I’m glad to announce the BETA release of Viki’s Learn Mode on our new HTML5 player. This feature is an experiment that we’re doing after hearing the feedback and thoughts from our amazing community on dual subtitles and the passion to learn new languages.
The current learn mode only works with an English-Chinese subtitle pairing and is targeted at users looking to pick up & learn Chinese. You can now click on the Chinese subtitles as you watch along to get the definition of a particular word and even the pronunciation!
At Viki, we’re all about breaking language barriers and this is another step in that direction. Please do note that this feature is still in BETA and we do look forward to your feedback. Please do write in to us if you do face any issues or bugs.
How do I get the different colours and popup effects? I tried to click on the words, but it didn’t work. As if I clicked on a normal video subtitle. When I click on the arrows, it takes me to another, much later part of the video. I’ m using Chrome, on a laptop with win7.
What happened to the video player options? It all worked fine a day agao. Now when i am logged in, all options are gone. Video plays fine but no subtitles or any visual option to play, pause,or anything.I’m using my ps4 browser to access your site. It all worked fine 24 hours ago, and now it doesn’t let me do anything but watch without any subtitles.
this topic is for the language learning feature in Beta, search for the topic new video player and address the issue there also mention which browser you are using, good luck. to search for the topic click on the magnifier icon and type the topic.
Two very general questions here and then a comment:
To the originators -
Question: Would this impact work say, segmenting and editing while a person is trying to get a drama out? Is this a load that is across the systems right now - and possibly SLOWLY/LOCKING up sub and segment timers? I have noticed since this notice went up…sometimes the lag is CONSIDERABLE and so frustrating you lock the gates and GO HOME. Are these linked OR is this because of the additional server loads to run this new Beta Learn Mode? Has a study been done in the IT dept over there with regard to peak periods it’s in use and effects overall on the translation/timing efforts here? I can say it is difficult enough to work with some dramas before it locks up EVERY move…and that would be something that might be against your (viki’s) real desires in selling or promoting this feature in future…
Question: With regard to which dramas this feature is active on - I have noticed with Chinese - and particularly Historical/Costume dramas - that language is not exactly the “way it is now”. The same is said for Korean historical and likely Japanese. Idioms…and other features …measurements…honorifics…e.g. “orabeoni vs oppa” in Korean? The effort is likely to effectively teach a modern and usable language - and so it is probably a good idea to exclude costume/historical dramas from this feature if that is the case. SO…the last part of this questions is, are the dramas you are using vetted by a professional editor in advance of use for this new feature? Would it not be a bit embarrassing at minimum to all to have someone well, in somewhat of a fit of humor sub in something “less correct” shall we say and have thousands of folks “learning” that word?
Comment: With these concerns put forward, I would like to try the new feature - but I also really would need time to decide if the features/interface is most comfortable compared to other possible ways of improving my Chinese. Thank you for building it, we shall see how this goes.
Crouching Dieter, Hidden Donut
My biggest concern is to lose NOTHING…in translation!
I agree! More than anything we need server space!
What is the point of having a bazillion dramas if they won’t load. And we can’t work either. Yet you pressure us to get subtitles out when you get complaints.
Since 2005 we have said we need proper tech support and not canned responses 1 month later.
Thank you @anon30587421
I tried it again. The LEARN mode works now. YAY!
Here’s my feedback on random testing of The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 Ep 1 and My Sunshine (Director’s Cut) 何以笙箫默 Ep 1:
The predetermined choice of Chinese character(s) that results in the predetermined availability of definition for certain character or combination of characters (by programming intent, I suppose). Hence, it does not allow the ‘learner’ to select what s/he wants to learn or wants to find out the meaning of. Also, the definition of a singular character vs a group of characters is different, and could be in contrast. I thought enabling a learner to have control of this choice would be very helpful. For instance, in context of screencap below, 难不成 is a query like ‘is it possible…?’, where the predetermined definitions of 难 and 不成 would not have rendered a correct translation in context, although the separate definitions are accurate.
In addition, wrong predetermined pairing results in wrong translation (out of context), or program’s inability to provide any definition. 读法律 dú fǎ lǜ = read the law or law students; 读法 = dú fǎ pronunciation or (style of) reading; 法律 fǎ lǜ = (the) law; 再打 zài dǎ = call again while 打车 dǎ chē = to take a taxi; to hitch a ride/lift.
Pronunciation(Han Yu Pin Yin) is off in some cases, like the following examples I’ve come across, the Pin Yin should be 拓片 tà piàn and 为什么 wèi shén me, just to name a couple.
Inaccurate (out of context) definition, 等 = wait; 等等 = wait, wait a while, or and many more.
Incomplete definition or irrelevant definition. Perhaps due to program’s inability to differentiate between modern and ancient forms of speech/writing. It would be better if such (modern vs ancient) will be notated. 拓片 tà piàn = rubbing from a tablet/inscription; 劳您大驾 láo nín dà jià = trouble your gracious presence (polite/formal/ancient) or inconvenience you(informal/modern).
Popular idioms/Proverbs and such other phrases, I thought it would be good to notate for the learner to be aware that ‘the string of characters’ is a constant combination for a reason, like 绰绰有余 (idiom) more than enough and to spare, and 有志者事竟成 yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng (idiom) a determined person will find a solution; where there’s a will, there’s a way.
For any learner’s sake, unlearning is tougher than learning or relearning. My hope in laying out this feedback is for an improved LEARN mode where learners of the Chinese language will have minimum roadblocks in their journey to educate themselves while they enjoy watching dramas on Viki. I hope this feedback helps. Good luck Viki and thank you for this wonderful LEARN mode.
PS: Some screencaps are captured with the timing for your convenience in locating them for edits, where needed. Cheers.
PPS: I am waiting patiently for the Korean-English pairing, followed by the Korean-Japanese pairing. Please don’t shelve/cancel the plans. Thank you Viki.
While it is true that since we are in the modern era now, it’s better and more practical to learn the modern form of the language. However, if the drama with the LEARN mode is of historical genre, I suppose the definitions should be of ancient era formats. I think the LEARN mode would be programmed to be in context of the drama in question, or in context of the scene in question. Or so I hope it is/will be.
I don’t agree with omitting historical dramas or sageuks just because they are of ancient eras. I would like to learn the ancient formats (I mean when the Korean-English pairing is available) as well. I love sageuks!
Overall, if it is at all possible, it would be great for the LEARN mode to contain all forms of definitions, including notation of speech/written formats - modern/ancient, formal/informal, idiom, proverb, slang, and so on.
PS: A word of caution for all beginner learners using LEARN mode. As with everything new, teething problems will pop up along the way, and so will inevitable errors or inaccuracies. It would serve you well if you will compare the definitions from the LEARN mode with another option, say a handy Chinese-English dictionary. If not for all the definitions, at least those that ‘made you somewhat confused’. Good luck LEARNERS using this LEARNER mode.
The terms and language are different! But why exclude costume/historical dramas? I mean, unless you only want to understand modern day dramas, otherwise don’t you want to learn all the cool complicated terms they use in ancient times? It’s more arcane and almost not used in modern times (except sometimes to poke fun) but really fun! Plus you get to learn nice complicated vocab and more about the history and culture!
Also, while I agree that they need to check the quality of the subtitles but it’s a MASSIVE amount of work to go back and ensure the all the translations are accurate. You’re editing so you should know how much effort it takes to listen to a segment, check its meaning is accurate, think whether this is the best way to phrase it for the casual viewer AND the language learner (both of who have different viewing requirements and you need to strike a balance between them both), check the grammar, etc. There’s a few hundred shows out there, with 20-30 1-hour episodes on average, and even if we just limit it to Chinese-English translations, it’s a Herculean job.
Assume that it’s only 100 shows * 20 1-hour episodes each = 2,000 hours of watch time
Depending on the quality of the original subtitles, I take anywhere between 3 hours to 8 hours to fully edit a show. Maybe I’m slow, who knows? Editing is a pain in the ass.
Let’s assume the quality is top-notch, and it just takes 3 hours, that’s 6,000 hours of editing or 250 days of non-stop editing or 750 normal (8 hour) working days or slightly less than three years of working days.
How many bilingual people does Viki have to hire to complete all that work for just those 100 shows?
Yes, it’d be absolutely wonderful if Viki could do that, but are you learning or are you being spoon fed? The Learn Mode has a dictionary there, and you can click on the word to refer to the dictionary, if you’re still going to be misled by wrong English subtitles, then you’re obviously not learning. And if you realise the subtitles are wrong, all the better, that means you’re learning.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but language learning is a rough journey.