Viki's standards being low af


Beautifully said. I don’t have experience with this particular phenomenon, but I understand the feeling of frustration either way, based on my other experiences in life. People need a listening ear, acknowledgment of their suffering. Not their feelings just being brushed aside with a quick fix or a “nothing you can do about it”, let alone a “carpe diem”.

I get your point, but still those weeds might effect some more than others.

Do you get the script handed to you when you accept the job or do you have to search for it and hope it’s out there somewhere?

Even without segging experience I feel like I totally agree with you.


@mirjam_465 I used to have to hunt for scripts myself on the internet. Then I learned often on C drama and Taiwan Drama, viki was obtaining scripts for the team so I started begging like a broken record on every drama I worked on – I would say for about 80% of the K dramas now we get the script automatically and very often the scripts are uploaded very close to the time the video is uploaded.
@honeybuns “Then, of course, we have the segments that feature two people when it wasn’t the least bit necessary, and other quirks.” Well, it’s a matter of how one defines “necessary.” Ninja Academy guidelines say “Combine segments by DIFFERENT speakers when their speech is significantly overlapping or a speaker’s segment is less than 1 second.” If you are following the guidelines, than one could argue the two speaker subtitle is necessary when one speakers’ segment is less than 1 second. You state “I don’t think I’ve come across any that needed to be combined.” Perhaps when you have segmented as much as I have and edited pre-subbed dramas as often as I have you will encounter as many sliced up sentences as I have and divisions of sentences at “unnatural” locations contrary to general guidelines for dividing an English sentence.


Imagine that during fighting/argument scenes everyone who yells something needs to get their own segments. Or during the drunk noraebang scenes where part of the people sing along and others have a conversation. Or when a patient on medical drama is bought in and all the doctors etc discuss it very fast.

If they all have their own segments not only you wont be able to read it all because it keeps flashing on the screen. We also won’t be to translate everything… At some point I even add 3 people in one segment because at times you don’t have an other option.


Okay look, clearly you’re very knowledgeable about segmenting, and I’m glad viki has people like you, I actually think you were one of my NSSA senseis (although usernames can be similar and I’m not 100% sure). I appreciate you took that much time to explain in detail about splicing segments, but I didn’t mean to ask about that.
Of course scenes sometimes necessitate more than one speaker in one segment, of course. I graduated from NSSA, idk if there is any team on viki that “hires” people that aren’t graduates (whether NSSA or seg101).
I of course used NSSA guidelines to describe the bot-made segments with two speakers I’ve come across as unnecessary. They are. I used NSSA guidelines to separate them. Easily. I don’t think anyone in sandbox would create some of those segments I’ve come across. Yes, sometimes segmenting gets tricky and you need to do things that you do need training to know. That’s not what I’m talking about.

This really, truly, isn’t grounds for an argument. Idk how that turned into me not knowing segmenting either @dudie. When I see both of you explain to me about basic segmenting rules, I feel astounded and a little helpless because I want you to understood what I’m trying to say. Would you be willing to tell me if you do, especially when you have more experience than me (which you do)? I think it would make sense for you to know exactly what I’m talking about, and in much more detail.


Are you upset because I gave a blanket statement about bad segments when I haven’t made it clear that I know segmenting, or care about it? It sounds like you want respect for how much goes into creating good segments?


I’m about to talk about my experiences in the past. I don’t work on dramas like that anymore. I used to be asked to fix segments made by the software (and sometimes they were made by Viki staff, who I tried to advise on what they needed to avoid and to take NSSA training).

It’s stressful to fix, because you can’t fix things the way you want to and it just sucks up all your time. No thank you.

I did see some Viki staff on the NSSA waiting list, but not sure if they actually went through the training. It’s not their job to only do segments and I’m not sure if they still do or if the program is used.

Edit: changed bot to software. I used them interchangeably, but they do mean two separate things :sweat_smile:


Thank you! It’s interesting to know some of those are made by staff, who haven’t undergone training.


In my experience, I was working on a drama, and I saw someone who I’d never seen before making these very weird segments (usually students who’ve read everything in the segmenting guide don’t make some of these mistakes in Sandbox). I thought I had come across an abuser, so I reported them to the CM. But then I found out that that person was Viki staff :sweat_smile: I did talk to her, and her segments improved somewhat, but still needed a lot of fixing.

The CM had asked for help from Viki, because people in the comments were whining, we had a very small team and all the episodes had been uploaded at once.


Saying because someone is actually paid s/he works less and stops when it’s done adds a very poor impression to everyone’s job in general - no matter what kind of job a person has.

If that’ll be really the case: Everyone who is a professional translator works just shitty bc of only doing it for money our whole book industry would be low bottom quality, all the synced/subbed movies from abroad too etc.!!!

Maybe US American translators are shitty, because Americans rather remake everything (even when the whole atmosphere and essence of the origin characters and story gets lost then) instead of watching something with subs or synced version. And yeah I remember the horrible US versions of anime… with all the Americanized names for Japanese characters…

But thats something typical for the USA, that doesn’t mean it’s typical for Europeans or Germans. Germany has a long tradition of translations; we are used to watch almost everything in cinema and TV as synced version. Although we have quite big publishers they’re pushing American books over origin German books, that means, they prefer translating books that are written by Americans over books that are written by Germans (just because there are more English readers than German readers and it’s cheaper for them to translate American into German than pushing a German book first and translate it into English later…). Of course it depends on the genre and the translator but there are many oldschool translators who write better (style wise) than modern German origin authors…(mainly bc many modern authors think easy twitter-styled short sentences show ‘skill’ while complex long/er sentences how it’s used to be by great German authors in the past is ‘bad’ skill now - without thinking about that it could just be a lazy technical issue when people only read on little smartphone displays instead of reading paper books or eReaders with lager displays…)

Doing something unpaid doesn’t mean the quality is worse by default but doing something unpaid means anyone can do it… there is no restriction, no quality control. A company that wants to earn money, a shop that wants to sell products has to contain a certain level of quality otherwise they won’t earn money. Here on VIKI when people give a *** on following the rules or working as team, you have lots of trouble or stress but these people usually don’t have to bear the consequences (since in the end the general excuse always is: it is unpaid…so there is no commitment…)

If you want to offer high quality subs on VIKI you’d need to work with small teams only and it’ll need much time until a project is finished because there are just too many new shows each month and way too less people that work on a semi-professional level so you wouldn’t notice a difference between a VIKI volunteer and a professional.
Recently there are so many new shows that it happened several times that 2-3 weeks after the English main team already released several episodes for all other languages they said they gonna change stuff (like terms or sometimes whole sentences). So the amount of time we spend here is enormous. I’d even say some who work on many projects spend as much time here as if it’s a full time job and I always wonder how they are able to spend so much time here.

As some already mentioned, editing usually needs more time than redoing it. I saw that multiple times with most new subbers. I’m not talking about typos or missing commas. I’m talking about wrong translations, partly wrong translations, context wrong translations, wrong syntax… (plus the wrong subtiles bc the English sub was wrong).

When I watch a movie/series that is done by professionals I usually can enjoy it much more bc it’s done on a higher level. The sentences are usually with correct grammar and syntax, when it’s synced I can just listen instead of reading etc. (I’m not only watching Asian shows with subs, I sometimes watch other languages with subs too. Sometimes also languages I understand to see how close or far away the subs are from that what is said. One core aspect for German subs is that the written form is adapted to READING so you can read and watch at same time that means when a character is just blablallbbla bubbling as it is common for dialogues the German subs cut it down to a nice written form and that’s why I like these subs more bc the keep the core essence and put it in a form in which you can enjoy the visuals of a movie even with subs what is usually never possible when you watch VIKIs German subs because they translate 1:1 and keep all unecessary fillers and that means the German sentences are too long to read them at same time while watching the visuals).

So at some point I had to realize and accept for myself that it is impossible to get a consistent high quality of subs here bc of too many shows, too less volunteers and too different individual opinions and abilities (and editing doesn’t solve the problem bc in certain it’ll end up like translating the whole thing again instead of just fixing few typos or so).


@ the complaining viewers

If they really wanna fast access to subs they should start to pay the volunteers!!!

When even modders and fan creators for AAA+ studio games are paid by donations by other gamers = consumers for providing the fan made content without the game would be super boring and not be played (and bought) then the viewers should start to support the volunteers here as well!

You girls think it is ‘special’ doing something for free and even have to deal with unpatient viewers but in the end it may just be a female socialized behaviour that requesting a compensation for time is not okay while the guys in gaming communities make it clear: Either people have to wait longer since everyone has to work for paying the bills in another job then or the fans pay (donate) for the content so the fans have to wait less and some now do it as their full time job, living by the donations of their fans who want that specific content as addition to the base game. (Many games work like that now; that gamers are paid by other gamers via donations for fan content. It’s legal because after a certain amount of time the fan content is free for everyone and that is the condition from the game studio to allow fan content with donation of money option).


Don’t you think that also takes something away from the original? At least I prefer to hear the original language, regardless of whether I understand it or not. A K-drama where the actors talk Dutch seems quite ridiculous to me.

I guess that goes not just for German but instead is a standard for (almost) all “professional” subbing. In The Netherlands too and, I assume, worldwide. It’s a matter of preference, but I do agree that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the subtitles here.


When I have the chance I watch Japanese and Chinese movies/series with subs and origin language. It depends on the origin language. I dislike the sound/melody of some languages so I rarely to never would watch them with subs.
I could watch American/British shows without any subs because I can understand the language but I dislike the high/deep voices of Americans(most male figures have too deep voices and most females too pitched voices). Chinese actors have a very similar high/deep voice level to German voices but when Germans do synced versions for Chinese movies they often chose voices that are more similar to the high/deep level of Koreans so it sounds bad (= verdy deep male voices and high female voices).
Some South American dramas are really great. Their origin voices are also on/within a similar field as German voices and their Spanish is easier to understand than European Spanish for whatever reason.


I don’t think that’s your no-no, reporting them when they work for Viki. I think their standards should be higher, so that of course their staff doesn’t mess anything up, and you should never ever confuse them with an abuser because they have no idea how to do their job. (Especially when sth as basic as reading the segmenting guide would lead to improvements already - I mean seriously, it sounds like zero effort.)

What I really want is that viki treats their volunteers better and works with them/us on issues the volunteer community pretty much unanimously agrees on. That shows don’t come presubbed or presegged when the community gives a clear and resounding No on that.


I am a subtitler for Cdramas, but the projects I’ve worked on don’t come with scripts. Is there a link for it in the Team Notes or are they sent by a private message to you?


I saw pre subs mostly in korean film’s like “On Your Wedding Day” or in chinese dramas like “My Roommate is a Detective” & “The Sleuth of the Mingy Dynasty” so the releases are very fast unlike a drama where they need to wait 1-3 days for the segmenting + subbing. Until now I didnt see it in on air kdramas so fair but that must be rather rare.

@helenawang5717_57 You can find the sprict when you’re a mod in a project and u see the function under “Manage Video” which is “Reference Subtitles”.


It depends on projects. Scripts are not always available.
Like for the Cmovie I did previously, there was no script, so you have to look for it.

If you don’t see “scripts,” like rose_shn shown, you can contact your channel manager.
Normally, the Channel Manager takes care of scripts and communication with Viki. The CM or the English team post the scripts link in Team Discussions or in Team Notes normally in teams I was in.
Normally, the Channel Manager has contacted Viki about scripts before or when it began:

  • either they have it
  • either they don’t
  • either they don’t but not immediately

Fun fact: Once, I waited about 2 years before having full scripts when I asked them and after reopening my ticket many times. Idk why it was closed, maybe something automatic.
I finally got them this year. So the CM should take a look in the request ticket history in case a ticket is closed, but not solved.


Thank you for making your position more clear. As a segmenter, I think you always have the option to tell your CM that if the show comes pre-segged, you will opt out of the team. No CM should begrudge you that right to choose.

It is very difficult for Viki to traverse the path between its volunteers’ wishes and the viewers’ wishes. All viewers, who have never worked as a volunteer, want subs immediately as their major concern is watching. Keeping and increasing the number of viewers is Viki’s lifeblood. My husband had two companies before we moved to the country, and the customer is king if you wish to thrive.

Of course, that puts all volunteers, who are conscientious enough to serve Viki efficiently, at a certain disadvantage. When the majority of volunteers votes No to pre-segged shows, but the non-volunteer viewers demand Yes to pre-subbed, and therefore pre-segged shows, what does Viki do? Case in point, DramaFever had paid subtitlers, invested heavily in licensing shows for us, and died shockingly without prior notice.

So which community must come first to Viki, and for people like me who love Asian dramas? I consider the viewers. I’d rather watch a show with poor subs than no subs. I have never seen perfect subs on NF, thus I don’t expect that of Viki. NF can control its subtitlers by hiring and firing, yet their subs are not perfect. At the end of their episode, the subtitler’s name is written, but I would never complain about them although they get paid. I have seen “accept” replaced by the homonym “except” on both sites.

Yes, the correct translation is important. But consider this: a guy has just confessed his love to someone, and the reply is…
I cannot except you.
I cannot accept you.
Two opposite meanings!
Except: to take or leave out from a number or a whole, to exclude.
Accept: consent to receive (a thing offered).
I cannot exclude you is vastly different from I cannot receive you.

Thank you very much to rose_shn for revealing where translators can find the script. Thank you to cgwm808 and others for persistently requesting that Viki provide the scripts where possible. Wow, that’s a great thing! I hope all translators get this info somehow. Would someone in this discussion please make another post titled “Important Info for All Origin Translators” and include the screenshot in the opening post? I just checked the drama I recently finished editing, and the script was available for download. I checked two movies and I guess they don’t come with scripts.

On the aforementioned pre-subbed drama, the segmenters generally took a day or two to fix the timing. There was one translator I could go to with questions on blank segments and on those which didn’t make sense to me. Her response was mostly within one or two hours though we live in opposite parts of the world. The chief TE was unavailable due to good reasons so when faced with holding the other language translators hostage for weeks, my CM and I opted to have the episodes released as soon as I conscientiously could.

I take full responsibility for anything I say my CM can release, and I do not excuse myself as unpaid. I live by the proverb, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”

The chief TE said there was little for her to fix, and when I looked over her spreadsheet of re-edits, one episode had only a single re-edit. Most re-edits were name terms such as Second Brother rather than Older Brother, or Auntie instead of Mrs. I still gave the re-edits to my CM to decide which to forward to other language mods. As far as I’m concerned from the position of a viewer, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s Auntie or Mrs. as long as it’s not Mr. which would be disconcerting. It seems to me that it’s important to origin translators in this discussion, and that’s okay :smile:

I think a volunteer, who needs to be paid, will gain valuable experience on Viki which can be added to your resume. More power to those of you who need to be paid, but please understand that Viki is not the place to be seeking remuneration rather than rewards.

V of Viki stands for volunteers. This is the premise and engine of Viki. My hubby and I owned a construction company. Suppose the employees and subtrades came and said, “We’re going on strike until this company changes to demolition or shipbuilding.” How can we ask Viki which means Volunteers like Wiki to become Paid- not like Wiki? The whole premise on which this company was founded gets thrown out the window.

I totally sympathize with segmenters who choose to volunteer on pre-segged shows! I hear your painful efforts fixing segments second by second. You are much appreciated! You are highly valuable to those of us who follow your hard work! Also, to segmenters who choose to do only shows which are not pre-segged, I am very grateful to your second-by-second, hard work on the blank canvas :sunny: Without our segmenters, subtitles are not possible.


From my experience you can see the written version for the Chinese dialogues linked in the team notes but not all teams do that and not all teams let it openend (=visible) the whole time.

So if you work on a Cdrama and cannot see it you could ask in team discussion (or the CM via private message) if there is a written version for the dialogues and if you are allowed to read it too.


Thank you for your insights.

I can understand your argumentation and different perspectives.

For me, I don’t look at VIKI and its community in a money-related way that this is a ‘paid-must-have’ community just because it is something some people do as their job (at other places) although I often got asked by people who are not part of this community why I even spend so much time in doing something I don’t get money for (that is usually the first question people ask when I mention I’m doing some volunteering for Asian dramas: How much money do you get for it? And when I said nothing they say: Why are you even doing it then? It’s no use to do it when you aren’t paid for it.). At the beginning I usually didn’t know what to answer because the question was so strange; imagine someone is doing some volunteering in the local neighbourhood like helping a single mother with kids or something like that then no one would think it is strange to do that without being paid…
For me it is an interesting challenge related to things I like e.g. languages and cultural aspects and multinational teamwork. It also has different social aspects, one is that more people who are interested in Asian dramas can watch it even when they cannot understand English (I always wished something like VIKI would have been created for anime - in a legal way - but even now there is no such page. Of course there are still fansubs for anime but it is always risky bc one could easily get computer virus by landing on a corrupted fanpage/bad ads and it is also illegal bc the license is not officially bought but mostly just very few anime get licensed in the Western countries compared to the high amount of anime that are released each year).

But I still think that VIKI should value (that does not mean payments per se) its volunteers more because this

wouldn’t work without all the volunteers (unless they’d use bot translations or only pre-translations for English).

I sometimes saw angry comments of viewers complaining about the ‘slow’ speed of new subs or that ‘their’ language was not available for them so I’d like VIKI to make it clearer for viewers that this page’s subs are mainly done by volunteers who spend their time for free to offer as many languages as possible.


A caution must be taken here. I have edited some subs which otherwise would not raise any flags regarding plot holes, but they were in essence completely wrong.

Because of this a Translation editor (TE) should go through the translation first, before the final edit by the Chief editor.

I translate and edit subs, and I have to agree with @piranna, editing is much more time and energy consuming! If the pre-subbed show requires a lot of editing, for example twice or thrice as much as editing an average translation from Viki volunteers, then we do have to ask ourselves if this up-and-coming process is efficient and productive enough.

I was about to make the same important point. Volunteers on Viki should not doubt their skill just because the crappy translation they are looking at was payed for. If a sub needs editing, the sub needs editing, no matter where it came from. If half of them need editing (although I truly hope pre-subbed translations are not that bad), then half of them need editing.

Well, there is quality control. Editing, moderation, those are quality controls on Viki. Not that the system is bullet-proofed, far from it. Unfortunately, a lot of people do inherently think that if they paid for something, it must be better than the free version. Because those, who are good at something, get payed. But that’s not really true.

Actually, I have those exact problems at my “real” work, with people who are getting payed (sigh). I think it’s more a matter of person’s character, than of being payed or not. If you’re good at working in teams and you’re responsible, you will be like that at your payed work and at your volunteer work.

Viki has a philosophy of allowing anybody to volunteer who has the tiniest amount of skill. So, actually, Viki’s standards are truly low af, as the title of this thread says. That means the completion of projects and quality of the subs lies almost entirely on the (relatively) self-regulating community. Unfortunately, that means you and me. And it is frustrating as hell, as you say. I think we either have to accept the way things are functioning now or save our mental health :sweat_smile: And, of course, keep complaining to Viki about it.

If I am not mistaken, the pre-subbed dramas are the ones Viki shares with Kocowa, which requests pre-subbing as part of the deal. And those dramas are usually only licensed to Americas. If that information is indeed true, we would have to amend your sentence as follows:

“It is very difficult for Viki to traverse the path between its volunteers’ wishes, the viewers’ wishes and the TV companies’ wishes.”


Good points, I agree. And probably it’s as you wrote it’s mainly about a person not about being paid/unpaid.

This aspect is something I often discussed in the past for different topics since some people think quality is always and only related to being paid/getting money.

I’d say the question is how much time one can spend for unpaid work since everyone has to pay the bills for daily life and it is not always possible to earn the money for living within a (creative) field of interest.

Some of your lines remined me to (articles/opinions) I read many years ago about indie books vs published books. In Germany it is sadly still the case that very often people think that only a book that is published by a publisher is ‘worth’ reading/good enough/good quality while indie books can’t be good because otherwise the one would have been published via a publisher. In other countries the opinion seems to be quite different (e.g. my Chinese friends told me it’s common now that people who like to write publish their stories online without publisher via online networks and get paid for each chapter and then they get the immediately feedback by readers and see if people like it or not). I think Germany doesn’t offer such a paid-per-chapter option. You can only publish complete stories or publish chaper-by-chapter in free community pages that are usually close/part of the fanfiction scene.

(I read stories of any kind, fanfictions, own stories published in free story communities, indie books and published books and based on the aspect of interesting idea, originality I’d say the own stories that were published in free online story communities tend to be most interesting; but it’s not so easy to find them, same goes for interesting indie books. I mention that here because some Chinese dramas are based on Chinese online stories; I find it interesting that/how it works there compared to how it works here. Somehow the potential to reach a (even world wide) large audience seems to be higher for Chinese online stories of independant authors).