What to do with bad subtitlers?

Recently I’ve been Portuguese Moderator of some dramas (Chinese and Korean) and I noticed that some translators of my team have been using translation programs (Ex.: Google translator) and it’s forbidden in Viki.

I don’t know what to do, because I talked to them asking if they were using any program for translation, they said they weren’t using. So I tipped them off to how to improve they subtitles.
Some have improved, but others have continued to do the same thing as before. Those who kept doing the same thing are no longer on my team, but I wish they wouldn’t do it with other dramas.

What can I do?

Please, if anyone knows what I can do, let me know, this is very important for everyone who works at Viki and for those who watch the dramas.

If you just want to talk to me, send me a PM, but I think it would be better if it were said here so that others also know what to do if it happens to them.

My account.


Casting them into the outer darkness would be preferable.

Do it on one of MY dramas…and…(points to the Celestial Prison, complete with “questioning” tools).


Okay - seriously - it’s a difficult question - obviously the subs need to be redone. :frowning: and that’s double work for everybody else. Otherwise - not hiring them back, removing their subtitle status - which shows up then as though they were never on your Team - and from any reputable, hiring Moderator…will evoke a natural question of the person as to “what happened” or the request to you, to answer what happened.

You can report them to the overlords - complete with the proof.

That’s pretty much it. Sorry you are having this problem.

GeNie of the Lamp


I always do like you, give them a chance to improve but if i see they continue with their bogus translation, I kick them out. Not …not before I go to their profile and press the flag with evidence in hands to report them as breaking the golden rule at Rviki and using a translator for all their subtitles and giving the viewers LOW QUALITY subtitles.

Follow that, and you can stop them from going to other dramas to give their crappy subtitles which no one needs here at viki site.


Of course the first thing is to remove them from your team, which you already did.
The fact is that other hiring moderators don’t stalk every subber’s profile to notice that there was a project and now there isn’t anymore. I don’t even visit the profile pages of my own longtime collaborators. Moderators usually go there only if it’s a person they don’t know and they want to assess her/his work.
If you know some other moderators in your language and you are in good terms with them, you can send them a warning message. But 1) you don’t know everybody and 2) will they keep a list of such notes? Or will they forget that message and the name of the subber after 5-6 months? If I didn’t keep notes, I would surely forget.
For a repeat offender, the only way is to report them to viki.
You need a screenshot of her translation and also a screenshot of google translate, where the same sentence gave the exact same result as hers.
Maybe 2-3 instances, and long ones, are better than one, to rule out the possibility that it was a coincidence “as this was the only possible translation”. Of course google translations are normally so ludicrous that a normal obvious translation of a longish sentence is a very rare instance.
Also, don’t use the Report button on their profile page, because from there you cannot attach screenshots (how lame is that?). So you have to go through Help Center.


Oh… It’s editors’s horror… I’m sure it happened to a lot of us: edit horrible subtitles, so horrible that it takes more time to edit than to translate ourselves. Whether they use “google translation” or they do not use it, some are not meant to translate! And definitely, I wonder if they understand what they write. One wonders if it is indeed their native language.

I think you have to think in two steps: Prevent and wait to see if they change (editors have to suffer some time). Then, if they do not make efforts, simply remove them from the team.

It is in these situations that you also need to have a solid help document: with vocabulary, the language used (“Tu” and “Vous” for French), dictionaries… A solid and good team who can help.

But you know what? From my experience only, I did that. I waited for them to progress, I gave advice, gave feedback, suffered from an endless edition and spent an indescribable time for strangers instead of spending it with my family.

I think we can be nice for a while, but after, we are led to lose hope, not to take new ones, or even to consider them. It is sometimes better to have 3 experienced translators in a team, to translate more slowly, than to have 10 translators, including 7 new ones, and to go faster.

And you know what? We are a close-knit community, so it’s good to give them a chance. So, I found a little trick, which does not please everyone. I agree to add them on the drama “On air” that they asked to translate (Yes because in addition they do it on popular dramas), but I would like to give them some advice before, if they can translate one or two parts into another drama that I give them, that I edit and with tips, the way we format sentences. It’s not a judgment or a test, it’s just to teach them the basics about viki, the standards we impose. But these norms are not particular norms, there are laws of the language (French in my case). It’s just French, the one we learn at school. Can we vouch for it, and learn English (+ French or portuguese here), for people who should have learned it at school? I am not a teacher.

Another thing: It’s your team. I like the idea of democracy, a team that helps each other with pleasure… But this is only possible with translators we know well and with whom we are used to working. If they do not integrate, do not make efforts with your advice, do not bother with them! They do not make efforts, do not make efforts for them either. Do not feel bad about firing them, now it’s a dictatorship.


Even if it’s a test, there is nothing wrong with doing a test. I subbed a part of a film as a test myself in order to enter an Italian group I wanted to join, and I routinely give new subbers work on older series before having them in an on-air one.
I made an exception this time with an on-air drama and I regretted it! I misjudged the girl’s capacities by looking at her recent contributions when that series was much easier, and now I am suffering but I have nobody to blame but myself.

So yes, what you suggest is good prevention. If one did this with all subbers, there wouldn’t be people who cannot translate but prefer the lazy way.

The problem here, and the original question, however, is something else. The Original Poster caught the abuser red-handed and she did did throw her out of the team. But she wants to know how she can keep this person from doing more and more damage on other projects of other, unsuspecting moderators. And that is the tricky part.


For me, she is not really an abuser. What is an abuser, if not someone who translates without permission? Or, does using “google translation” make her an abuser? I use the dictionary and reverso sometimes, I do not think I am an abuser. Well, am I? XD Well, maybe “google traduction” can help a little? By the way, What is an abuser? My definition may be wrong.

From the moment she asks permission to translate, it is the moderator’s responsabily to accept her. Of course, sometimes we accept people without knowing their ability (and I ALWAYS regret). I can only blame myself, just like you. The best thing is to know the person or ask someone you know what they think about this person if they have work together before (something I often do). (And for new ones, as said above, one or two parts of another old drama). By the way, very good and perfect translators, there are few. :’(

Right now, it’s impossible to stop her from going somewhere else to translate. It is impossible to do it, because we can not know if, in the end, she will not progress or change her attitude. By the way, create another account is possible too.

A general black list? Etically, I do not think it’s good. In addition, it would be too abstract & subjective. Who would judge? Translation notes? No. A strict test every year? No. A test-game, like the NSSA did last year, for everyone? (I like the badge ^^) Should they still participate? Well, I am running out of ideas.

You can only prevent her from coming on dramas you will manage in the future. You can protect them (Like a castle with perfect defenses). Make your own black list and… Pray for your colleagues who will going through bad periods editing because of this person.

It’s also the risks of volunteering, because everyone can translate… But the risk seems good to take, Viki has done quite well. Viki is recognized for its translation’s quality despite everything. It’s cheap & we love ^^

Maybe you can tell them (might be too late now, but who knows):

  • Why is it important that their subtitles are correct?
    ☆ For viewers:
    • For a part of the audience, we don’t like to read mistakes so we won’t watch subtitles with too many mistakes. Knowing that, some of them will feel that what they do is useless if the audience is thin.
    • Also, if we don’t understand the meaning, what’s the use?
    Don’t we subtitle to make it understandable?

☆ For them:
• in their viki life: if they want to discover new things, new dramas, being accepted on some dramas. They are closing themselves their opportunity, their door to moderation on some channels, or even teams. Rumors go fast between French teams and even in other languages. It’s a small world.
• in their professional life: Some recruiters are picky on how you write. It can be determining between many applicants. If you have to write mails to your clients in your job: it gives a bad image of you. Each time you write something, you won’t be independant and you have to ask someone to correct you.
If you have a job where you write a lot… it might become a nightmare.
• at school: in France, for exams, we can have a malus point if there are too many mistakes. One point can save some students.
Yes, it follows you everywhere and all your life, so better to learn now when we are still in the age where learning is easier for us, and when we have classes at school just for that. We can’t go back to that time, having other courses at an older age or buying books will cost money and time. We have less time to form ourselves later with a job, family, responsabilities.

Other ideas:

  • You send a message to viki, proving them, with episode, timing, examples of subtitles explaining why it is not correct.

  • You tell your friends and you tell the Moderator. If it’s the moderator, try to talk with the CM explaining her. I have an example with my friend who sent sentences translated in French that meant nothing. She explained why it didn’t make sense and what it would mean in English. Also, it’s always a good idea to say that other Moderators can back up your words, so put their link so the CM can check this with other moderators. But other moderators who will back up you words should be trustful = they proved themselves and they mean no harm.

  • You take a whip or you become cannibal like Anna :slight_smile:


From my experience, it’s what works best. Thank you, Piranna. There was only you to reveal my darkest methods. :imp: :penguin:

Well, if not abuser, someone who goes against viki rules, because viki rules say one shouldn’t use automatic translation.
If you look at the Volunteer Guidelines, you will see, among other things:

Subtitling Guidelines
Follow the Channel rules set by the Channel Manager and Moderators
Always contact Channel Manager and/or Moderators before starting to subtitle, especially on active Channels.
No inappropriate subtitling, which may include but is not limited to:

  • Subtitling without knowledge of the original and destination languages
  • Copying subtitles from a non-Viki source
  • Using a translator program (ex: Google translate)
    Reporting the failure to follow these guidelines

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in account suspension or other action. To report someone for failing to follow the guidelines, please contact us through the Help Center. [/QUOTE]
Therefore I don’t know if not following the guidelines is called an “abuser”, but it surely is a matter for reporting and suspension.

I also use google translate sometimes, together with other online dictionaries, but taking it for a pinch of salt, checking elsewhere etc. and surely not for a whole sentence which I then thoughtlessly copy-paste without any other worries in the world!