Why are there any incompletely translated episodes in a series?

Thank you for this explanation.

In English, there are a lot of regional dialects that deviate from the standard in terms of vocabulary, and there are a lot of regional dialects that deviate from the standard in terms of pronunciation (although sometimes it’s just a matter of the slurring that occurs when speaking rapidly).

So if I had to translate some English conversations in a hurry under pressure into Spanish (the only other language I know), well, yeah, I would have to leave some blanks.

I will say that The Guardians has so far been a really powerful show for me because of the subtitles. The subtitles really mesh with the body language and tone of voice of the characters.

The show has made amazing use of the K-drama tradition that is part of “the little guy gets revenge for all those who have suffered injustice.”

Every character’s back story is told pretty powerfully and in detail. That has made the pace pretty slow for a “get revenge” story, but because of the characters, I am just foaming at the mouth to get to the episode where the plot takes off and the chaos and deception and payback start exploding like fireworks.

I can understand why some people, including subbers, might not find The Guardians of interest. The lead actor is a woman, not a cute flower boy, and she is not wearing sexy clothes and five inch heels and carrying a name-brand purse. The male actors she interacts with are not cute flower boys, either. And the whole atmosphere at the start is not cute; it is so dark and so sad and so hopeless. In other words, not an escapist rom-com.

But the “good guys” have so much heart, so much passion for seeing justice done that I am already cheering for them, and they haven’t even, in the episodes that are fully subbed, started kicking butt.

So I will wait patiently for the subbing process to move forward. I think it will be worth it.


These are recent dramas, but imaging watching something older, like Heirs or Heartstrings, only to discover that full sentences were left untranslated even though it says 100% done.
I won’t blame anyone, of course, since Viki does not offer subtitles, only the dramas themselves, as well as HD with not ads if you want a pass.
If volunteers want to sub a drama, sure, if not, then that is that.

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Generally speaking, there are some oddities at how the percentages of completion appear on a drama.

  1. The best way to tell completion of a drama is to check episodes - either look at the screen where the episodes come up individually like you want to play a video and look through all of them. Why is this? Who can say - but the percentage of OVERALL completion that shows up on the Cover Page with the header for the drama is not always right. If you are a person who only wants to watch completed work, this will help you avoid waiting.

  2. The completion percentage for the drama appears to be somehow linked to the latest episode that has activity in it in the language - most of the time. So you might have the translation team in Episode 2 of 80 episodes and it will appear to come up as “100%” but …no…it’s not. And Episode 1 may have been at 90 percent, not 100, without checking the episodes separately you would not know.’

  3. If you see small percentages ahead of full episodes, odds are these are lyrics put in place to help the Sub Team by the thoughtful Segmenters. :slight_smile:

  4. Sometimes there is a sign, or a written note, or a sentence that everyone simply cannot translate. Or a segment that should have been removed as there is no actual language to translate in it. This can lead to an incomplete lower percentage and could also be removed in editing, which can significantly trail the Translation Team as well. :slight_smile:

I think this leads to confusion for many viewers who then start a drama and discover that they do not have all the episodes translated and either become angry or disappointed.

Perhaps using this one tip will help avoid more of this by anyone who reads and uses it. It’s what I use to determine if the drama is done when I am looking for a new project or to view a video. :slight_smile:

Crouching Dieter, Hidden Donut


@bozoli Why she needed to remove her name? Is she someone you know and want to defend ? (the one she mentioned here).
You are saying she’s talking behind her back? She stated Facts and she’s not making false statement against her since she knows the Language and knows for a fact she’s using goggle translator. I guess you only saw what you wanted to see. She clearly said she wrote to that person directly.

I wish we all were able to do that;expose each and every person who uses goggle translators here and gives such poor quality subtitles.

It seems the new personnel here @viki don’t care to remove these people that are doing this kind of deceitful, crappy work here. I have reported a few too and they still doing their crappy subtitles and getting QC status, contribution counts for useless subtitles bc if we can’t make sense of what they write, who wants them at all?

@ildi725_934 Thank you for your great effort in reporting this person. I am sorry they are not paying attention to you and I applaud you for not giving up since I did, a long time ago.

@bozoli’s comment of you talking behind that person’s back was unnecessary on her part. You already explained you wrote to that person with no luck of stopping her.

I feel that since viki site makes little effort in stopping such behavior, we should be able to expose them publicly here to stop them from doing low quality subtitles. It seems is the only way to try to stop them. With so many of viki guidelines noting that goggle translators are prohibited here I don’t see why this continues to happen here at the site to this day. It’s a real shame!

Please, don’t make me laugh. Stop making unfounded accusations just because you don’t agree with someone’s opinion.

This community has not so far made public any names of even worse offenders than this person. If that person was tagged AND warned to check Discussions, then it would not be “talking behind her back”.

It’s now November 16, and I have been waiting since September 25, when I first posted about this, to see if subtitle percentages would approach !00% for all episodes of The Guardians.

It is the first and only K-drama I’ve watched where there are a large number of episodes that don’t even come close to being !00% subtitled.

The first 20 episodes have these stats for subbing: episode 1–94% subbed, ep. 2–97%, ep. 3–100%, ep. 4–98%, ep. 5–91%, ep. 6–99%, ep. 7–98%, ep. 8–98%, ep.9–69%, ep. 10–76%, ep. 11–84%, ep. 12–78%, ep. 13–87%, ep. 14–79%, ep. 15–84%, ep. 16–76%, ep. 17–66%, ep. 18–79%, ep. 19–86%, ep. 20–86%.

There may be any number of good reasons for this inconsistency. And it’s rare. I’ve been watching K-dramas hot and heavy for about eight years now, and this is the first time that I’ve seen such inconsistency–and haven’t fortunately seen it since.

It’s just odd and a little sad.


I have to say how impressed I am with the responses I have gotten from people who have worked on the subs for The Guardians. It is a compelling drama, and the people who have worked on it clearly have a desire to share the passion.

I understand more about what goes on behind the scenes, and that awareness has prompted a variety of questions about how dramas are chosen, prioritized, and worked on.

Assuming that a drama is properly licensed, who decides that THIS drama will be put up on Viki as opposed to THAT drama?

And what is the standard for when a drama goes up?

If a kind of dumb but very popular show has higher ratings than a really well-done but not so popular drama, is there more of a focus on that higher-rated drama?

Does it get more resources because it’s higher-rated? If that’s true, then how are subbers recruited for it?

Or do dramas go up based on who gets subs done the fastest (even if the subs are poorly done or incomplete)?

Do teams of subbers (whatever their role may be on the team) answer to a “higher power,” that is a group or an individual who monitors progress of various projects and deem them well-done enough not to bring shame to the brand name?

Or are teams of subbers just floating around independent of anyone who could hold them to high standards?

And finally, if (as seems to be the case with the Guardians) dialog requires somebody who has a passable knowledge of some kind of professional jargon, is an effort made to recruit someone who actually knows that jargon? I was told that one person, whose native language is not Korean, and who does not know legal jargon, nevertheless made a huge effort, all by herself, to translate episodes . . . because she really likes the show and wanted others to share the experience of it.

I am so impressed that someone would make that kind of effort, but wouldn’t it have made sense for someone with authority to say, “Okay, this looks like a great drama, but we’re going to hold off on putting it up until we can find a law student or a lawyer or the sibling of a lawyer or a law clerk or somebody who will either agree to help write subs or who will provide a list or a dictionary or some set of definitions that our subbers can rely on.” . . . ???

Meanwhile, I am feeding my obsession with police/law/mystery stories by bawling my way through I Hear Your Voice. Oh, my soul, I have cried so much and had my heart ripped to shreds. Viki subbers got it goin on.

Oh, and one more question, what kind of pressure does premium content put on subbers? I just upgraded, and I would be terribly disappointed to shell out “the big bucks” and end up with episodes incompletely translated.

[quote=“misswillowinlove, post:28, topic:17354”]
Assuming that a drama is properly licensed, who decides that THIS drama will be put up on Viki as opposed to THAT drama?[/QUOTE]

You have it in the wrong order.
First viki decides whether they will try to get a license for a drama (competing with other streaming websites, especially with DF). Based on what?

  1. On their own opinion of what they think the viewers will like
  2. On how easy/cheap it is to get the license

Then it puts it up as a fan channel, while trying to get the license. Sees how many followers it has, how many enthusiastic comments etc. Behind the scenes there is the bargaining. Sometimes it gets a worldwide license, sometimes for certain regions only.

[quote]And what is the standard for when a drama goes up?
If a kind of dumb but very popular show has higher ratings than a really well-done but not so popular drama, is there more of a focus on that higher-rated drama?
Does it get more resources because it’s higher-rated? [/quote]
“More of a focus”, “more resources”… Viki doesn’t make a difference among its dramas. Once it’s uploaded it’s uploaded, viki does nothing more about it. People who understand the language can already view it. For others, the rest of the work is one by the volunteers.

Viki does not recruit volunteers. Viki only chooses the Channel Manager from the applicants who have asked for this position. After that, the Channel Manager chooses segmenters and the various language moderators and the moderators choose their subbers.
The only time that viki intervenes is when someone reports someone else for doing something bad: if the CM or moderator is absent and neglects the drama, the subbers are abusers or whatever.

I don’t understand the question. “Go up” means uploaded, right? But subs cannod be done unless the episode is uploaded first. First dramas are uploaded and then they are subbed.

[quote] Do teams of subbers (whatever their role may be on the team) answer to a “higher power,” that is a group or an individual who monitors progress of various projects and deem them well-done enough not to bring shame to the brand name?
Or are teams of subbers just floating around independent of anyone who could hold them to high standards?[/quote]

The subbers are controlled by their respective moderators, and the moderators have to report to the Channel Manager.
Whether a drama is fully subbed or not, viki does not concern itself. Only if a very popular drama has a lack of subbers, the CM may request help from viki, that will send one of its own paid English subtitlers, so that the English can be finished (without which none of the other languages can). But there have been popular dramas, like Can We Get Married, for which English hadn’t been completed for YEARS.
As said before, viki intervenes only if someone is reported for bad practices.

No. If there is a knowledgeable person within the team, then all is well. Otherwise, subbers try to do their own research. If something is not available, they make phone calls and send emails to people they know who may help them.
That’s what happens in real life, by the way. If it is a legal document, you get a specialized translator. But if it’s a novel dealing with lawyers and prosecutors, you get your normal good translator, who has some good dictionaries and a network of good friends to ask!

When I translated Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim I made a huge resource google spreadsheet with medical terms that came useful later on, when I got on the team of New Heart.
When I was Italian moderator of Solomon’s Perjury I made a similar document with legal terms. I was very lucky to have a lawyer on my team, but I did a lot of work myself.
Same for “Misaeng”, where I was Greek mod. I have now a full spreadsheet of commercial/financial terms. Next time I won’t have to search for them.
Veteran moderators and editors like ajumma2 or cgwm808 have compiled precious Korean-English resources for legal, medical, historical etc.

No special pressure at all.
Because we know that
(Sorry for the All Caps, I’m not shouting at you in particular: just celebrating my 100th time saying this to various people)
Please look at the pictures below. Does it even mention subtitles?

This said, sometimes Kocowa shows come already subtitled, but only a few of them. And in some cases they forbid translation in other languages, so it’s a minus, not a plus, considering that even in America there are many foreigners who would have liked it translated in their own language.


Didn’t read all responses but right now I’m a CM of a Kdrama which had a really late license and on top of that there are some restrictions blocking quite a few good Korean - English subbers. (And from the subbers who can help quite a lot seem to be really busy with other projects because there are simply so many Kdrama that need subs) Result: no episode is fully subbed yet and people are complaining and demand English subs. Yes some subbers have contacted me to help out but some don’t make the cut because their Korean isn’t good enough to be able to sub the drama properly and I had incidents on other projects where people copy pasted 3rd party subs (like from DF) or Google Translate which isn’t allowed and it’s such a hassle to get it removed and the user who did so blocked. So due all that I don’t simply add any subber. And for the subbers you have you cannot force or demand them to work on the drama NOW! We are all volunteers here who do this for free…so we decide ourselves when we work on stuff and when we decide to simply watch a drama.

All in all it can be pretty complicated and there are factors out of the teams control which may cause a project to be subbed really really slow and in really rare cases never subbed completely.


After a crazy period of time, including a bout with a bad virus, eye surgery (not related to the virus), and dealing with winter weather, I have just started watching The Guardians again, and am incredibly impressed with the fine, almost seamless quality of the COMPLETE English subs on episodes that were noticeably incomplete several months ago.

Thanks to the transparent responses of different people involved in different aspects of subbing, I now know that it’s a very challenging activity at the best of times.

The Guardians is an example of someone’s love and dedication. I wish I could invite the folks who completed the subs to a meal at the Korean restaurant in my city. Gimbap, bibimbap, potato pancakes, kimchi and side dishes . . . all wonderful. (They do grilled meat, but I have not had that yet.)

Thank you much for such dedication. How does the saying go? You worked hard!


I went to check it out and was hooked. Love this drama were the female is of strong character and not dependent on a man. Although some won’t like all the tragedies involved they need to remember that life is full of similar cases and life is never full of roses. I recommend it too and like you said: Our thanks to the seggers, subbers, editors etc… involved in completing this different and great drama. Hope we get more sequels with less tragedies though…:slight_smile:

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I so want to see the young couple in The Guardians doing their own scams in a sequel, with the female lead in the background but coming out front every once in a while to kick butt. With the idea of showing her gratitude for how they kept saving her neck.

She could be sort of equivalent of the gimbap-making ahjumma in Healer. Well, okay, Gimbap Ahjumma was a more loosey-goosey character, less intense as a personality, but she provided grounding and focus.

And of course Kick-Butt Cop Lady would not be an ahjumma. She would be chaebol-cool, still rocking the sexy lumberjack look with OMO OMO IS THAT NERD PROSECUTOR WHO CUT HIS HAIR AND BOUGHT HIMSELF THE ITALIAN DESIGNER SUIT HE DESERVES?

Cause you know, his transformation would undoubtedly be worth all caps. And he needs to be on her same level of coolness.

Anyway, I can dream. And watch Switch which is turning out to be intense fun. I’m being good and sitting quietly, waiting for the subbers to do magic. Hwaiting!

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If just the writers would read our/your ideas, their dramas would be more fun to watch.

Sometimes the main characters in dramas are never that well-developed, but somehow the writers manage to get secondary characters just right.

In The Guardians, however, the writers seemed to have an ability to make me care about all the characters with just a few well-chosen details here and there. I believe in them as individuals whose lives are meaningfully connected. I want to see all of them shine. I even want a pre-quell for the poor sacrificial lamb, the prosecutor who made amends for the death of Kick-Ass Police Lady’s daughter in an act of ultimate virtue.

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Well, I feel that Asian writers need to upgrade their writing skills bc all I see is repetition of the same stories or too many tragedies, and the worst one, the wrong couple staying together.

I think they should let the second lead get the girl bc sometimes I want the main girl with the second lead. They don’t even think that’s possible and is unnerving. I can tell who the girl will end up in the drama bc is always with the guy she kissed, and so much predictability in a drama makes me sooo sick.

In the time comments many viewers make accurate prediction of the drama’s episode and is so boring lol.

Reading through this thread has helped to rein in my disappointment with several current shows. Am I still disappointed, yes! Thankfully, I’ve longed learned to never start a show, before checking the percentage on all episodes. I am keeping my fingers :crossed_fingers:t5: crossed, and releasing hearts to those shows’ teams of volunteers.


@angelight313_608 . . . It seems to me that he only way the SML truly gets the FL is if the ML dies, which has happened a couple of times in dramas I’ve watched. And that has usually been dragged out until I have wanted to scream.

I do like it when the SML and the FL get all the cheesy stuff out of the way early and become good friends. And there are dramas where the SML does find love with the SFL, and that is nice.

They should have a drama called “SML Club” . . .

@leerla73, when Jiri-San was first airing, I got so involved in it that there were episodes I gladly watched without English translations. When the English translations were uploaded, I felt as if I had a better understanding all the way around because while listening to the Korean dialog, I had only body language and tone of voice to tell me what was happening. Same with Prosecutor Doberman and Devil Judge.


I too did the same with The Investiture of The Gods. Unfortunately it was held hostage for training new volunteers, and remained in the same state I had watched it for the longest time. :wink::laughing::joy::smile:

October 3, 2022
I am rewatching The Investiture of The Gods, I’ve meant to, and the above post spurred me to do the rewatch. Apart from the usual errors that can be ovelooked, I am enjoying the rewatch, I am up to episode 17. Between time stamp 17 to 21 subtitles are gone missing, and it cannot be faulted on segmenting, or the ost. The episode is 100% complete as pictured. I’ve submitted the What Went Wrong mini form.
Screenshot_20221003-075830_Chrome Screenshot_20221003-080508_Chrome Screenshot_20221003-081523_Chrome

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Why don’t we make one; a ‘‘SML Club’’ where we add title of dramas K/C/J/etc that the SML got the girl/guy? I believe I only saw that happening about 3 times in Asian dramas but can’t remember the title right now. Although I believe I mentioned a few in another thread.

Back to the topic: I haven’t encounter any dramas with incomplete subtitles here at Rviki or any other streamservice for that matter. Is that happening here now?