What is your opinion on ONE LINERS?

This is a request I sent to Viki’s helpdesk, but it is a topic I would like to know about others opinion. I normally translate from English to German. That’s why the examples are English/German sentences, but I think the problem is the same, if it comes to French tu/vous or many other languages. Are there a lot of mistakes, grammar issues in the ONE LINERS in your language as well?

I’ll be glad to hear your thoughts!

The use of one liners seems very limited, at least, if it is related to my language German.
For example:
A simple “Who are you?” could be the following, if you don’t have the context.

  1. “Wer bist du?” If it’s someone your age, or younger, or …
  2. “Wer sind Sie?” if it’s someone you would talk to in a more formal way.
  3. “Wer sind sie?” If it is more than one person.
    And it leads to another problem with rating the lines, since the ones who are rating do not have the context either.

The other thing is peoples translation might be okay, but they completely neglect any given rule about writing. F.e. they start a sentence with a small letter. Or there is no “point” at the end of a sentence.
In my language all nounes are to be written with a capital letter to start, but some neglect.
So thinking about some news report of less then 5 minutes or 10 minutes it’s bearable. A song? Okay?
In a complete episode of a drama or movie?
If I would need to edit a mess like that, after 5 minutes of videoplaytime and a look what comes ahead I would apologize to the channel manager and resign. I already had the luck to edit many subs at Viki, but since it’s about 4 to 5 times the amount of time it takes compared to only subbing, it’s really something that brings your thoughts of contributing to a halt.

I beg you to remove one liners for movie and drama channels.

Btw, I tried the option of one liners and used the button to contribute, did some lines and the next day, I was back to zero. No history to be found. I tried it at least 3 times or more and then I gave up on it. Since whenever I came back it was status quo again. No fun at all. And with the grammar issues, but the translation well done. I am at a point that I do not know how to handle that. I don’t want to be “bad” old schooler, who “harasses” newbies. Or being told to be discouraging others. But do you consider how discouraging it is for people to read such translations filled with grammar issues.
Or can you imagine, when one line it’s like
“Good evening Sir”
and the next is
“Buddy how have you been?”
And it is still the same two characters speaking and it’s not the usual “code” between friends, just a lacking translation. I know many people who will not watch with German subtitle because, it is “hurting” their eyes. It’s like you would not only need English and Simple English, but you would need this different level for each language. It’s a real problem and the oneliners are not helping in getting better translation in any way.

Need some examples for real? One liners here they come!

You are a robot, right?
Du bist eine Roboter, richtig?

So what would be right?

There we go if it’s formal or unformal:
Sie sind ein Roboter, stimmts? Du bist ein Roboter, stimmts?

Of course the meaning of right, is “richtig”, but in the normal use of our language, you would normally use “stimmts”.

And a robot in German is a male word so it’s “ein Roboter” and not “eine Roboter”.

Oh, I almost forgot 72% rated it thump up, only 27% gave it a thumps down. It’s a questionable instrument for me.

This was the first try and the first hit, should we go for another?

It’s a call from your hospital.
Es ist ein Anruf vom Krankenhaus. (meaning = It’s a call from the hospital.)

Right translation would be:
Es ist ein Anruf von deinem Krankenhaus / deines Krankenhauses.

It might be a necessary point to know that it was a call from HIS/HER hospital.

Rating was 70% up and 30% down.

Should we try a third and last time? You may if you want, I already had enough of it.

I only hope you will reconsider, because if you use the one liners on drama and movies, you can as well acceppt people to use google translation to make the mess complete.



I have used it to make translations and to rate translations but I quit. Because it was messing up my volunteer work table, or how shall I call it, and I always got those PMs about that my sub was added long after they where added. Also sometimes I had to rate my own subs I just had written for the “write subtitle”. And I also quit because translating stuff with so limited information is tricky and I didn’t want someones sub replaced by mine because with the little information my sub might look ok but might look wrong in the whole sentence it belongs to.

Dialogues/long sentences are cut in several segments because otherwise it’s on screen too long and each segment has a character limit. Because you can’t always translate everything literal I sometimes have to change the order so the whole dialogue/sentence made sense and so it doesn’t always match with the English. The person who does get that segment in One Liners goes like “no that’s wrong let’s correct it” resulting in a messed up dialogue/sentence.

And sometimes a translation depends on the situation and context. Would be weird indeed if in my case, Dutch, you would say “Hoe gaat het met u?” (how are you? ‘formal’) to a child and say “Hoe gaat het met je?” ( how are you? ‘informal’) to your grandmother, unless of course they want you to use the informal because otherwise they feel so old :wink:

Not that I think One Liners is a bad though, I think the idea is nice if you want to help out a bit but don’t know where to start. But it just needs a lot of improvement (already did send feedback about that ages ago) and till it has been improved I won’t use it again.


I dont really use one liner because like you said it is really hard to judge by one sentence. I found before some sentences that could be right or wrong, but when you dont know the context of the drama, it is hard to judge. However it is not something that really bothers me.

I wrote another answer yesterday, but I accidentally reloaded the page and lost it D:

I won’t say it all again, I’m too lazy for that, but I’ll summarize it: I don’t like the one liners. For me the context is a must and Dudie pointed it out perfectly!

I think giving random sentences out of context isn’t right and shouldn’t be done.

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I agree with all the above.

Down with the one lines, please!

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I haven’t used the on liners before and I never had the issue of someone editing over my subs using onliners (or and least I don’t know about it.
I translate from English to German as well and as you said, I struggle a lot about the whole topic of singular/plural and formal/informal. Often I simply try to translate it in a different way so it fits into the whole dialogue/plot. If I only see the sentence itself I would translate it differently altogether. You need to know the background of the whole situation to translate it in a proper way.

Oh, and son’t let me start on the whole grammar-thing -_- Tbh. I myself rarly use German subs and prefer the English ones, because they often suck. Especially wrong word order, wrong articles, no capital letters and no use of a formal form get on my nerves. That’s one of the reason I started subbing as well, because it’s no fun to watch sth. this way.

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I think, I only ever watched 1 drama in German, but that was the first time I started editing and experienced that subbing to editing is in a ratio of 1:5. Fixing subs is so much harder. But to be honest recently, if I see 2 grave mistakes or 3 in one subtitle, I will delete the whole subtitle and write it anew. I am sorry for the original subber, but since it will not be taken out of their subtitle counter, I can’t be too hard on me.
I always try to say that quality comes for quantity but some people just fill lines. And getting faster comes from constant learning. I am no different, when I started subbing the first part of 10 minutes I did, I almost needed 2 hours.
I like to “work” with text, for me it is clear that a old granny will not speak like a teenager. And an advantage in German is that you often can leave out the direct way to call someone “du/Sie” and if the situation allows it, I will use it. But some people think it is necessary and put it in again. Because they like to literally translate as they have learned in school. But for subtitles I believe it’s better to go as far away from the original English, but to “transport” the meaning as close as possible in German, and in a “lively” German. But that would be going even deeper into the field of how to make good subs, or why do I even bother?

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Been there done that…I quit. Simply because I found translating using one liners can be so misleading. There’re words that have some different meaning depends on the circumstances when they’re used for, ambiguous words. Example: going out, it can be translated as dating, since you don’t know the situation when you translated in one liners, you can simply translate it as ‘going out’ instead of ‘dating’. Does it wrong? No, it’s not…but since the line was supposedly means ‘dating’…the translation you made becomes inaccurate.
The lines appear in one liners I suppose were taken randomly from any show in Viki…and we might find a sentence that has been split into two cuts. Somehow translating the dialog per one line has a different meaning than the whole complete sentence supposed to be. I did translation from English to Indonesian language, and
in English to Indonesian Language translation, there’s also a basic rule called DM (Diterangkan-Menerangkan) pattern which approximates the order of noun and adjective phrase in Indonesian to English noun or adjective.
Translating one line (part of one sentence) in one liners could end up with inaccurate translation because of that.
Ex.: In English- Indonesian Translation:
“She might have the same feeling for him as well.”
A proper translation of this one whole sentence should be:
Dia mungkin memiliki perasaan yang sama untuknya juga.

Since it was split, we found it like this in one liners:

		Line 1: She might have the same : Dia mungkin memiliki sama
		Line 2: feeling for him as well:       perasaan untuknya juga.

In my humble opinion, the result is not as proper as it should be. That’s why I gave up…Not using one liners anymore, based on my own experience, it can be misleading and inaccurate somehow.

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