Where is the "no breaks for same speaker" guideline from last March?

Where are the Subtitling Guidelines which were published last March?

In them there was an important guideline:
*20) Breaks. Put a break in a subtitle only if more than one person is speaking in the dialogue or the subtitle segment contains both transcription of text on the screen and dialogue. Don’t put breaks into the subtitle for appearance’s sake only. *

I need to know whether this rule, supposedly because of breaks making it difficult to view with mobile phone and tablet apps, is still valid or not.
There is one moderator for whom I work who still has it in the team notes

*PER VIKI OFFICIAL (3-14-16) - “Line breaks are discouraged as they will not render correctly on Viki SmartTV/Roku/AppleTV apps and affect the performance of the applications.” *

  • Use line breaks only for multiple speakers and to separate dialogue and text or dialogue/text and lyrics.

But another moderator I work with literally demands breaks every time a person speaks for more than one line.

What should I do in the teams where I am moderator? Is it my choice now?

And generally, that Guideline page, where is it now? I had saved it in a Word document for easy consultation, but now it’s nowhere to be found. I only see a generic set of guidelines.
I’ve searched everywhere. Could it be so well hidden?


I don’t know about guidelines, but I always only use a break when two persons are speaking in one segment. Then I put one before the sentence of the second person. I’ve looked it up in Dutch subtitle guidelines on google and they stated using two breaks in one segments looks unprofessional.

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I’ ve seen that, too and I can’t find it. I don’t know how to handle the breaks any more. Do we use them? Do we remove them? I’d like a responsible answer.


I’m speaking of breaks when ONE person is speaking - a long sentence taking more than one line.

I know.

Some people write /
like this because it/
looks better.

But it doesn’t work for all viewers.
I’m not sure if we are required to shorten the lines or to make them easier to read.

When a channel is not available on the viki app and I watch it on my mobile using the desktop version, the short lines break at more places and become invisible.

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Each drama has also Team Notes, I see it mentioning there as well: Do only breaks for dialog between two or more persons. A break is also used for special name placement or explanation. For example a break between 2 persons look like:

  • I’m hungry.
  • Let’s go eat.
    (- I’m hungry. < br >- Let’s go eat.)
    and at the end of a segment where a name is added or an explanation:
    …dfdkfkdfkd. < br > (< i >King Injo </ i >)
    I personally think it’s not needed though and some do not use is as long it’s in parentheses.
    I left space between the characters since they might not write out if correctly written hier in text, not sure it will write it out.

because each viewer uses a different format or size of screen the breaks < br > do not follow the screen size while a long sentence adjusts itself to the size of the screen, plus on formats like roku or mobile it doesn’t look good.
Im using currently android tablet and some dialogs look like this:

  • I’m hungry - Let’s go eat.
    both on one line, not like below as on a pc. Im actually wondering if it contains a break or not???

They might not. Don’t have a tablet, but line breaks usually render on my mobile, so I don’t think it’s a problem with that. Some users will forget to use <br> and just press enter, which might look fine to them but the line break won’t save.


This is the newest article I found in the support pages about line breaks:

However, it doesn’t really address the question at hand, and might even sort of go against the community established norms (i.e. not using line breaks for long sentences).

I’m not sure I ever saw an official numbered subbing guideline provided by Viki, but you can see for yourself that the stuff about line breaks is true. Since the font size and video window are different sizes depending on the device you use, the subtitle display is also different. Adding too many line breaks would probably make viewing on some devices less pleasant, because there are manual line breaks you added as well as “automated line breaks” that result from the sizing.


The subtitle that looked pretty nice on the computer
might look a bit butchered on mobile.


The subtitle that looked pretty nice on
the computer
might look a bit butchered on mobile.

If you’ve already discussed this with your moderator and they still insist on adding more line breaks, then I guess for their projects you would want to courteously follow that guideline. As for your own moderating projects, it really does become your decision (to not add unnecessary line breaks, lol).


I really want to add that simple subbing rules are also written in the editor under the Tab “Team Notes” that are here for all to read and to respect, I think this has more weight in particular when you have a seasoned Channel Manager. I believe Moderators should look and read these as well and when not sure ask the team there. I find it crucial that all team members follow same guide lines otherwise the subs will look uneven and it really could annoy viewers entertainment. When I see mistakes in the english subbed segment like missing < i > or in sentence breaks < br> I make sure it is correctly written in the language I sub.


Viki has been working with Ninja academy on subtitling, editing, translation editing guidelines. We don’t use the br unless there are more than 1 speakers. Takes up a lot of video space using the br, so only when needed: http://nssacademy.weebly.com/subtitling-guide.html


you probably mean more than 1 speaker or not, it is to differenciate the dialog through < br >

  • xxxxxxxxxxx
  • yyyyyyyyyyy

Because you guys really love to make super long segments that make sentences/translation even longer? So the auto break probably the only solution for that?

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I’m not asking about individual moderators’ or Channel Managers’ guidelines. That’s easy, you are part of the team, so you follow.
My question was whether there are still official guidelines by viki, so that I

  1. tell that moderator who still insists on them how things are
  2. know what to do when I’m a moderator.
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I have been here for some time I guess but I do admit I never heard of that rule before and I always put breaks because I feel like if the sentence gets too long it gets harder to catch the subs? So basically I made myself my own rule according to how I view dramas here on viki which is never on the cellphone and always on the computer.

So I guess if there is a rule like that I will definitly have to chance that, it would be nice to have an official viki-statement regarding this though.

I also watch from a PC, and I find it illogical to use a small smartphone or tablet screen to watch a movie or drama. But it seems that there are many many viewers who do just that. Maybe they’re bored on the subway commute, who knows?
It was explained to me. With some apps people use, it seems that putting a manual break has the same effect as putting a manual hyphen break into a Word document. Suddenly other automatic breaks happen as well, and the screen is full of randomly chopped lines, instead of the beautifully done thing we see on PCs.


long segments? The average segment is between 4-6 seconds long unless the person says the name with a pause and then says more. So… Ru_di… are you doing well? Something like this. I try not to go over 5 seconds, but I don’t want to have choppy short sentences either, so I normally like to have them about 4-5 seconds long.

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you know what… my ideal (longest) translation in a line of subtitle is 70 characters and adding a break into it will make it look super nice on screen… so the long segments for it probably around 2-3 second, and for me, 4-6 second long of segemnt is just for special cases only… and i also not really get why everyone are so crazy about the “choppy thing”… did anyone ever heard about dynamic-flow-of-subtitle… IMHO

“super nice on screen”… But what screen exactly? Laptop, tablet, mobile? Using one of the various partnered apps or the Viki website?
I like short subtitles, but they really are a problem.
Also, how many of the viewers do you expect to understand “dynamic-flow-of-subtitle”? :confused: Unless you’re referring to the Viki team, in which case implementing it would take ages.

I agree that the shortest the segment the better, but sometimes it’s impossible.

you need to check it yourself to see if its look good or not, cause its about taste and its like we have similar taste

to me, viewers doesnt need to understand about the subtitling process (technicaly), they just need to know if the volunteers are the one who working hard on it (for free) and viewers feel comfort with the sub

and if you think it’s impossible, lets play some tricks to make it possible