What is your incentive to do subtitles?

I was just wondering what motivates you guys to subtitle? What are your incentives? :smile:

Hello! :smile:
Well I think that the most important for me is that someone else would enjoy the drama, movie, etc. in my mother tongue, Spanish. I have friends and family that watch dramas on Viki and only know Spanish, so it’s for them too. Translate is even funny, before starting to be a volunteer in Viki I didn’t knew that I could have fun while I’m doing subtitles or segments. And It’s really great to know all these fantastic community.


Thanks for your reply. Can you elaborate on what you find funny when translating? :smile:

I mainly translate for Chinese/Taiwanese dramas and the reason for that is partially because I’m bored and it seems like a good use of my time to help translate, but also because these are the dramas that have high demand but less subbers. I noticed that Korean dramas will have tons of people requesting to sub, but there aren’t as many translators for Chinese/Taiwanese dramas nowadays.


Uh I found myself forcibly active on viki because of the annoying can you hear me now Verizon ads in Mandarin. I memorized it! I started subbing to get rid of those ads when watching 76 ep long Legend of Zhen Huan. I wanted to watch in 720p. So pretty. Best subtitles here and I became such a fan of Sun Li. Joined in 2009 because you needed an account to do drive-by subbing.

I didn’t think there would be any demand for Korean-English because there were so many subbers. When I started subbing I actively sought out projects with fewer numbers of people.

Right now, the commitment drives me to sub. To go yes, check. I did my contribution today. When I start a drama I keep at it until my part’s done.

Other than the team commitment, I think knowing that our subtitles are the best in the world keep me going. My projects have not many subbers because I think they’re harder to sub legal and business term chock projects (Pied Piper and Memory). For some reason the comments section isn’t as active as I had hoped :frowning:

Leave comments!!! That’s way encouraging!
I keep going because personally I thoroughly love watching memory and I enjoy knowing that the viewers will have an excellent experience too because the subtitles are the best that they can be.

If I were to drop Memory, I would be so sad knowing specific parts are translated completely completely wrong. It might turn off what few fans we have which would make me sad. The English teams I’m on do 3 rounds of edits. Even the released ones have at least 2 even when I’m behind. For memory specifically: me (translation editor)==>Chief (general + translation + terminology expert + listening tenacity) ==>English edit.
We format edit ourselves so we don’t have a separate general editor.
Above all knowing that you guys have a fun time is probably the biggest motivator. So insightful comments on the episode along with glowing reviews and adulations of the subs keep me going!!!

Another thing I like about one of my other projects is knowing the extra care that goes into it so that viewers can have a native-viewer like experience. My teammates know I always get a kick out of translating documents, signs, and adding author’s notes (e.g. Goodbye Mr. Black.)

I also like the community!!! My CM’s and English editors are the best :heart: I adore them.
Having a great team really solidifies the experience here. I can race viki legends (done that 2x), talk to people of various fields, debate various ways of saying something (extending myself in terms of how to creatively express myself), and be adored by my fellow editors/senior editors/senior vikians and swell with pride.
Learning Korean is another plus. Where else would I know that 자녀교섭권 = child visitation rights. Would that ever come up in everyday language? No. Never.
I also improve my listening skills because as a subber you have to hear every single word. We work hard to make sure everything is translated so as few things as possible are lost in translation. I am also picking up so many 4 character proverbs too! More…ways to pretend I am from my parents’ homeland when I’m not xP


During the years, I’ve watched tons of subtitled series and movies. I think it’s fair to give something back.

Another reason is that I often watch videos in certain languages multiple times and, since I’m spending so much time on them, I guess I can spend some more to subtitle them.

Also, subtitling is a way to get the QC perks, so why not?


I do that too! In Goodbye Mr. Black Episode 11, I rewatched the scene where Mu Tong conducts the one-time shot prison-visiting choir. It was a praise song I sung when I was 9 or so and I wanted to know how it was sung esp. in Spanish. Spanish wasn’t there, but there was Italian!

Well, I began subbing Ko-Eng just a few months ago because the subs for a drama I was watching was “too slow” for other viewers and I. So I began subbing the last batch of episodes and then got asked to help in more.

Then I started to realize that there were many shows without Vietnamese subs, so I began working on my first Vietnamese moderating project “Remember”. Vietnamese is my spoken-at-home language and consider it my first, so I did pretty well subbing that drama.


I found editing to be a lot easier for me. I’ve written a few completed works on Wattpad (I used to stay up until 1-2 a.m. updating a chapter each night :sweat_smile:) and also score a pretty good Language Usage score on my test (not the ones you take in a classroom, but the one that you take on computer, and the teachers look at how well you did).

My goal, overall, is to keep improving my Korean, to practice Vietnamese so I don’t forget it, and to put my editing skills to work.


I actually just do it because I have fun with it…
And lately I have been feeling that my language skills don’t have any use on my life. So I’ve found viki and now I’m obsessed… I want to translate everything now and my goal is to learn chinese so I can do ch-eng subs :smiley:


I started my jounrey in subtitling through boredom. I’ve had lot of free time. So I decided to try this. And after year I am happy. It’s enjoyable stuff.


I subtitle because it’s fun and challenging and I want to do something back for the viki community. Sometimes it’s really hard to think of a good translation, or I am not sure how to write the sentence, because English word order is different than the Dutch. But when I figured how to write the Dutch sentence in a logical order or found the right words, it makes me really happy. I also sub sometimes from Korean into Korean.


I first started because I was amazed that so many non-Koreans were watching Korean dramas and interested in learning Korean. So I wanted to help those viewers and help globalize part of Korean culture, by providing accurate translation with informative editor’s notes. It was actually fun and I ended up meeting a lot of wonderful people through Viki. Sometimes, I’d sub for a drama that I didn’t care for just because of the friendship I had formed with the fellow team members. So even with my busy schedule, I didn’t mind staying up late at night to help sub and edit. But then it started taking too much time as there were so much demand and not enough fluent Ko-En subbers. The lack of sleep (since late at night was the only time I had to sub) started affecting my real life. Also I got tired of answering to so many complainers who felt entitled and took subbing for granted and would insult and even attack the volunteers. So now I take it easy and sub once a while whenever I have the desire and time.

The reasons I didn’t do it for are…
Ads - since my adblocker has been working wonderfully
Free membership - Viki was free when I started volunteering. The membership thing started a couple years later. And my time and effort that I put into Viki could not even come close to the meager membership fee that I could have easily paid off if I wanted to. Besides, I don’t have that much time to watch dramas so I would have no problem waiting for 2 weeks for non QCs for premium shows.
QC gifts - I don’t really care for those. I’ve never used those gifts I received
Certificate - I have a job in a different field and don’t really need the certificate to show that I have translated for Viki. But I got one anyway. Why not? :smile:


Just saw this discussion, and wanted to ask if anyone has felt discouraged from subbing?


Yes, because
a) the subbing tools are not practical and
b) very often the subs I’m trying to translate from are totally mistranslated and I can’t rely on them.

I’m so sorry about Pied Piper…
4 eps came out at once so to be honest I haven’t even looked at half of them.
one of the staffers came and subbed that up and she did HORRID. I’m still fixing things in another show that just ended called “Memory” (only ONE ep left).
Thank goodness.
I’ve been working backwards on Pied Piper (if you check TD). I actually feel bad about that.
Right now I am in Sageuk land. I will work to make sure to have a post-release every ep once a day.
As for the others… I’m not sure.

What pushes you to continue to sub then?

(Feeling very discouraged by rude and demanding comments, so trying to find the motivation to push on :persevere:)

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I like thinking in another language, I like getting deeper into the scenario while trying to understand the meaning of each subtitle and I feel I have to return some subtitles to the world (I have watched countless gigabytes of free subbed material over the years)

I treat rude comments like the buzz of road traffic outside my window.

i’ve found them to be two types:

  1. ignorant of how viki works ==> you start the brainwashing
  2. they think they can use money to pay people to do anything. ==> keep pressing flag and downvote.
    (mods know who the second type of people are and at times respond in an appropriate manner).

Don’t read them.

I try to educate type 1’s when I can. some people on the discussions say “historicals have hard vocabulary takes a long time” as “not helpful” so I’ve been more descriptive. The reason I’m slow? i can’t hear the darn thing!

I just listened to a line 5x to hear it’s meaning. used my brains to see what else it could be. It fit.
For one line in another historical. I realized what it was a WEEK later.

What really slows me down? Not knowing what to call things. Thank goodness the shows where I am main TE they aren’t spewing “GRE level 4 character proverbs” as one vikian put it. I don’t know chinese and that is the biggest detriment to subbing the hardest parts of historicals.

So I put in the “issue” of the day so to speak.

I also have 3 projects where it’s a pair (me and someone else) doing almost all the subbing. obviously it’s slow when we’re doing it in between things. More popular shows have more people so I explain that.
part of type 1 is but you have like 20 subbers and i’m like half don’t even show up regularly.

I’m not “mad” at certain people but two people dropped off the face of the planet and didn’t tell anyone prior. I was forced into becoming main translation editor because the subs were so bad without edits.

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Hm, that will be my excuse for falling behind with PP subs, hehe.
Seriously, though, google translated english subs are even more demotivating that the phantom cursor in the editor.


yeah. don’t do them or skip to like episode 13-16.
You can tell which ones are edited. If it’s released but no one stated they did translation edits. Skip it.

I heard about that… that there are a lot of bad subbers in the non-English languages.

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