reasonable points etc, than those who try to make excuses right and left, deviating from the subject and twisting your words, in order to win an argument.

I think I have made my thoughts quite clear. As I don’t wish to become tiresome to other people reading this topic, I won’t continue taking part in it, and I am muting it so it won’t appear on my feed.

Finally Viki is giving at least some credit where credit is due but I still feel sad I lost a hobby I had for years. A&C is not the same and I don’t think I will ever like it as much as segging from scratch. And also work in teams like we used to do. Yes I know there are still teams of course but it’s not how it used to be.

Due all this I turned more into a viewer then a contributor at this point which is sad because I have been enjoying contributing on Viki a lot over the years even though it had it’s ups and down. I even miss it sometimes…

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