What are the most scarce types of subbers?

what type of subbers do we need the most, but always seem to lack??? what do you all think?

I guess the kind that prefer quality above quantity. Subbers who make sure their target language is correct and natural, and not just a litterally translated version of their source language. Subbers who walk the extra mile by googling legal/medical/whatever terms and other things they might not have prior knowledge about and find out what it is and what it’s called in their language/country.


I absolutely agree with you. I might add, subbers who know their limits and not over-evaluate themselves, and subbers who do not over-extend themselves and volunteer for too many projects when it may not be feasible to dedicate themselves to all the projects.


Subbers who stick with a project from the beginning to the (sometimes bitter) end.

I’ve learned so much about surgery on Viki, I feel I would pass first year Medicine in a jiffy :joy:


Totally agree with you. Don’t think I’ve Googled as much as I have about law and legal terms :grin: Yes, definitely quality above quantity.

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It would be ideal for one to stick to the bitter end but sometimes, one just can’t due to this thing call life :weary:

Like @mirjam_465 said, I think quality is always more important. Speaking of the portuguese team, we have a lot of volunteers, but not all of them like to search the words and expressions they don’t know. Some of them just translate literally like a machine (or use a machine) and don’t care if their translation is understandable or not (that’s why some of them are reported for poor subs). So it’s commom to see the team editor translating everything again, to be sure the viewers will understand what they are reading.


For me it doesn’t matter much If my native language subber doesn’t know some complicated medical or law terms. I don’t know if it’s their ignorance or lack of time to check it on internet. I can forgive it.

But, for goodness sake, they should at least know quite good the language they are subbing into. English language has it’s own idioms, phrases and proverbs. My language has their equivalents with different wording but the same meaning.
In English “we are in the same boat”, in Polish “we are on the same cart”. It’s these simple things.

We, in all languages, need subbers who read what they’ve created and see their mistakes.


For Hindi, I’ve met just a handful of people who translate well. I forgive the vocabulary too, at a time when Hinglish has become more common than Hindi or English, I can’t expect someone to have a good vocabulary. If a drama requires some complicated words, I might include them in my sheets.

I once had a subber who translated every single word literally, from the word to the sentence structure. There was a sub that read “You’re pissing me” the subber translated this sentence to “you’re urinating at me (in Hindi)”. I asked the subber for the explanation and she said she didn’t had Hindi language on her PC so she just used a translator. The subber then voluntarily left the team and I appreciated her decision.
Then, when working in teams, I do not pinpoint people who use a translator but write to the entire team in general to not use any sort of translator. Recently, while editing a drama, I found very weird language for a military drama. I wrote to the subber and asked if she could tell me whether the sub is correct or not and she asked if she overwrote some of my subs. When a subber can’t even recognize their own subtitle, that either means, they have some memory problems or the ever eternal use of a translator.

For me, an ideal subber would be some one who could recognize where to use an idiom or a proverb, where to twist the English sub to make a natural Hindi sub while keeping the meaning intact. I’d love if a subber asks questions about why so and so word is used for so and so English word and giving suggestions when they think the superior is going wrong somewhere. Rather than taking a moderator’s words as an order, I’d like if the subber uses her/his own instinct to figure out what and why.

I had one such incident in TTNT where I assumed the ML and FL were formal with each other in ancient times, one of my subbers corrected me and pointed out that they actually are just casual despite the age difference and hierarchy.

Yes, I do prefer quality over quantity. If I can get quality within two weeks of episode release, I’ll go with quality rather than having the team work super fast without any fruitful result.