Viki's standards being low af


So I’m on the segmenting team of a drama that comes presubbed. We now need to A&C all the segments, and let me tell you, they look like they were made by a drunk toddler.
Was it a bot that created them? Was it Viki staff who didn’t undergo segmenting training nor have read the segmenting guide at the very least? I’m confused and flabbergasted. Their volunteer community shouldn’t have significantly higher standards than they do.

[Viki Community] We Want Your Feedback

When I have worked on pre-segged and subbed K drama recently, I think they viki uses software which cuts the subs to match the subtitle file which was previously created in other software such as aegisub. From my viewpoint, those segments are often cut too short – and stop immediately after dialogue stops. Most of our readers appreciate having more time to read and don’t complain about the subtitle being on screen too long. While the ideal segment has one sentence per subtitle, some sentences are so brief they would fly off the screen before the average reader could read and comprehend them and some sentences are too long that they might make three lines on the video screen. Both in Seg 101, when I took it back in 2009, we were taught to try to avoid segments which were longer than 4 seconds long and to avoid chopping up a sentence into too many parts and in Ninja Academy I tell students to try to avoid segments where the sound waves for actual dialogue are over 4 seconds long or under 1.5 seconds long. I discourage segmenters who seem to cut a segment every time there is a pause in the person’s dialogue because all pauses do not signify the end of a sentence.
I don’t think viki actually hires people to segment and nothing more. Occasionally there may be subtitlers who both sub and segment – and it is true that they tend to cut the segments too short.


That’s interesting! Viki is just making it harder though.
I compared it to a drunk toddler because there is no discernible reason to it. Some segments start .3+s before the first hint of voice, some start after the dialog started. Extensions range from nonexistent to just short of 1s. It makes no sense to me. Then, of course, we have the segments that feature two people when it wasn’t the least bit necessary, and other quirks.

Idk. I increasingly get the feeling Viki doesn’t care, and (ab)uses their volunteers for all their hard work and integrity.


At this point you should perhaps export the sub file, delete all the segments and start afresh. This sounds like more frustration than it’s worth.

And obviously, you should file a ticket at Viki not to let that happen again. Yes, they should be accountable for this kind of a problem.


I’m curious why do you redo the English subs if there are already some?

When I compared certain English subs done by the production studio with VIKI’s subs for the same show the official subs were usually clearer and better to understand and without wrong context translations.

So why do you delete everything to redo it?


It depends what.
Some presubs have no meaning, wrong meaning or not adapted to the context.
Other volunteers who have presubs never gave me a good feedback.
Instances wih literal translation for expressions that has no meaning for an English-speaking audience and no translation note. Guess or look for it.

As for pre-segments, we already tried to convey that during our last call to Viki last September.
It’s not segmenting anymore, it is checking.

Maybe for speed or bec complains from their consumers.
Maybe more Chinese dramas and not more Chinese volunteers to sub them.

Normally, what is done:
-Volunteers gave up because it is already there and subtitled.
-Or volunteers edit and check segments.

We don’t redo subtitles or segments normally when the drama comes pre-filled.


Are you talking about Chinese or Korean dramas mostly? Do all pre-segged dramas come also pre-subbed to English? And what percentage of dramas comes pre-subbed?

I have so many questions! :joy:


Idk the proportion, you see some dramas arriving already subbed.
Mmm probably editors, CMs, mods know best the proportion.

I’m not really checking on Viki, but I know the pain from A&C something pre-segged and pre-subbed.
It’s somewhat like fixing segments from abusers.

All this training to do what… it’s a shame.

Many volunteers including editors and seggers got to edit them.


I planned to learn segging at some point, but now I’m not sure …


It depends on what you want to do.
There are still dramas you can segment, not every drama is ready-to-use.

  • If you want to teach segmenting or help the nssa and future segmenters, you can.
  • or if you want to fix segments
  • or if you want to become an English editor, it helps to make a subtitle look correct or enough time to read
  • even in other languages, it helps as a subtitler editor and mod. You can know if you have to condense your sub bec not enough time or if you can copy paste the sub in 2 successive boxes or you can let it even if it takes 3 lines. You can arrange the sub. If you are CM and you don’t have enough segmenters or chief segmenter, you can fill it in.

I found it useful in every role.
But I got to discover it was useful only while training.

I would recommend the training to everyone, even if your goal is not to segment.

Even after, you can use the same segging rule if you subtitle in freelance on Youtube or another video. Not only on Viki it can be useful.


I just edited three shows which came pre-segged and needed lots of work by the segmenters. I highly appreciate our skilled volunteers! The shows also came pre-subbed, but I honestly don’t know if they used the robot or just real people. Pre-subs are credited to Viki.

Here’s the advantages of being pre-subbed. I could work on it quickly since I’m only editing the English. Impatient or highly eager people can watch it immediately, instead of waiting for subs, although several complained about off-timing or bad subs until we could finish. It’s less work for origin translators to follow me and simply check. They revise a few hundred subs, rather than write thousands, which would normally be necessary.

Cautions for pre-subbed shows:

  1. Without hard-working, efficient English editors, the process will take just as long.
  2. I had to be highly determined in order to deal with some confusing subs.
  3. An editor on pre-subbed shows needs good perception since I can’t speak the origin language, and one needs to spot the plot holes arising from confusing subs.

Two of the shows were Chinese. One was classified Korean. It’s unpredictable how many shows will come pre-subbed. Historical dramas will be difficult to work on if they arrive pre-subbed because of all the honorifics and name terms.

If the drama comes with copyrighted English only subtitles, then no one can fix the spelling or punctuation. If it simply comes pre-filled, I think it is vital and necessary for volunteers to redo segments and subtitles. We will simply need more skilled English editors and segmenters if this is the growing trend.


I think there are special rights given to Viki when the program is sold or they are allowed to by the owner rights to edit and translate in other languages (or not allowed depending on the show and what rights were sold).

The context to understand the word “redo.” Out of a context, a line doesn’t have the same meaning.

My answer:

We mean “redo” with the meaning from scratch, not with the meaning “edit.”

I don’t think that it is simple to find more editors (and skilled ones) in general on Viki, especially TE that have the ability to understand both languages in an advanced level.
It’s not simple to find and keep active segmenters who would want to fix them correctly.

And that’s another problem.

I think what is necessary and vital is rethinking the efficiency of the process.
With pre-everything, it changes a lot of things for volunteers, especially segmenters.
Time to check/diy.

I don’t know.
I think the system of pre is pushing us to be correcting more than diy, which means more time consuming.

I think it could have been the vikibot or something else, we would have had the same result. Something pre and volunteers running after.

Not the same job for some of us.
Not the same fun either.


I stopped working on presegged & subbed drama because the editing of it all takes a lot more time then simply delete it all and re do the whole thing.

Like sometimes they cut sentences in 2 and then you want to combine them. Viki will let you copy paste the sub in an other segment but it doesn’t allow you to delete the segment that is now empty because you combined two. That really drove me nuts at times. Adding an extra segment fine but removing one segment that was once subbed… no my friend.

Maybe they changed that, it has been a while…


To start over from scratch would defeat the whole purpose of people being able to watch shows as soon as they load. Thus I mean it’s vital to fix segments and edit subtitles. Sorry for the miscommunication :relieved:


No prob

Yeah, speed over quality.
It’s always the same equation we can’t solve.

Without a competent TE, it’s void of real edition, it would be partially edited.
This pre system involves what we lack the most on Viki: competent TE.

Even if the team has lots of editors or an army of editors, it would still be really limited (and time consuming for these editors) if the editor doesn’t know the original language, because the main problem of pre-subbed is meaning and not grammar.

No matter how well the sentence is structured or how good the grammar sounds after edition, if the meaning is not there, it’s back to the basis.
A subber in a foreign language will still have to scratch and look for the real meaning behind the English subs (what a TE would do).

That’s where we can recognize whether the TE has enough knowledge or no, or an English editor was enough diligent or no.

A very few TE would want to edit pre-subbed dramas. I don’t know why actually.

Without a skilled TE = no guarantee for the quality. That is for sure.


no, we (segmenters) have all been made mods so we’d have deleting privileges. not kidding.


You questioned why segments have two people’s dialogue in them. Although ideally it should be one person per subtitle, sometimes the person says something so short (less than 1 second) that the resulting segment would be less than 1.5 seconds even with a generous 1.2 second extension after what was said – but the video doesn’t allow for any extension at all after what was said. So then segmenters are taught to include what was said by the other person either before or after the really short verbalization. What I do try to avoid is daisy chaining the segments so if you imagine a and b are having a conversation with quite short sentences. a is what person A says and b is what person B says and what each is saying is less that 1.5 seconds long and there is no pause between the two for any segment extension. Then I want to avoid segmenting like this where / marks the border between segments.
/aaabbb/bbbaaa/aaabbb/bbbaaa This is what I call daisy chaining as the beginning of a person’s dialogue is in one segment, the end is in another segment with the beginning of what the other person says. In the pre-subbed dramas I see, this daisy chaining often occurs in the give-and-take of a conversation which shows the emphasis seems to be more on meeting some standard of number of characters than on the viewer’s comprehension When I edit pre-subbed dramas, I try my best at my intermediate level of fluency to make sense of any subs which seem strange, have mixed English metaphors or screw up the translation of Korean idioms and when in doubt, I check the Korean script to make sure my ears aren’t deceiving me. Editing pre-subbed dramas is not in any way faster than dramas subbed by volunteers and often takes longer because I have to tweak the segments too. I also notice that some episodes need more segment tweaking than others, which tells me that more than one subber worked on the drama.
@worthyromance – Difference between the pre-subbed “professional” subtitling (assumed when we receive the drama pre-subbed) where “professional” means paid for and non-professional means not paid for, and not implying that the subs are qualitatively better. The subtitles produced by our volunteers retain more of the original content of the dialogue than the pre-subbed subtitles. Scholarly studies have shown that "professional’ subtitlers practice a lot more “reductionism” in which the original dialogue is not completely translated. This occurs because of constraints put on the “professional” for amount of space/ characters used by the subtitle and timing, the duration the subtitles appear on screen as well as cultural differences on what may be important and individual subtitlers personal opinions about what is important to be included in a subtitles which the is gist of what is being said. At viki we don’t place any constraints on space or timing of subtitles and this is why our subtitles are longer than “professionals.” Linguistic reductionism, in which units of meaning are left out of the subtitles are seen far less often in the volunteer produced subtitles than in the “professionally” produced pre-subbed dramas.


I feel that volunteer based subtitles/segments are better than paid subbers/timers. I would compare it to being your own boss versus putting in hours just to get paid. Volunteers put in overtime without thought of money, whereas if it was just a job, most would do enough to get paid and keep the job. I see volunteers on Viki go above and beyond what most paid workers would do. For example: the volunteer segmenters who realign segments second by second which came to us supposedly “professionally” done, but were so way off that viewers complained until our volunteers fixed the timing.

As an English editor, one of the TE experts who came after me said she had few subtitles to fix. I think we can all be perceptive, even though we don’t know the origin language. All of us can spot plot holes. Most of us who watch the dramas can spot the plot holes and when the subtitles don’t seem to make sense.

I haven’t found this regarding the TE experts with whom I have been privileged to volunteer. They are highly experienced, very professional, organized, knowledgeable, considerate, always willing to edit first or to let me go ahead, and a joy to know. I also recognize that they are in high demand, busy with several dramas, and super helpful people :smile:

My dear, life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. A queen sent a worker to count all the flowers in her kingdom, and another worker was sent to count all the weeds. The weed seeker returned first and said, “Oh, Your Majesty, what shall we do? Everywhere I looked, there were only weeds! Our kingdom is doomed!”

Suddenly, the other worker returned full of smiles. “Oh, Your Majesty, you are so blessed to have this wonderful kingdom! Wherever I looked, all I could see were flowers!” For example: we can see wild roses as weeds with thorns, or we can view them as more fragrant than cultivated ones, more prolific, more hardy, and possessing natural beauty.

I don’t want to see Viki disappear like DramaFever. No one makes me volunteer. I choose to be helpful for the sake of those of us who enjoy Asian dramas. When you feel stressed, step back for awhile and take a rest just watching the dramas. You have every right, and don’t feel guilty. When you’re ready again, you will feel renewed with fresh energy to tackle just whatever is on the schedule :grinning:

None of us needs to feel abused. If we can’t enjoy our volunteering, then leave it to someone else for a time. I feel I get lots of dramas to watch and that Viki does its best to spend millions of dollars licensing shows for us.

Help - Newbie English Editor

You’re referring to “segments that feature two people when it wasn’t the least bit necessary,” right? Why’d you ignore the “not the least bit necessary” part? (And what about the opening post, doesn’t that make it clear I’m talking about sth very different?)
Some of them are awkwardly segmented just so that two would be together, when splicing them seems a lot more natural. Usually I have the easiest time separating them. (I don’t think I’ve come across any that needed to be combined.)


It depends on which dramas and also on the TE.
Some translations are correct, some seem to make sense but are a mistranslation.

I think it’s because of different roles and experience.
When confronted to the same exp, I tend to think that it’s not about stress, more that it’s “I don’t understand why.”
I don’t expect an editor to understand a segmenter’s pov (a difference in roles).
If he didn’t do the training of nssa or is not a segmenter who fixed segments or did segments, it can be difficult to relate to honeybun’s experience or post.
But people who did it already will understand what she means.

Once you are trained to do something, it is difficult to go back to the previous “you” and keep the same pov.
Her reaction would be different if she was not a graduate who fixed presegmented dramas.

And I would say it is the same in life. Your understanding keeps changing.
Only when you are confronted to some experiences or met with some volunteers, you get to know people better, it’s possible to understand people (at least better…) but not only a part of the population but more people in their globality. More faces of the dice.

That’s also why I would also recommend segmenting training.

Each one can have his own pov.
My pov: I think that when something is not going well or we are wondering “But why am I doing this that way?” (efficiency) or “why am I doing it?”, it is best to say it when it’s possible to say it, like she did.
And not denying a segmenter’s feeling, because we were not segmenters or didn’t segment her drama, but listening and accepting that she feels this way or sees it that way, that could be different from someone else’s feeling.
Understanding that she has a different experience from us or we didn’t get yet to live this experience.