Why have TE and GE roles if they're consistently cut out from channels, who governs the quality with solo CEs who don't speak the language themselves?


I’ve been reading some of the topics made and one topic about quality and speedy translations caught my eye. Viki asks for speedy translations from OL, but I have also noticed that CMs who release episode quickly get to be CMs more often (yes, there’s a topic on Viki picking CMs as well).

However, I’d like to discuss something too (or have a little rant). I have noticed the tendency of some CMs to go for editors who are rather fast (because if your CE is fast, you get rewarded with a new channel, and who doesn’t want that?). Usually, the fastest CEs are the ones who do not take on any TEs or GEs because more people slow you down. So the fast CE usually works alone.

I have noticed that the last few shows that got a CM all went to the same CE, and I don’t understand it. If you’re on a million shows, the amount of time you spent on each of time will decrease because you only have so many hours in a day. Having multiple people in your English team might indeed slow you down a little, however, the quality at the end will be a lot better. I’m not an English editor, but I do get annoyed when translating shows which are inconsistent and which have wrong translations. With inconsistent I mean that previews and flashbacks aren’t always matched, which can lead to different sentences in different episodes.

If you edit a show without a TE, you also cannot be sure that the translation you are editing is right. For me, it seems rather useless to have a CE at all if there is no TE because what is the use of fixing grammar mistakes if you can’t fix the translation mistakes? It’s like building a house on mud, the house might look good at first sight, but your foundation is worthless.

And everyone cares a lot about the seggers and Portuguese community (which might go extinct with presubs), but what about the English teams? There are a ton of TEs (for most languages except Thai and Vietnamese) who want to join shows, but can’t because the CE thinks she’s fluent enough herself… Or very good GEs who can’t join because the CE thinks they’re only slowing her down. It’s sad that we’re not allowing actually good translators to help out and to fix some glaring mistakes. Why should we even call it an English team if it usually only consists out of one person? Eventually, there won’t be any good editors anymore if we keep rejecting them for someone speedy. Other CEs teach newbie editors how to be a good editor. You have wonderful CEs who teach good translators how to be a good TE, but if you don’t accept them into shows, you won’t have new people joining the English teams. Eventually, we’ll be left with that one person. And then everyone can complain about the quality being bad, but the quality of the English, that’s kind of up to us so if it’s bad, that’s our fault.

As a site which supposedly values quality, why are we not paying more attention to the quality of the English subtitles? English is the basis of OL subtitles. Anything which is wrong in English will be wrong in OL.

So I think CMs should think a little more before inviting or accepting the same person who’s on every other show.


A show without a TE is like a pretty cake that often tastes badly. It looks good on the outside, but you don’t really know how it will taste until you bite into it.

As a viewer, you eat it fast and you only notice something’s wrong until much later.

As an OL mod/subber you chew on each bite slowly and you get to taste all the bitterness. And you’re forced to eat it until its bitter end. It’s a special type of pain.


For my experience, I don’t think that’s true. There was one cm with more than one channel and the first channel was not fast at all. And some cms that are really fast and don’t get channels for more than a year. And also, some people who got CM for new channels just by asking for it in a PM to a staff. So, as far as cm goes, it has no rhyme or reason.

Lately, staff even asked to have no english editing whatsoever. There was one kdrama I asked to help as GE and the CE told me the CM didn’t want any more people because the staff told them they only needed one editing.

We have very few English editors if you compare to the number of shows we have. You may have this impression because the dramas you like went to the same person, but a few months ago was another one, and it comes in waves. There are editors with more than 30 dramas and I’m not talking one alone. At a certain point others, me included, had like 25 dramas each and that’s because the demand is really high. Maybe not now because the staff is starting to leave us aside.

Are there? Because I had many people trying to get a TE and they couldn’t find any. For korean BLs is pretty much impossible. I know more than 2 CEs who had projects that they had to work on alone because no TE was active or willing to help at the time. If there’s a tone maybe we need a way to know where are they.

They can always talk to viki to see old shows to work on during the training. There are a lot of old shows where the subs are really bad because back then there was no editing and many people were translating willy-nilly. If the goal is to teach they can do that and don’t worry about other languages waiting to be translated because the drama is already translated and old. Less pressure and more time to learn.

@trangstar888 , @damiechan , @kakashiandme , and me. We are the CEs that, as far as I know, are more active at the moment and have more channels. We all know each other well and have worked together in many projects. People who choose me are the people who like the way I work, the same goes to Trangx, Damie, and Kakashi. To be a CM is a big responsibility and the choice for a CE is to have your work as smooth as possible. So I understand that CMs choose the ones they like best and trust more.
In the perfect world, every project would have TE, GE, and CE and everything would flow beautifully. Sadly, not all projects can be like that. And big part of the reason is Viki pushing down things to be fast and faster. Money will always speak louder than quality. Unfortunatly.


Exactly. I just literally got a new channel as CE and I was told that Viki told the CM that they would have 1 CS and 1 CE. That’s it. It was most definitely a 24-hour turnaround they wanted. In a perfect world, I think most of us want the old Viki back, but it’s not happening. Lately, the channels I’m being asked to work on, are the fast ones. Maybe because most of everyone knows I’m a stay-at-home mom and retired, I’m able to beat the episodes out in a timely manner.

I try to get at least a TE if I’m able to on most channels because I know Viki wants it out quick but the TE will ensure most of the subtitles are okay. But that’s not always the case. TEs are almost non-existent in the Kdrama world, the Chdrama world does have a handful left. The Thdrama world has at least 1-2 that I know of, same goes for Jdramas.

It’s not that we don’t want a full team, it’s that we are told no. Viki has very effectively and efficiently killed the English team. They are now in the process of killing the segmenting teams and Portuguese teams. Viki is a paid service. What the fans want, the fans get.

What’s left of the English editors, we are literally on the edge of a cliff, struggling not to fall off. Because in many channels, we are told that Viki has paid editors. Many of us CEs are in name only because in most cases, it’s just formatting fixes.

Again, in most cases, the CM is left to the will of Viki. Many of us who are chosen, have been here long enough and most know of our work. If that person is being called upon countless times to be CE, that means they are highly valued by the CMs and OLs.


That’s in the past. Viki now values fast subtitling and we have to comply even if we hate it and don’t agree. I think this change is due to other streaming services that also offer dramas. Viki is trying to stay competitive but is unfortunately making the wrong decisions. :pensive:


With the new way of Viki, doesn’t matter if CE is fast or not, now OLs are allowed to start subbing once the episodes are done with QC’d. This method provides fast subtitling to OLs and an English team (TE, GE, CE) to do a good job of editing the English subtitles at a decent pace. (Guilty of being slow at times due to life and work, but my team tries to provide the best quality English subtitles as best as we can.) Then the OL team comes back to edit. This method works.

What makes me sad is that new English contributors will not be able to join the team because CM/CE is not accepting any English editors. If this is the new method, then Viki should get rid of the TE and GE roles. Just have CE.

With the subathon coming at the end of Nov. English contributors will have a hard time participating in the event. Not just English Contributors but Segmenters too. The pre-subbed shows don’t allow combining but adjust only or adjust and paste.

I get it, Viki is still a business at the end of the day. But we volunteer so much of our time here and our English team is getting smaller and smaller. Soon it’s just going to be 4 of us or down to one.


This is how many of the English teams I’m a part of operate now, and honestly, if Viki were to make it their official SOP (standard operating procedure), I think it would satisfy the majority. It allows OLs to get to work right away but still ensures the English team can do what they do. If it really comes down to just CEs on the English team, and only a handful of people have that role, mistakes become more and more inevitable as they become more overworked.

Ultimately, it’s up to Viki to decide how to do its business, and if my role as a volunteer disappears, so be it. But if the end product suffers in the end, I can also choose to take my business elsewhere.


And who is going to see the result?

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I’m not totally sure I know what you mean, but possibly you are referring to people like me who don’t really watch on-air shows and therefore benefit from that extra time and get the polished subs after the English team has edited them. Maybe I’m in the minority, but there are more of my type out there than some might believe. And I also know I might be in the minority of people who genuinely care about having top-quality written English in the subtitles, but we exist, and I’m not sure why Viki shouldn’t care when they are a paid, professional streaming service. But that’s their business, as I said.


I just wanted to add that this new workflow is obviously not working and will be the end of Viki because subtitles are HORRIBLE. I’m only talking about Korean shows so far, since they are the ones I contribute mostly and my language skills are not good enough to compare other language subs. Like, I get it, I study languages/literature and I’m lowkey obsessed with “accurate” subtitles. I understand the need of localising some things. But oh god. Im not really fluent in Korean yet, but thanks to practise/common vocabulary, it is not impossible to understand most of the script especially when we have the written one. I suggest your paid translators take a look at that. As I myself experienced, a TE takes their time, to make sure the translation is corrent AND make sense in the target language as well. Thus, sometimes searching for the local background/cultural jokes may and does take time. However, if you pay some people to subtitle this, you must at least expect that these people are familiar with the culture of the source language and slangs etc as well as being somewhat familiar with the culture K-drama culture at least, so they can deliver the lines properly in the target language, with a little localising but not completely throwing a whole context away for the sake of convenience. Long story short, if you want to get rid of TE and GE’s, at least start with finding people who will do a proper job in translating & editing their work before OL gets the “go”.

p.s: I cant bear to watch shows on Viki anymore unless I watch them in Korean directly. If there is no volunteering English team, i just skip Viki and check for other platforms. I assume your new method will shoo many more viewer away this way. Only reason I loved Viki was because subtitles were provided by volunteers who love & know about Asian culture therefore provide accurate translation with cultural insight. And also for well-corrected, good quality segments (which I feel unfortunately will be gone near feature as well due to your mistreatment of segmenters also) Im obviously not going to continue watching on Viki if this “exterminate volunteers” policy grows stronger, not worth to watch on a platform where you cannot even change the quality of video on desktop, lol


Most of the times they don’t take TEs or GEs is because the show is presubbed.
Those professional subbers tend to turn out decent quality work. Not always excellent, but decent. They do make blunders, but not as many as the average volunteer subber. Their level of English is also better than the average volunteer subber, their sentences are more natural. They even add explanatory notes!
Therefore, most of the time, two editors are not really necessary. One person is enough to remove excessive colloquialisms or restore Korean appellatives, food names and cultural things that got obliterated.
I would argue for the necessity of TE, though. Because a TE will not only catch the eventual translation mistakes, but also restore missing parts of the subtitle. Because those professional paid subbers work with NF mentality: they think people cannot read fast (which may be true for the general public but not for Viki users who are used to subs) and thus “summarize” the subtitle instead of translating the whole thing.


I agree that that is probably why, but I’ve worked on many shows where a TE was a necessity because of how bad the presubs were. In Korean dramas, the translations are done by actual paid translators and might indeed make sense most of the time, but for a Chinese or Thai show, it’s either a hit or a miss and most of the time, it’s a miss…


I only work in Korean dramas (I’ve also done a couple of Japanese projects in the 7 years I’ve been here), so that’s where my perspective comes from. But yes, I also said that I believe a TE is necessary in every case.