[Viki Community] We Want Your Feedback


If Viki doesn’t have a channel or didn’t get the license for a drama, yes, I’m watching dramas on other sites, too. And the subs there are quite good and not made with a bot. On Net*** I found English and German subs with much more mistakes than Viki and yes, you’re right, they often lose the Asian flavor. But if I have no other choice to watch a drama, I don’t have such high expectations, because I watch them for free.

In German everbody would say the English “Cheese” no one would seriously say “Käse” :slight_smile:

One of the biggest problems with an auto-translation would be the formal and informal speech. In Englisch you have the “you”, but in German we have the informal “Du” and formal “Sie”. If you take a look on YTs auto-translations, they switch from sentence to sentence or even within one sentence. And it’s a huge mess for historical dramas, where we use the much more formal “Ihr” and “Euch”. Auto-translations would say “Hey you (informal) King!” and would play some upside-down games with the “Du” “Sie” and “Ihr”.


Hi VikiCommunity,
Thank you for giving us space to share our opinions and thoughts.
I’m a Portuguese volunteer on the Viki Community.

Well, in my opinion this is not the best solution for the high-demand of Portuguese and Spanish subtitles. As all the volunteers know, other languages need to wait for the English team to create and edit the subtitles - which they do with much love and effort, and sometimes this process can take a while.
Portuguese and Spanish teams are a really large group of volunteers, and they can translate in a few hours later after an episode’s release.

I believe the best solution is to invest in English subbers and Editors, so they can continue their amazing work. Maybe hiring them, recruit more volunteers/workers? (just a valid thought) If the investiment in English teams are apporpriate, I believe the release for other languages will be faster. And we’ll have the guarantee that the subtitles are always with high-quality.
And as I mentioned before, Portuguese and Spanish teams are really active.
I believe the demand for subtitles in these languages will decrease with this idea.

Thank you once again,


I would like to add a point for consideration.
The introduction of auto translate having a negative impact on viewers.
I’m only speaking as a consumer of dramas, with no comments on the volunteering aspect.

A large amount of air time is given to dialogue in dramas for character development, story progression and conveyance of emotions, the subtitles are essentially 60-80% of what I’m consuming of this media.
I don’t speak any languages of the dramas country of origin so I rely 100% on the accuracy and quality of the subtitles to do that.

The production of the content you distribute is the result of so many peoples work, some good some bad, but always they do so with love for their craft. From screen writers with a concept or a story to tell. The director calling No Good and giving directions to produce a better shot, to the actor wanting to redo a scene because they think they can deliver a better performance.

In providing subtitling and translation to another language where it did not exist before has made you a part of the production team, and you should show the same duty of care for the content as much as the production team did.

You would take something that they took time to get right to how they wanted it to be, yet not show as much care just because it’s being distributed to someone that ‘needs’ it in other language right now, knowing that the auto translator will produce poor quality translations.
You say that these auto translation will be immediately identifiable, the viewer will still need to make hundreds of negative subconscious filtering and adjustments for the weaknesses of current auto translation technology.

The production team delivered a great scene in a romance. That on screen shot between the actor and actress were softly lit, the chemistry is off the charts, the dialogue romantically poetic. The boy says to the girl
in original “[Your] butterflies kisses (are) like”
Volunteer translation from original to English/language X “Your kisses are like butterflies” [V]

Through volunteers understand of the target language, I’m able to sit back, relax and enjoy the drama with the same conveyance experienced by an original language viewer.
Now 100 Language X viewers are hooked to the show and unhappy at having to wait for [V] to occur, spamming reviews, comments etc

Rviki thinks that they can kill 100 birds with one stone by providing auto translate as temporary stop gap to solve delay in [V]
100 Language X viewers try auto translate and get
A.I. to language X “You kissed a butterfly”
Now the 100 viewers are required to rapidly in real time as the subtitle appears and disappears, work out
comprehension- What’s going on on screen? something about kissing and a butterfly
context- Is he really stating that she kissed a butterfly once? I now need to see her response “yuck, it was all powdery!” or “No, your kisses are sweet as honey”
Correction- the 100 viewer is now required to do mental gymnastic and become surrogate team editor for the A.I. to conclude it was “Your kisses are like butterflies”
Acceptance or Rejection- if they did get to “Your kisses are like butterflies” and it makes sense given what’s on screen, Accept. but if they were not quick in deduction then Reject, making auto translate for that line a ‘blank’ again.
All that to be done before the appearance of the next subtitle line.
100 viewers have now had to work x4 or x5 times harder to get the same enjoyment had they waited for [V]

On screen: Police to sniper
A.I. “I’m going in blankets”
same mental gymnastics, did you derive the same excitement as “cover me, I’m going in!”

Multiply the risk for poor auto translation of 90% unsubbed and you think they will come back and watch again after [V] finally occurs, having now built up enough subconscious bias that their opinion of the show has changed from “It was great, going on my favourites list!” to “it was ok”


Than Viki when edited, yes, I agree. But what about comparing it to Viki subs before our three different editors come? It’s a wholly different picture. That first version is what I’m seeing all the time, as an editor (and that’s what impatient viewers also see).

The machine would go and translate as soon as the subs are at 100%, as lutra has rightly pointed out, therefore even if (IF) it were an accurate, perfect translator (which it isn’t), the Spanish, Portuguese etc. would be full of the mistakes of the unedited English.



I mainly watch Cdramas, I rarely watch Kdramas and Jdramas. If I watch Kdramas and Jdramas I’m usually doing that on Netflix. Main reason for that is that VIKI blocks 99% of the Kdramas I find interesting for Europe (finally I gave up on even trying to watch some interesting sounding Kdrama’s story on VIKI).

I also watched some Cdramas for free on offical Chinese studio pages or their official Youtube channels. Usually the Chinese studios provide everything with Engllish subs for their worldwide viewerbase!

About the quality of these subs:

Overall the subtitle’s quality for official subtitles is higher than here on VIKI. The official English subs of the Chinese studios are always clear and easy to understand, they may remove all the nested sentences and expressions VIKI subs have but they always keep the real meaning (and they won’t add wrong meanings e.g. talking about Buddha and his temple when a scene is about the wife of a business man…).

The German subs on Netflix usually have correct syntax and grammar. I’m watching many international shows on Netflix with German subs, not only Asian shows, also other European or South American shows. The sentences are clear, the German is natural; without weird, terrible word order and uncount number of unnecessary nested sentences.

When I watch something on VIKI I always watch it with English subs (I know that many Germans do that in case they’re able to understand English).

The biggest problem with German subs on VIKI is the syntax problem. Too many subbers stick to English syntax while translating. The sentences get unnatural, hard to read and nested. It’s no fun watching a drama then because the amount of time one needs to read all these lines is way higher than the second you get for it (I’m not talking about lines and scenes with additional explanations about culture or history, I’m talking about normal dialogues without additional explanations).

Professional translators focus on the essence. They may cut things down but that offers the chance to also see the scene and not only staring at the subtitle lines…

Of course we have great subbers who are able to write subs that are good to read but you won’t find a long Cdrama with many episodes that is only with clear and easy to read subs. It’s also impossible to edit all these dramas related to syntax problems because editing syntax is like re-translating the whole segment. It’s way harder to fix than typos or spelling mistakes or forgotten mark or something like that.

So overall I agree with this opinion:


Short Kdramas or movies might be fully edited but many Cdramas with many many episodes aren’t.

So in this regard we have the same problem like the English teams - too less editors and too many shows.


Those illegal sites seldom or never offer any other language than English. There are dedicated local sites for this. I know Indonesia is very active in this domain. Some Greek and Italian sites and forums I’ve heard of offer just the subtitles, and then a link to download the video - I’ve never used them because English is fine enough for me and because the translations will probably suck. But I visited one once, when I was told they had stolen my Italian subs for The King Loves and had made a comment about my translation.
The big legal sites however often do have 2-3 languages other than English. The defunct DF often had Spanish, Portuguese and one Asian language on some of its shows. KCW has at least Spanish (for instance for “Running Man”) and of course NF does translate in quite a few languages, including unpopular ones like Greek. That’s what I was referring to.

(OT: Where on earth have you been, to have such an experience? I’ve never had any bad things trying to install themselves on my PC all these years - of course I stick to watching videos and enthusiastically taking part to discussions, not clicking on stuff and my PC is well protected in various ways. Frozen streaming is extremely rare except for the moment the episode comes and everyone is trying to download it at the same time. Sometimes I watch the episode here and then I go there just to take part in the juicy dialogue, since this feature has been taken away from us here)


Yes, of course :slight_smile:


I second that! It’s like a prayer or a mantra “Please don’t stick to the English subs! Write them naturally, like the spoken word, without ordinary slang.” and “You should, are allowed to and must change long multi-clause sentences!” but way too many subbers stick like glue to the English subs. Editing just one episode often takes me 2-3 hours. And to find a good editor, if I have too much work, is like hitting the jackpot ^^


I’m new in viki community as a translator. But I’m a long time viewer, and I can speak from my experience that I preferred wait for a good translation than to see a bad one.

I know it’s sometime really tiring to wait for the next translate episode because it was really interesting and all, but you can’t because it’s not translate. And I understand the point here. But like almost many people who have another language than english as native-language, once I watched a drama (with or without a good translation in my language), I don’t re-watch again. Because I want to watch something new. Even if, people use the auto-sub, and see it’s very poorly accurate, they can switch for english subs (more and more people do it)

About the auto-subs, I’m afraid, it leads to misunderstanding and confusion for the viewers, and some really bad reviews. It may be a good idea on the spot but I don’t think it will be alright for the viewers and for the contributors community.

Even like that, some people can take their anger out about those poorly translations make by the auto-subs tool, on the volonteer team. because, they may not understand it’s a tool and not the volonteers team which is in use.

What I think may help the most, is to have a proper calendar on wiki about when shows/dramas would be aired and for the volonteers team to have a schedules so they can use to tell how episodes will be released. Especially with new projects that are on air. But it can be use with pretty much all. It’s a volonteer job, but if people know it will have a regular release it will be much easier to deal with the wait.

It’s what I think. And maybe, because today, it’s really all about binge-watching a show that make it worthy but I don’t think so. But as a volonteer, I have a little pride to do a good job and to make it for others to watch. And if it take a week, that it’s ok for me. Because I know all week, at this day, I can watch this episode in my native language, with accurate translations.

About the complaints, it will always be have some complaints. But what I experience, it’s many people watch their contents on mobile phones or tablets, so they can access the discussion where the volonteers team explain the process of the subtitling work in progress thing. They don’t ask about it in the section “help center”. Humans are really fast conditionned to have all they want faster, and just ask for it. But some are able to be patient (thanks to all those people). And for those impatient people, they can reach other platforms which offer the same content with subtitles in their native-language. And those make by professional translators. They will be more patient to a pro translation than a auto-poorly-sub.

Some other ideas:

  • Retain the shows until all English sub is done, than other language can do the work after. Then make calendar of releasing show on viki platform, including the fact that the english sub is done, and the episode is available at that date. English viewers can watch and other language team can take their part and have also a release date after the english team is done. It will bring less frustration for viewer, but it will say clearly how they can watch the show. Volonteers team can make it too with less stress (kind of, but with what I saw, volonteers teams are pretty fast and good). It take a good time for organizing all of it but it may be worthy.
  • May think about how to keep the volonteers running the long run. And be less stressed out about it. by a realistic schedule, another motivation to keep the same team on one project (exemple: if they stick to the show until the end, they can have some goodies. Or an upgrade after X project they’ll be on to the beginning until the end). The volonteers make their own choice to stick or leave with the team.
  • Maybe for the app, think about a good way to put a ring or some reminder for viewers to use help center for complaints. If there is a schedule available, then il will be interesting to have a reminder set on the app for viewers, too.


I have only been volunteering for less than a month so forgive me if I am ignorant as to all the ins and outs of how VIKI works. I made that statement based on the premise that IF the subtitles on other streaming services were indeed generated by AI and they are passable (at least for Korean/English viewer) then the task of editing/correcting the mistakes might not be as arduous. In my mind, I was envisioning VIKI using auto subs to facilitate the speedy release of episodes when necessary but still asking for volunteers to edit. Regardless, I still stand by my earlier statement that I would much prefer translations done by VIKI volunteers.


I don’t know all the ins and outs either :laughing:

So you mean that the auto subs would serve as the base for translations? Or did you still see it as being separate from the “normal” translations? :slight_smile:


I meant this in general of course. In our case as Viki said, the subs will be translated to English by volunteers and then from (written) English to OL by AI. I do expect bad results there. But I meant that translating OL to English gives less bad results than translating from OL1 to OL2. Still probably not great, but a bit less horrible. I of course agree with you that speech to writing would make things worse.
In any case, I’m against auto-translating.

That’s where I also found some horrible subs. And I noticed that, just like Viki, they translate OL1 to OL2 using English as a bridge, which I wouldn’t have expected from a site that pays their translators. Okay, maybe it’s a choice between using English inbetween or not translating OL1 to OL2 at all if there simply aren’t enough people who can translate from OL1 to OL2, but then AT LEAST they shouldn’t make it so obvious. If I’m watching with Dutch subtitles (which on Viki I usually don’t do) I want them to be Dutch and not a Dutch version of English.

I have that very problem also (and perhaps even more so) on the Rival Site you mentioned. And not only the syntax … They even leave in English words like “Miss” and “Sir” (when the original is not even English)!!! Plus, they make translation errors in their Asian to English subtitles (and consequently in the other subs) as well. I can even tell that from the very little I understand of the Asian languages.



I think it depends on the origin language. European languages seem to be translated directly but Asian languages not in every case. Overall the newer subs there seem to be better than older ones. (I’m watching a 4 years old show with Spanish language and in this show they use different addressings: origin Spanish addressing for German subs, English addressing for German subs and German addressing for German subs… the new shows have consistent addressing).


Oh, no, not just Asian languages. I was watching a Finnish show and the Dutch subs were SO English, that I got irritated and changed the subs to Finnish.
Maybe from the more well-known, bigger languages like German and French they might translate directly to Dutch, but I have yet to find out.
The shows I watched there recently were also quite new, but still had bad subs.
Btw, on Viki I do notice a big difference in quality between the older (English) subs and the new ones, even though it’s still not perfect, at least there’s lots of progress.


The thing you mentioned with Mister or Miss for non English shows is something I never saw in German subs for Asian origin languages.

The shows with European languages had: Spanish, French and Galician and everything was fine (with newer shows).

Besides few exceptions 99% of English (UK/USA) and European shows are available with German synchronisation that means I’m usually watching it in German and the spoken German is always fine and natural. Depending on the origin language they keep the origin titles/addressings, e.g. when it’s French they say Monsieur and not Herr, when it’s Spain they say Senorita (can’t type that special wave) etc.

Some anime are also available with German voices and I sometimes watch it in German then; I also compared spoken German version with written version. Could happen that the written version uses different words; the spoken version is often closer to the actual word that was used in the origin language but that’s because it takes longer to read than to listen so they have to change the written form and when it’s swearing it sometimes happens that the written version is less heavy than the spoken version (because of that the deaf community complained that they get ‘kids-like’ sentences while the adults who can hear the spoken version still get the ‘heavy’ words). Eventually they changed the written version after that so it became closer to the spoken version.

Something the German subs and voice actors rarely do is using all the useless and unnecessary names/titles/addressings in every single sentence while talking with the same person. If you watch it with subs you can hear that certain languages like Spanish or Chinese put a direct addressing (name, title) in almost every sentence but the German subs skip that; the German voice actors skip these parts too unless it’s important to use certain addressing (title, name etc.).

When you listen to Chinese you can realize that when they use the title like addressing/sentences they often do not use an additional ‘he/she/you’ while English subs use both things then title/name + he/she/you (that might be because in Chinese it doesn’t matter if you write title + verb or she + verb, the verb’s sign and how you pronounce it stays the same but that’s not how English or another European language works).


Dutch subs on every place other than Viki are also compact and relatively short.

Here “Monsieur” is even mentioned in books. But only if it’s a translation from a French book (or if one of the characters is French or Belgian). But on Rival Site I see Asian shows with Dutch subtitles saying “Miss” and “Sir” and I think that’s totally ridiculous! Either leave in the Asian word or, if you think it’s not understandable for the average Dutch viewer, turn it to Dutch. And a lot of those sirs are just added by the English team to compensate for their lack of polite forms, so in those cases we should leave them out completely.

You understand Galician? :open_mouth:
Rival Site usually doesn’t have very many language options: original language of the show, Dutch, French, English, perhaps German … I don’t remember exactly right now, but I think that’s about it. No Finnish or Swedish, unless the show itself is Finnish or Swedish. :frowning:

For me it’s just SHIFT + ~ + n, but it might not work on a German keyboard. Well, you could always use:

Finnish can also leave out personal pronouns, but in their case it’s because the verb forms show which person is doing something, while in Asian languages we have to understand that from the context. And in Finnish this leaving out of personal pronouns happens more in written than in spoken language, while the spoken forms are already shortened.
Standard Finnish: Minä olen = I am
This could be shortened to: Olen
Spoken form in Helsinki area: mä oon.

Just like Asian languages, Nordic languages like Swedish have no separate verb forms for each person:
Jag bor = I live (reside in a certain place)
Du bor = You live
Han bor = He lives,
etc., etc.
BUT in Swedish, Norwegian or Danish you cannot simply leave out the personal pronouns because the verb forms don’t give that information, while in Asian languages you can leave them out despite the fact that the verb forms don’t give that information.


I just wanted to say thank you for speaking my mind.


First of all, thank you Viki for giving us the opportunity to give you our feedback before doing anything. I am not going to repeat what many of some fellow contributors here have already said, but as a viewer and a contributor, I simply wanted to say that I am extremely against the idea of implementing an auto-translated feature in the video feature.

As a viewer, I will never watch the episode of a show which I know will be fully translated and edited in a few hours by humans. Why? Because what I do care about the most is a great segmentation, (and we have the best of the entire industry here on Viki), AND the quality of the subtitles. That’s precisely the reason why I started to watch dramas on Viki and the reason why I will stick to Viki.

As an avid fan of dramas, when I can’t find a show on Viki, I usually try to look for it on other platforms, only legal ones as I refuse to watch any kind of content on an illegal site. For example, for k-dramas, what I did notice is that some of those platforms upload the episodes without subtiles, you actually have to wait a few hours before the English translation is added and some others upload the episodes only once they are fully subtitled. Except the fact that the translations on those platforms are done by some professionals, the only difference with Viki is that wether you are frustrated because the subs are not uploaded yet or wether you are patiently waiting for them, there is no possibility for the viewers to express themselves. Therefore, people cannot complain or being disrespectful in any kind of way. Does that mean those platforms doesn’t have unsatisfied subscribers? Of course not. It’s just that we don’t see and can’t see any complain. Here on Viki, paid-subscribers or not, everyone can come in the comment section and say whatever they have on their mind. If Viki allows fans/viewers/contributors/subscribers to have a space to express themselves, then they also should moderate strictly what people say but also the way they give their opinion.

Some of the viewers on Viki aka the whiners need to learn how to wait until the translation is completed. I think it would be more than sad to try to satisfy them by giving them exactly what they’ve been harassed the contributors for years i.e. getting subs right after the video is uploaded. Please Viki do not surrender by giving them what they demand! As a contributor, I’d be sad to see that viewers use an auto-translated sub feature while we are doing our utmost to bring out the best translation we can provide. I would prefer the staff on Viki to focus on a better way to inform people about the subtitling process while moderate what they say.

I only wanted to say a few things, but here I am writing the introduction of an essay… Thank you for reading this. :slight_smile:


I guess that clearly summarises why we shouldn’t use AI for our translations here.
If Viki would invest enough time and money they could develop and train an AI agent that could get better and better … Yet never reach the level of a human translator, simply because it doesn’t understand what it’s learning.